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Healthy Lifestyle Nutrition Uncategorized

5 Tips on How to Read the Nutrition Facts Label

Reading the nutrition facts label is about so much more than seeing how many calories are in your food. But what really matters—and what things should you look for when picking out your meals and snacks? Well, this is a loaded question and there is a ton of information to dissect. But have no fear, CF Nutrition is here to help you break down the nutrition facts label with our top 5 tips. Find out more below.

Tip 1: Acknowledge the servings per container.

Ever notice how big that bag of popcorn is? Or how large that king-size candy bar seems? Well, my friends, the truth is it probably isn’t meant for one person or one serving. When looking at the nutrition facts label, check out the section above the total calories that says ___ servings per container. 

However, always use your mindful eating skills and enjoy your favorite snack or sweets until you feel full. So instead of mindlessly crunching on that popcorn until there isn’t anything left, eat slowly and enjoy every bite. Once you feel satisfied, clip it up and put it back in the pantry to enjoy later. 

Tip 2: Look out for added sugar.

Did you know that the FDA now requires companies to include the amount of added sugar on food labels? This is excellent news because it helps us see the difference between sugars that are naturally occurring versus the sugars that are added. Naturally occurring sugars are found naturally in foods like fruit and milk while added sugars are sugars and syrups that are put into foods during preparation or processing. The American Heart Association recommends keeping your total added sugar intake to less than 10% of the total calories you take in per day; in a typical 2000 calorie diet, this equates to 20g per day. But ideally, your goal should be to limit added sugar as much as possible. 

CF Nutrition prides itself on limiting added sugar in our products. We use stevia to sweeten our drinks, which comes from a plant and is a natural source. When you look at CF(Protein)®, you may notice it has 14g of sugar but 0g of added sugar. That means the sugar is naturally sourced. CF(Preop)® contains only 4g of added sugar and CF(Rehydrate)® & CF(Rehydrate) Immunity +® have less than 1g of added sugar per serving.

Tip 3: When it comes to fat, type matters.

Did you know there are four types of fat—saturated, trans, polyunsaturated (PUFA), and monounsaturated (MUFA)? On the nutrition facts label, you will always see total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat. Sometimes, you may also see polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. 

Often, we think of fat as being “bad” for us. But not all fat is bad. Trans fat is the worst type of fat. The American Heart Association recommends avoiding trans fat and limiting saturated fat to less than 10% of total calories. To further reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the AHA recommends limiting saturated fat to less than 7% of total calories. So, when looking at the nutrition facts label, it is best to choose foods that have 0g trans fat and no or a low amount of saturated fat. 

MUFA and PUFA are good types of fat and should be included in your diet every day. You will often hear one specific type of PUFA is an omega-three fatty acid. The term omega 3 has to do with where the double bond is. Omega 3s are essential to consume from your diet because the body cannot make them. This is why omega 3s are called essential fatty acids. CF(Protein)® contains chia seed oil and is rich in omega 3. Omega 3 consumption is essential to a healthy diet and poses many benefits to your health—including helping prevent/lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. Omega 3s are not only good for your heart but also your brain, immune system, skin, and joints. 

Tip 4: Fill up on fiber.

Fiber is an essential part of an everyday diet. Unfortunately, most Americans fall short of the recommended amount of fiber to consume each day. So, when reading the nutrition facts label, checking the fiber content is crucial. On average, Americans consume about 15 grams of fiber per day, far lower than the recommended daily intake, regardless of age or gender. The recommended daily intake (RDA) for total fiber intake for men and women 19-50 years of age is 38gram/day and 25gram/day, respectively. The RDA for men and women over 51 is 31gram/day and 21 grams/day, respectively.

The best ways to increase fiber intake are choosing whole grains whenever possible, consuming legumes and beans, and increasing fruit and vegetable intake. Fiber can also help maintain a healthy weight. High-fiber foods are typically more filling than lower-fiber foods. They also help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Satiety is the term used to describe your fullness. Fiber increases satiety after a meal. If you are looking to lose weight, increasing your fiber intake may help by increasing satiety and preventing the intake of excess calories. Fiber also helps regulate bowel movements, keep blood glucose levels in the normal range, and helps increase satiety which can support weight management.

Consuming CF(Protein)® can help you meet the RDA for Fiber and get all the benefits of consuming adequate amounts of fiber in an easy, on-the-go format. There are 13g of vegetable fiber per one 8 ounce bottle of CF(Protein)®.

Tip 5: Less is more when it comes to ingredients.

Ever pick up a snack or drink at the supermarket and look at the ingredients list only to find 25 different items? Oftentimes, there are some items you can’t even pronounce! That is why we recommend simple, short ingredient lists—the fewer, the better. When looking for snacks, sauces, meats, and more—aim to find clean products that don’t have a laundry list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. At CF Nutrition, we keep our ingredients list short and sweet—providing you with everything your body needs and nothing it doesn’t. 

Overall, reading the nutrition facts label is all about looking at a few key things to ensure you are buying quality products. Use these 5 tips to make grocery shopping—and healthy eating—a breeze!

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Ready to start adding premium products that check all the boxes when it comes to the nutrition facts label? You can order CF (Preop)®  here, CF(Rehydrate)® here, or CF (Protein)® here.  And, as always, don’t forget to browse the rest of the CF Nutrition blog for empowering health, wellness, and lifestyle tips. 

Categories
Healing Tips Healthy Lifestyle Nutrition Wellness + Medical Tips

What Vitamins and Minerals Help Support my Immune System?

As cold and flu season is officially upon us, knowing what vitamins and minerals help support immunity isn’t easy. Today, we break down four of the essential vitamins and minerals that help support your immune system. CF(Rehydrate)® IMMUNITY+ was designed with an extra dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Zinc to strengthen your immune system, especially during cold and flu season. Drinking one serving a day may help prevent you from getting sick this season.

Vitamin D’s Role in the Immune System

Vitamin D plays an essential role in immune health. Its function is to regulate adaptive immune responses. Additionally, Vitamin D deficiency appears to increase the risk of certain illnesses and lower levels of Vitamin D may increase infections. Low Vitamin D levels may make you more susceptible to have recent upper respiratory tract infections when compared to those with sufficient Vitamin D levels. Consuming just one serving of CF(Rehydrate)® IMMUNITY+ meets 25% of the DV of Vitamin D.  Another way to ensure adequate Vitamin D is getting enough sunlight. Just taking a 15 minute break at lunch to get your daily dose of Vitamin D can help prevent deficiency in this essential vitamin.

Vitamin C’ and Your Immune System

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps the formation of collagen. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C protects against environmental oxidative stress. Deficiency in Vitamin C may lead to impaired immunity and increased infection. The way it works is, Vitamin C can readily donate electrons and, in turn, protect from damage by oxidants which makes it an essential part of wound healing. Consuming one serving of CF(Rehydrate)® IMMUNITY+ provides 100% of the DV of Vitamin C. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits can also help ensure you are getting enough Vitamin C in your diet.

Magnesium’s Role in the Immune System 

Magnesium is necessary for healthy muscle function and glucose metabolism. This means it plays a vital role in the use of energy-rich compounds. When we exercise, magnesium may be depleted, which can sometimes compromise the ability to perform physical work. Immune function may also temporarily suffer during bouts of prolonged exercise or excessive training. Sometimes, this can lead to infection. Replacing magnesium is crucial and by consuming CF(Rehydrate)® IMMUNITY+ after a workout, you are able to replace some of the magnesium that may have been lost during exercise. Magnesium also has a strong relationship with the immune system. Deficiency in magnesium may lead to an inflammatory response which can be detrimental to our immune health. There is 10% of the DV of Magnesium in one serving of CF(Rehydrate)® IMMUNITY+.

Zinc Can Defend Against Oxidative Stress

We often hear about Zinc being important for our immune healthy, but what role does this mineral play? Zinc strengthens the immune system and promotes healthy cell function. When we have a bacterial infection, plasma zinc levels decline. Dietary zinc (meaning the zinc we get from food or drinks) deficiency predisposes individuals to certain infectious diseases. Zinc also defends against harmful internal macrophages and decreases oxidative stress. There is 25% of the DV of Zinc in one serving of CF(Rehydrate)® IMMUNITY+.

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Now that you have a better idea of the four essential vitamins and minerals that support your immune system—be sure to browse the rest of the CF Nutrition blog for empowering health, wellness, and lifestyle tips. And don’t forget to fuel yourself and your family with the clean, clinical replenishment and immune support of CF(Rehydrate)® immunity +.

Categories
Healthy Lifestyle Nutrition

What do Electrolytes do in Our Bodies?

Oh, those pesky electrolytes. We hear all about them—and we know we need them—but what do they actually do? Today, we’re breaking down all you need to know about electrolytes, including the role they play in our wellness and how, exactly, to make sure you’re getting enough of them. Read on for a helpful breakdown!

What are electrolytes? 

Electrolytes are vital minerals that help regulate a variety of essential functions throughout the body. They include minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, and bicarbonate. When they’re in a fluid environment (like water), these minerals carry an electric charge.

Scientific American puts it this way: “In the world of nutrition, we use the word ‘electrolyte’ more specifically to refer to minerals dissolved in the body’s fluids, creating electrically charged ions. The electrolytes that are the most important in nutrition are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate.” So, if we had to sum it up simply: electrolytes are simply minerals that are electric.

What do electrolytes do for our bodies? 

So we know they’re electric minerals, but what does this mean exactly? Electrolytes are essential to a properly functioning body. They are the minerals responsible for directing water to the areas in your body that need it most. They also help maintain optimal fluid balance within our cells themselves. When we sweat, it’s electrolytes that do the important job of keeping proper water balances both inside and outside of our cells. This helps us stay hydrated and ensures our body can function well overall. This is essential for healing after a sweaty workout session, a cold or flu, or a medical procedure.

In other words, the answer to the question: Electrolytes serve a number of roles, which, together, help ensure our cells, tissues, and fluids can “communicate,” allowing our bodies to function properly. These roles include:

  • Sparking nerve impulses (nerve impulses allow muscles to contract, which, for example keeps your heart beating)
  • Balancing the amount of water in our bodies
  • Balancing blood acidity and blood pressure
  • Helping our bodies build new tissue

How do we lose electrolytes, and how can we replenish them?

When you exercise, you lose a significant amount of vital electrolytes through your sweat—including high concentrations of sodium and chloride, and low concentrations of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Rapidly replenishing these minerals with an electrolyte drink, then, is essential for rapid recovery—as you can’t get these electrolytes from water alone.

Is that why CF(Rehydrate)® contains so much sodium? 

That’s exactly right! We often get asked about the levels of sodium in our electrolyte drink, CF(Rehydrate)®. The reason our electrolyte solution contains higher levels of sodium is because it’s meant to help you quickly and effectively replenish all of those important electrolytes you lose through exercise, sweat, and dehydration.

While our electrolyte drink contains a significant amount of sodium to help you replenish electrolytes, what’s just as important as what it does contain is what it doesn’t:  Just like all of the medical-grade clinical-nutrition products our team of scientists and nutritionists formulates here at CF Nutrition, CF(Rehydrate)® is free from artificial colors , flavors, and sugars. This makes CF(Rehydrate)® the superior option out there for health-conscious athletes, moms, and everyday on-the-go professionals who want to hydrate wholly, without inundating their bodies with the excess sugar and harmful neon dyes you’ll find in sports drinks.

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Overall, the answer to the question is pretty simple: electrolytes help our cells communicate and our body perform at its absolute best. Without electrolytes, your heart wouldn’t beat and you wouldn’t be able to function—making them important heavy-hitters for healthy, happy bodies.

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Now that you have a clear answer to the question What do electrolytes do?, be sure to browse the rest of the CF Nutrition blog for empowering health, wellness, and lifestyle tips. And don’t forget to fuel yourself and your family with the clean, clinical replenishment and immune support of CF(Rehydrate)® Immunity +.

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Categories
Healthy Lifestyle Pediatrics

5 Healthy Halloween Tips: CF Nutrition Breaks Down How to Keep Halloween Healthy and Fun

Halloween is quickly approaching, and our little ones are starting to count down the days until they get to fill their pillowcases with endless amounts of sweet treats. As parents, this may be a rather daunting thought. But don’t worry, CF Nutrition has healthy halloween tips and tricks on how you and your family can stay mindful and well nourished this Halloween. Like any other day, creating balance on holidays is just as crucial to creating a healthy relationship with food and staying on track with our goals while still enjoying ourselves. 

Healthy Halloween Tip No. 1:  Have a healthy meal before trick-or-treating.

Having a healthy, hearty, well-balanced meal before trick-or-treating is a great way to curb candy cravings and set a solid example. By filling up first, the temptation to overindulge on candy is reduced because your little ones will feel satisfied from their meal. Eating a balanced meal also provides fuel for your kids as they walk from house to house. But most importantly, it helps your children learn the importance of eating healthy even on holidays. By instilling the idea of year-round healthy eating in your children from a young age, you can help them avoid the fast-or-famine mindset so many of us adults know all too well. Just because it’s a holiday and candy is involved doesn’t mean you should go completely off the rails and neglect to nourish your body mindfully.

Healthy Halloween Tip No. 2: Check your kids’ candy before they consume it.

Before letting your little ones dig into their treasured supply of candy, make sure to go through and check expiration dates as well as look for any opened pieces. Sometimes, an opened piece will sneak into the batch, and it is crucial to throw any away that have any openings. Also, any candy that has passed the expiration date should be thrown away. Lastly, check for allergens and suspicious ingredients, especially if your child is allergic to anything. 

Healthy Halloween Tip No. 3: Get moving as a family.

We often treat candy and sweets as the “fun part” or “reward” of certain holidays. But by beginning your own traditions that make  physical movements fun, you can expand your little ones’ ideas of what holidays are all about. Whether it’s throwing a dance party in your living room before you head out trick-or-treating, setting up a Halloween-themed relay race in your driveway, or setting a goal of how many houses you’ll walk to as a family—figure out a fun way to put on your costumes and get moving together. No matter what you choose, it’s important to have an activity that your kids can look forward to as much as they look forward to candy!

Healthy Halloween Tip No. 4: Practice portion control.

Halloween is a perfect day to help your child understand portion control. If given the opportunity, children typically will eat enough candy to make themselves sick. And yes, they will ask for more candy than you allow them. Here is a great way to educate your children on enjoying some of something without overdoing it. Allow them to choose two of their favorite candy on Halloween and save the rest for later. If they want more candy, maybe offer them an orange fruit or vegetable instead like a carrot or a cutie. This will allow them to learn that if they don’t feel hungry for a fruit or vegetable, they may not be hungry for more candy either.

Healthy Halloween Tip No. 5: Limit leftover candy.

If your child has an abundance of candy, you don’t need to keep all of it. Instead, let your child pick their favorites and donate the rest. Saving about 15 pieces of candy is plenty. This is crucial to ensure your child is not consuming endless amounts of candy for the days and weeks to come. Limiting to about 15 pieces will allow them to have 2-3 pieces the night of Halloween and have some leftovers to distribute throughout the next 2-3 weeks. This will ensure a habit of eating candy every day does not develop at a young age. 

Healthy Halloween Tip No. 6: Remember balance—it’s only one day a year.

Remember, Halloween is an exciting time for your children. While instilling portion control and balance, also remember to keep the joy of the holiday alive. Try to refrain from telling your children that candy is “bad for you.” Instead, teach them that candy is a fun treat to enjoy some of the time—but that to keep our bodies healthy and strong, we also have to nourish ourselves with balanced meals and fresh produce. It’s not about neglecting to enjoy the holiday altogether—it’s about being mindful, embracing moderation, and avoiding the kind of habits that lead to a lifetime of rollercoaster dieting and unhealthy relationships with food.

Healthy Halloween Tip No. 7: Keep it festive! 

One way to make this Halloween healthy and fun is to make some festive holiday treats. Try making pumpkin seeds with your pumpkin fillings. Offer your children orange fruits and veggies like cuties, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Maybe make some black and orange treats or place natural orange food coloring in your child’s yogurt. You can also check out ourCF(Protein)® Spooky Smoothie Recipe below. It’s a healthy smoothie that’s so tasty your children just might forget all about Snickers Bars and sour gummies. 

CF(Protein)®Spooky Smoothie Recipe:

Need a sweet treat around Halloween? CF Nutrition has you covered

Try sprucing up your CF(Protein)® with this festive smoothie recipe. This delicious and healthy plant based drink makes 2-3 servings. It’s a great way to get in a few servings of fruits and vegetables—and to “trick” your family into enjoying a healthy “treat”. 

Ingredients:

  • -1 cup frozen mango
  • – 3 medium carrots
  • -1 cup almond milk 
  • -1 CF(Protein)® bottle

*Blend together and enjoy

*Option to add spinach

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Ready for more goodness? Browse the rest of the CF Nutrition blog for empowering health, wellness, and lifestyle tips. And don’t forget to fuel yourself and your family this fall season with the clean, clinical replenishment of CF(Rehydrate)® Immunity +.

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Categories
Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Travels 101: Staying Healthy on Vacation

We’ve all been there: your flight leaves in an hour and your stomach is rumbling. You’ve grazed on enough trail mix and pretzels to last a lifetime, and the fast-food chains in the terminal aren’t exactly calling your name. Whether you’re in an airport or on the road, staying healthy while on vacation and eating well isn’t the easiest or most convenient endeavor. Fortunately, with a bit of forethought and some simple planning, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle no matter where you are. Today, we’re sharing some of our best tips and tricks from our travel experts to help you continue eating right and feeling great from departure to arrival and back.

Turbo Charge Your Health

In the days and weeks ahead of your trip, it’s a good idea to consider the many ways you can support your immune system and boost your nutrition status. Whether this means reaching for a multivitamin or adding a nourishing smoothie, like CF(Protein)® to your morning routine, being especially mindful of your nutrient intake will help provide a solid foundation of healthfulness before your trip. In doing so, you can help avoid developing any nutrient deficiencies that might put you at risk for illness while you’re away. Pre and probiotics can also help promote healthy gut bacteria that may limit the chances of illness or gastrointestinal distress while traveling.

Intensifying your exercise regime before vacation is similarly beneficial. Exercise is a proven way to support immunity. Improving cardiovascular fitness and strength also gives you wiggle room to maintain your fitness level on vacation while spending more time lounging and relaxing. Additionally, stretching or doing yoga before taking a long trip may help you to feel more comfortable during your commute and avoid dangerous blood clots resulting from extended periods of seated inactivity. Walk around the airport during layovers and take the long route around your hotel to promote blood flow, limit body aches, and ensure you hit your daily walking targets. 

Plan Ahead

Like most things in life, a little bit of preplanning and forethought is often beneficial (if not necessary) for enabling your plans for staying healthy on vacation to run smoothly. If you are visiting a big resort that includes meals, we suggest calling ahead to ensure healthy food and beverage items are available. The same protocol applies to any restaurants you plan to attend, especially if they are part of a preset itinerary where attendance is required. These suggestions are especially important if you have any specific dietary needs or restrictions, such as gluten intolerance or a dairy allergy. Most hotels and chefs will be more than happy to accommodate your needs. If they’re not, checking in beforehand will allow enough time to adjust your travel plans and go elsewhere, if needed.

If you’re traveling for pleasure and can eat wherever you want during your trip, consider browsing local restaurants and cafes that offer healthy menu items beforehand. Yelp, Happy Cow, and Google are all great resources for identifying restaurants that cater to specific dietary needs and specialty food preferences. While trying local cuisines can be a fun part of the travel experience, it may be helpful to eat at least one meal a day closer to your usual diet to avoid shocking your digestive tract. If you plan on arriving in a city early in the morning or late in the evening, you can also check out which restaurants can deliver directly to your hotel room and order on the way. Knowing where to order ahead of time can prevent getting overly hungry and making food choices out of convenience over health.

Have an Exercise Game Plan

As mentioned earlier, keeping up with your usual exercise routine may be difficult during travel but it can be hugely beneficial for staying healthy on vacation. However, having ideas for maintaining your fitness beforehand will likely encourage you to stick to a more consistent schedule. Making sure to pack a pedometer or other fitness travel is a simple way to ensure you are still hitting your minimum daily target for movement. If you have cellular service on your trip, exploring local running/walking trails or hikes is an excellent way to explore and stay active. If your trip requires more time indoors, check out some free online fitness classes, including millions of simple and effective workout videos via Youtube and other online platforms. Many of these videos do not require any equipment and take up very little space, so there is no excuse not to get a daily sweat in. Finally, if you plan on visiting a big city or metropolitan area, research local fitness studios or gyms that may interest you. Many businesses offer a free trial class to new customers, so you may be able to try out a fun new workout with no commitment or payment whatsoever. Make sure to plan your exercise recovery accordingly by bringing an electrolyte beverage like CF(Rehydrate)® with you for post-workout recovery. 

Pack Snacks

No matter what form of travel you are prepping for, bringing your food and snacks is one of the best ways to ensure you have healthy options available at all times. Notably, having a refillable water bottle on hand should be a priority. Staying well-hydrated is an essential part of healthy travel and staying healthy on vacation, and carrying a refillable bottle is a great reminder to drink up. Another option is packing an electrolyte-rich beverage like CF(Rehydrate) Immunity+ to ensure you are consuming adequate electrolytes while on the road. Specially formulated functional beverages are a great way to conveniently make sure you are consuming immune-supporting ingredients while on the go.

If you’re flying, think about what foods do not require refrigeration and won’t offend other passengers but will help sustain you throughout your journey. Some ideas include raw vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, or cucumbers. For protein and fat, bring packets of nut butter, dried edamame or chickpeas, or a simple sandwich. These balanced snacks will keep your energy levels steady and avoid causing gastrointestinal discomfort while you travel. 

If you have ample time to prepare for your trip, making a homemade trail mix with unsweetened dried fruits is a superior snack choice than store bought items with excess sugar and salt. If your trip is last minute, be mindful of what is available at the airport. Some larger airports offer great snack packs with hardboiled eggs and fruit, and you can find a greek yogurt and a banana almost anywhere. Avoid purchasing candy bars and opt for a granola or protein bar with less than 10 grams of added sugar. Lastly, stick to carbonated or flat water over sugary soft drinks or sports beverages loaded with artificial ingredients and flavors. 

If you are taking a vacation via road trip, packing good snack items is a breeze. Families can bring individual lunch boxes with sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables for each person. Alternatively, packing one large cooler full of yogurt, grab-n-go protein shakes, or crackers and hummus ensures that there will be plenty of food to fuel everyone in the car.

Vacationing should be a time to rest, relax, and recharge.  Fortunately, staying healthy on vacation is a breeze with these simple tips in mind. A bit of simple organization and pre-trip planning helps ensure that you come back from a trip feeling and looking even better than when you left!

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