Tag Archives: vegetables

Sweet or Mashed? Running on Potatoes

Potatoes are versatile, delicious and inexpensive.  You can get a great carb load from a potato without many of the ugly features of pasta, such as processed grains.  One cup of mashed, boiled or baked potato contains more run fueling complex carbohydrates than one cup of your favorite noodle as well as loads of vitamins and minerals.  With russet, red, yellow, sweet and purple all packing a nutritional punch pasta can’t deliver, potatoes are a great way to power your workouts.potatoes

Easy to digest, potatoes will keep you safe from stomach issues during a long run and save you time in the kitchen.  Mashing and freezing potatoes is a great way to have a healthy food quickly in hand.  The tubers also rank highly on the glycemic index which means the carbs get into your bloodstream quickly, giving you a boost right away.  Add protein or low fat cheese for a slower burn and steady source of energy.

More good news?  The rumors are false.  All of the nutrition isn’t in the skin.  You’ll miss out on about half of the available fiber by peeling it but most of the good stuff hides in the flesh.  Craving fluffy white mashed potato?  One big russet contains 63 grams of carbs, zero grams of fat (!), eight grams of protein, 64 percent of your daily vitamin C, 53 percent of vitamin B6 and potatoes1,600mg potassium.  A medium banana contains only 425mg potassium, making the potato a better way to help your muscles work and keep fluids balanced.  Want a baked sweet potato instead?  One cup will give you 700 percent Daily Value vitamin A, zero grams of fat and 65 percent of vitamin C.  Both varieties are rich in antioxidants, calcium and magnesium while lacking in cholesterol which makes them heart healthy snacks as well.

Unfortunately, you’ll still need to be careful about those fried potatoes.  The frying process wrecks the nutritional value and the huge volumes we consume is part of the reason spuds often get left out of dinner plans.

Want to add potatoes to your training nutrition plan?  Ask us how!  Email Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the form below.

A Balanced Diet Part III: Vegetables

So now you’re eating the right kind of grains, it would be great to have something to go with them.  Vegetables are an integral part of any diet, adding flavor, color and nutritional value to any meal.  They contain no cholesterol, and are low in fat and calories.  The dietary fiber present in vegetables helps lower the risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, while aiding in the prevention of certain types of cancer and obesity.  This dietary fiber gives vegetables to ability to give a feeling of fullness with fewer calories than many other foods.  Found in vegetables, Vitamins A and C keep eyes and skin healthy, help heal cuts and wounds, and aid in maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

There are five types of vegetables: dark green (broccoli, romaine lettuce, spinach), starchy (corn, green peas, potatoes), beans and peas (kidney beans, split peas, black beans), red and orange (butternut squash, carrots, tomatoes), and other vegetables (beets, celery, zucchini).  It is recommended that adults (ages 9 and over) consume between two and three cups of vegetables each day.  A cup is measured using chopped vegetables, and any whole vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a serving.  Beans and peas are special because they are also a great source of plant protein, which makes them similar to meat, poultry and fish.  Vegetarians and vegans, who don’t consume animal protein, should consume larger amounts of protein filled beans and peas to make sure they are getting enough dietary protein.

There are a few keys to getting the right kind of nutrition from your vegetable selections.  The first is to buy fresh and in season.  Fresh foods contain less sodium and more flavor.  If fresh options aren’t available, choose canned or frozen vegetables that are labeled ‘reduced sodium’, ‘low sodium’ or ‘no salt added’.  To make adding vegetables to a meal easy, buy prewashed bags of salad, or be sure to rinse all vegetables with clean water and dry before cooking or preparing.  Once they’re clean and ready to go, add them to any dish for an infusion of color and flavor.  Also try using vegetables as snacks by adding a low fat dressing as a dip.  Keeping some pre-sliced vegetables in the fridge helps make eating these nutritious foods quick and simple.

So throw some green, red or orange vegetables in with your next meal and make it a nutritional success!

For more information on the Vegetables Group, check out http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/vegetables.html, and check back in for the next Segment, A Balanced Diet Part IV: Fruits.