As some of you know, I’m currently taking a nutrition class for my program. Specifically, it’s called, “Nutrition for Fitness Instructors,” and is centered around sports nutrition and recommendations for athletes and active people. I dreaded this class before it started because I knew that it would revolve around USDA guidelines and the standard American diet. Obviously, I’m not a fan and cannot promote either of these things.
I’ve had my moments of frustration in the class, and listening to lectures about the USDA’s MyPlate is darn painful, but the class hasn’t been all bad. Fortunately, my teacher is pretty cool and open-minded. I was thrilled on the day of the carbohydrate lecture when she promoted vegetables and fruits as carbohydrate sources, and went on to mention that some people don’t eat grains, and it’s fine. She said that people forget that veggies and fruit are carbohydrate sources, which is very true. I hope all my classmates were listening at that moment.
Anyway, we were given an assignment recently consisting of 11 scenarios, in which we had to give recommendations based on what we’ve talked about and learned in class. Some questions were fine and didn’t annoy me as much as others, but the two scenarios/questions below irked me a lot, because I know exactly how most people will respond, especially regarding cholesterol. No, my teacher did not come up with these scenarios, rather the authors of our textbook did.
I responded to both of these questions addressing my personal reservations. I could not pretend. If I get marked down, so be it. I don’t know if she’ll necessarily mark me down anyway, but again, I’m not concerned. We already discussed that people don’t have to eat grains or dairy, so I’m sure she won’t think much about my response for that one. I can guarantee many other students will say the woman needs to eat grains though, but not necessarily the dairy. I say this, because I was discussing the questions in class with two other students and they both said, “yes, she needs to eat grains.” I looked at both of them and told them that I disagreed wholeheartedly and went on to tell them that I haven’t eaten grains in 1.5 years. They both seemed very surprised. I was happy to make my point clear that people don’t need grains, and reminded them that carbohydrates can come from sources like vegetables.
Both of these scenarios left out a lot of details. I know the questions are just asking for very basic recommendations, but I would never address these questions or give advice without knowing more information first. I even stated this in my answers. I know, it may seem like I over-complicated the questions, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. The additional information I need regarding their lifestyle and current diet is basic in my opinion.
Also, as you may notice, Julie from scenario #1 is doing way too much cardio. Where’s your strength training/heavy lifting, Julie?
Okay, okay, that’s enough, I suppose. I could probably go on about these questions forever. But, what do you think about these questions? Would you put the “right” answer just to get a good grade or would you say otherwise and stand up for what you believe?
Julie is interested in losing weight. She enjoys participating in step aerobics, kickboxing, and muscle conditioning group fitness classes 4-5 times per week. She eliminated all breads, pastas, and other grains, as well as dairy products from her diet 4 months ago to help her lose weight. She lost a couple pounds initially, but has struggled to continue her weight loss. Juile’s goal is to lose another 5 pounds while also feeling more energetic during the day at work.
Questions: Does Julie need to start eating grains and dairy again? Please provide justification for your answer. If she refuses to eat grains and dairy, what would you suggest as an alternative?
Calvin is a 19-year old collegiate gymnast. He has been consuming approximately 3,200 calories per day, feels energetic, recovers well and has maintained his weight at 150 pounds for the last 2 years. After a recent blood test, he discovered that his total cholesterol is 235. He is concerned about this result, and asks for your assistance in making the necessary dietary changes to lower his cholesterol.
Questions: How many grams of total fat, as well as saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, would you recommend Calvin consume daily? Do you have any other dietary suggestions that would help Calvin lower his cholesterol?