Nutrition Bits


Scientists from Arizona State University (ASU) recently reported that 2 teaspoons of vinegar reduced the body’s glycemic response to a high-carbohydrate meal. The scientists believe that acetic acid in vinegar reduces the rate at which the carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Please don’t turn your nose up at the thought of downing a shot of vinegar before every meal. There are some tasty alternatives.

1. One of my favorite appetizers is sliced tomatoes marinated in Balsamic Vinegar and a good quality Extra-Virgin Olive Oil basil, a little sea salt, pepper, oregano, sliced onions, and sliced mozzarella (low-fat or no fat varieties available)

2. You can also try dipping a high-fiber bread (Rye is among the best) into a similar dip: Balsamic Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, basil, pepper, and oregano. You can also experiment with other herbs for variety. (See previous FitBits for the health benefits of olive oil and high-fiber breads)

Rye bread has always been known as one of the healthiest bread choices. A recent Finnish study of people who suffered constipation reported that those who consumed about 6 slices of whole grain rye bread per day had more frequent and less stressful bowel movements. The IFPA Sports Nutrition Certification Course and Manual has detailed information on the importance of fiber: The average American consumes only 11.2 grams of fiber per day. This is the lowest consumption of fiber of all countries and is believed to be one of the reasons why the USA has the highest Colon Cancer rates in the world! By comparison, West African nations consume approximately 150 grams of fiber per day and have virtually no colon cancer. The USA RDA for fiber is 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Not only does whole grain rye provide much needed fiber, but a compound found in rye: Arabinoxylan may enhance the growth of critically important bacteria in your colon. In addition, rye has long been known to improve digestive health.

You can also try vinegar as a marinade: i.e. The English version of “Fish and Chips”, only try baking instead of frying the potatoes to keep the fat content down.

New research from Wake Forest University on sleep patterns and weight gain confirms previous research:


The study was conducted on adults under the age of 40 and did not mention whether the participants exercised or their exercise activity. Athletic levels of activity may mean the need for more sleep.

The researchers tracked participants for 5 years and found that people who slept 5 hours or less each night gained nearly 2 ½ times as much abdominal fat as those who slept between 6-7 hours/night. Participants who slept 8 or more hours per night added nearly twice as much abdominal fat as the 6-7 hour per night group.

The researchers believe that people with sleep deficits tend to eat more (and use less energy) “because they are tired all-the-time!

The researchers believe that people who sleep longer than 8 hours per night may be less active.

Though the research seems to indicate that 6-7 hours per night is ideal, my personal opinion is that highly active athletes, training hard, may require 8 hours night and sometimes more often highly intense training or for younger, “growing” bodies!

Best regards,
Dr. Jim Bell, CEO IFPA

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