macros

What’s On The Menu – Pasture Raised Chicken: Is It Worth It?

I, like many of you, am faced with a variety of chicken choices when I go to the grocery store each week. Do I buy organic, free-range, pasture raised or conventionally raised? The choices seem to be growing by the year, but is one superior to the other?

Much like beef, I believe that chickens raised in a way that closely resembles the lives their wild ancestors live (e.g. 24/7 access to open pastures & ability to forge for insects and other food sources) provides a better animal welfare situation than that of birds caged in confined quarters.

When looking into potential environmental impacts of pasture raised chickens, the research is mixed. Some individuals contend that pasture raised chickens take more resources to produce (source) while other cite the facts that these chickens eliminate the need for fertilizer and their food sources don’t require any herbicides to produce (source).

Those aspects are important to consider when purchasing your chicken, but the main goal of this week’s menu spotlight is to determine if pasture raised chicken is nutritionally superiority to its conventional counterpart.

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Let’s take a quick look at the macronutrients contained in both pasture & conventionally raised chicken. One cup of a roasted chicken breast contains 231 calories, 43 grams (g) of protein, 5 g of fat and 0 g of carbs. It should be noted that different parts of the chicken, skin-on or skin-off, contain different nutritional values. No matter what part of the chicken you prefer, they all contain a substantial amount of protein.

To determine which one is nutritional superior, were going to have to look at their respective micronutrients. Luckily, the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA) performed a study in 2013 comparing the micronutritional difference between pasture raised and non-pasture raised chickens. The results of their study showed that pasture raised chickens were higher in vitamin D3 and E, both of which are important to mitigating auto immune diseases.

The APPPA study also discovered that the pasture raised chicken contained an omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio of 5:1 while the standard 6:3 ratio for conventionally raised chicken is 15:1 (source). This is important because recent research suggest that foods containing large amounts of omega 6’s (e.g. vegetable oils & fast food) could lead to inflammatory disease like cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, and more (source).

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After looking at the preliminary evidence, I have reached a verdict: pasture raised chicken is nutritional superior. Yes, a pasture raised chicken from the store or a local farmer could cost 2-3 times more than a conventionally raised chicken, but like the old saying goes “You get what you pay for.” If chicken is one of your primary protein sources, and you are interested in optimizing your nutrition, you may want to think about forking over the extra dough.

If you’re a regular consumer of pasture raised chicken, I’d love to hear some of your go to recipes. One of my favorite recipes that uses chicken, pasture raised or not, is chicken pot pie soup (recipe link). I skip the pie crust and do my best to use gluten-free ingredients, but I highly recommed you do yourself a favor and make it tonight! Feel free to send a pic of your delicious chicken recipe to us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) or you can email it to elementaltampa@gmail.com.

You can also take advantage of the complimentary fitness consultations we’re currently offering by emailing us. Whether you need advice on nutrition or just want workout tips, I’d be happy to set up an appointment with you to discuss how you can improve your fitness.

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – What’s Up with Coconut Oil & The 1776 Edition of the Macros Game

Nick let me take over the show notes today for our special holiday episode.

First off a couple of special announcements.

We want to thank you all for your nominations for Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay 2017! Later in the month, voting will start and we’ll most likely need your help once again. For now, mark your calendars and check back on cltampa.com/botb2017 later in July.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in a free fitness consultation from ETTampa, email Nick at elementaltampa@gmail.com. He’s offering up a 30-min phone/Skype call, regardless of location.

Training Recap

While Nick is lifting more at Tampa Strength, he’s also using some new toys. One, called a landmine attachment, is especially great for rotational exercises.

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Landmine attachment image courtesy of amazon.com

I’ve been making some adjustments due to the pregnancy even on the Peloton, since my heart rate spikes up faster these days during training. I’ve also been taking prenatal yoga classes, which teaches you how to move with your body when you’re going through some pretty incredible changes. It’s definitely helped me to see what an important need for prenatal and even beyond (fourth trimester) yoga is and has me thinking it’s an area I might want to take my training.

Now onto the main events.

Many people have been talking about the recent USA Today article, “Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy.”

People have been reaching out to Nick for his opinions, which is ironic because it followed a blog post that he published a few weeks before this one was published. The USA Today article reports that the American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommendation is NOT to use coconut oil because it could raise LDL cholesterol which could lead to cardiovascular disease.

Coconut oil is almost entirely saturated fat, which we’ve discussed the beneficial aspects of before on the podcast, but it is still being vilified by certain organizations. Stating that coconut oil doesn’t provide any health benefits is untrue; it’s great for skin, anti-pathogenic and does contain medium chain triglycerides, which are less likely to be stored as fat.

After examining the details, the article’s title is total click-bait because it actually goes on to discuss why you should keep your coconut oil including how coconut oil won’t turn to trans fat like certain vegetable oils, which the AHA recommends you use.

Our recommendation is not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Use coconut oil in moderation and check out some more facts, like those in the TIME article on coconut oil, which is more non-partisan.

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The 1776 Edition of the Macros Game

For anyone that is unfamiliar with the Macros Game, it is a nutritional trivia game that requires the contestants (Nick and I) to guess the macronutrient (fat, protein or carbohydrate) when given its amount in one serving of a specific food.

So, since this comes out in time for Independence day, we’re doing a 1776 edition of the Macros game featuring foods that were popular at that time and are still available today (in some form or another).

You should definitely listen to the full game on the podcast. Some of the food items featured in this edition of the Macros game include:

  • mutton (adult sheep – which particularly grossed me out)
  • oysters
  • scrapple (one of Nick’s fav’s)
  • corn chowder

This Macros game has a shocking result so make sure you listen! Feel free to play along and send us your scores.

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As we wrap it up, here’s a friendly reminder to take advantage of the ETTampa free fitness consultation. If you are looking for a little guidance, whether it be for exercise, nutrition or even accountability, send Nick an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com. We’d also love it if you connect with us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/whats-up-with-coconut-oil-a-1776-edition-of-the-macros-game/id1121420986?i=1000389464597&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/whats-up-with-coconut-oil-a

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/the-fourth-of-july-edition-of-the-macros-game