The Aunt Bertha Blog

Carbs, Protein & Fat. What Do They Do for Your Body?

This guest post is written by Adrien Paczosa, RD, LD, CEDRD. She is the owner of iLiveWell Nutrition Therapy, a group of Registered Dietitians on a mission to empower clients with knowledge and spread the word of food, balance and fun!!


Gas is fuel for cars, a pen is for writing, TV is for entertaining, but what about food? What is a carbohydrate and what does it do? After eating something, do you ever wonder what it actually does in your body? I am a huge fan of empowering my clients to fully understand what food is and how it works.

There are 3 major players in every food you ingest. They are carbohydratesproteinand fat. Every food from fish to chips & queso (my favorite) is made of the 3 players.

Let’s start with the big powerhouse, carbohydrates!!! Carbohydrate is an umbrella word for that which houses grains, starches, fruits, and vegetables. The main function of carbohydrates is energy. They are used to give our body its basic fuel. When we eat carbs, they get transported to the parts of the body that need fast powerful fuel – our muscles and the brain. Our brain can ONLY run on carbs, otherwise known as glucose, and we store carbs in our muscles as glucose too. 

Next up is protein. Protein’s main function in the body is the internal band-aid. It’s used to heal any damage that has occurred during the day or to heal any part of the body that needs repair. Protein can come from many different types of food including meat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.

The last of the major players in food, and my personal favorite, is fat. Fat got the bad name. All too often, negative associations come to mind when we hear the word fat, but I challenge you to think of taste and happiness when you hear fat, because fat’s roll is truly amazing! Our brain is made up of 85% fat, all of our hormones and neurotransmitters (what make us happy) travel through fat, and all of our nerve cells are wrapped in fat for better connections and responses; meaning increased memory and problem solving. Eating fat can even help to NOT make you fat! Foods that are in this powerhouse are nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and oils.

All food has a function and purpose in the body. When we start to label food as good, bad, right or wrong, that is when all the confusion can creep in. Remember food is fuel!!

Free Thanksgiving Meals in Texas

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and there are many places to go to share the holiday spirit and a free, hot meal. Here are some of the meals we found around town.

 

Topics: thanksgiving free food holiday season Texas free meals

Essential Tips for Social Workers, Nurses, and Alzheimer’s Caregivers from the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter

Though Alzheimer’s disease is becoming increasingly prevalent as our population ages, much about dementia is misunderstood or unknown.  While memory loss is the most common symptom, there are many other changes caused by Alzheimer’s that family and professional caregivers must learn to accommodate.  Here are just a few things to keep in mind when interacting with a person with Alzheimer’s.

People with Alzheimer’s not only lose the ability to organize thoughts into sentences in order to communicate, they also forget words, and have trouble understanding written and spoken language.  For this reason, when speaking to a person with Alzheimer’s it’s important to speak slowly and use simple sentences, and allow the person plenty of time to form their response.  Also, when a person loses their verbal abilities, they will rely more on non-verbal cues.  It’s important to always use a soothing tone of voice, keep your facial expressions friendly, and make eye contact when speaking with a person with Alzheimer’s.

People with Alzheimer’s will lose the ability to reason, and to regulate their emotions.  As you can imagine, this creates many aggravating situations for a person with Alzheimer’s.  When they become agitated, help them shift their attention to something more productive, and never engage in an argument with them.  Understand that your reasoning is meaningless to them, and they are coming from a place of fear and confusion, so be patient and compassionate.  Whenever possible, reassure the person and change the subject, and don’t take any negativity on their part personally.

People with Alzheimer’s also have trouble processing and filtering sensory stimuli, so it is easy for them to get overstimulated and distracted.  If you are trying to engage a person with Alzheimer’s in a conversation or activity, do it in a quiet, calm place without a lot of distractions.  During a busy day with lots of activity, plan breaks in the day for the person to rest and de-stress.  This will help prevent agitation.

These are just a few helpful reminders for caregivers.  For more advice on helping a person with Alzheimer’s, visit the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas website at www.alz.org/texascapital, or call the 24-hour caregiver helpline at 1-800-367-2132.

This guest post is written by Amelia Frank, the Communications and Programs Specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter.  She draws on her experience as a teacher and nonprofit professional in her role at the Alzheimer’s Association, which includes community outreach, caregiver and community education, media relations, caregiver helpline, and more.

Topics: Social Work caregiver healthcare community manager Social Workers Alzheimer's Continuing Education nurses Alzheimer's Association