New York City Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan says she attributes her success to the long hours of training and diet change.
In 2017, she became the first American woman to win the marathon in 40 years and, on Monday, announced that she will run the marathon again in November to defend her title.
Flanagan, 36, revealed in a new cookbook, written with her best friend and runner Elyse Kopecky, that the reason she is able to do so is because she eats whole foods that keep her fed and stop learning to fear the fat.
Daily Mail Online spoke with a nutritionist about how whole foods prevent an athlete from crashing and how to incorporate healthy fats, can stay full longer.
New York City Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan says she attributes her success to the long hours of training and diet change. In the photo: Flanagan holding a flag after winning the race
She launched a cookbook with her best friend, runner Elyse Kopecky, which focuses on eating whole foods and incorporating healthy fats
Flanagan and Kopecky have written two cookbooks and the most recent of the two, Run Fast. Cook the fat. Eat Slow., It is full of tips and recipes for runners and athletes.
In their new book, published this summer, the couple wanted to provide recipes that focused on whole foods.
Kopecky told Shape that he wanted to break the notions of the readers of measuring fat, protein, carbohydrates and calories, because that could lead them to eat more processed foods because the amounts are on the label.
He explained to the website that, by eating balanced meals and whole food snacks, it is easier to control hunger levels.
Registered dietitian Tammy Lakatos Shames, half of the Nutrition Twins, told Daily Mail Online that whole foods are full of essential nutrients.
"When you eat foods that grow in the soil, you have the outer layers, the germ and the endosperm, as well as the interior that contains vitamins, minerals and fibers," he said.
Eating foods that contain vitamins and minerals does not make a good athlete a great athlete, but it makes a good one much better.
"But when you have processed foods or refined carbohydrates like white rice or white bread, they strip the outer layer so you do not have the fiber or the minerals and it causes a shock of energy."
This is particularly important when it comes to athletes who need to maintain a high level of energy.
"Their nutrient needs are much higher and they need a better diet," said Lakatos Shames
& # 39; They need to make sure they're getting lots of vitamins and minerals. It does not make a good athlete a great athlete, but it makes a good one much better. "
Lakatos Shames said that exercise, particularly at the athlete level, can cause more oxidative stress and release free radicals, molecules that damage the cells of your body.
"They're going to have a lot of free radicals floating around after exercising so they really he wants to consume many vitamins and minerals to clean them, "he said.
Registered dietitian Tammy Lakatos Shames says that exercise can release free radicals, molecules that damage your body's cells and whole foods provide nutrients to "cleanse" them. In the photo: Flanagan running
Lakatos Shames also explains that refined foods such as white rice or white bread have no fiber or minerals and can cause a shock of energy. In the photo: one of the recipes in the cookbook
One of the biggest changes for Flanagan was changing the way he saw fat.
In the 1990s, when Flanagan attended college at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, low-fat diets were all the rage after a handful of studies linked an increase in fat intake to heart disease.
"People did not separate healthy fats." How not to separate trans fats and saturated fats from monounsaturated fats, "Tammy Lakatos Shames told Daily Mail Online.
"It was:" All fat leads to cancer, obesity, heart disease ", when there are fats such as salmon, which is a high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which can actually Protect your heart against heart disease. "
Flanagan says that, as a college student, she fell into the trap of thinking that all fats are bad.
"We grew up in a culture, at least at the University of Carolina, you know, that fat would make you fat," CBS told This Morning.
& # 39; So we were eating everything low in fat. And little did we know that we were just eating more sugar and processed foods, "said Flanagan.
Lakatos Shames recommends staying with products that say "reduced in fat & # 39; or 'low-fat & # 39; whether they are cookies, cereals or yogurt.
"They remove the fat, but they are putting sugar or salt so that it has flavor," he said.
Flanagan (pictured) said in the 1990s that he was part of the low-fat madness. But Lakatos Shames explains that monounsaturated fats keep you full and protect you against heart disease
In addition, fats keep you full longer because they take longer to digest. Carbohydrates, however, are the fastest to digest.
Therefore, if you consume a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, especially refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pastries and sweets, you are likely to be hungry just a few hours after eating and potentially consuming an excess of calories.
"Carbohydrates take from one to four hours to digest, but fats can take four to six hours, and really healthy ones can take six to eight hours, so there is real satisfaction in eating avocados, nuts or seeds." said Lakatos Shames.
In his cookbook, both Flanagan and Kopecky emphasize the importance of incorporating fats into a diet as they do.
"Having a good balance of healthy fats at every meal and snack will make what you eat stay with you longer and give you energy throughout the day," Kopecky told Shape.
"I sincerely believe that the way Elyse has taught me to incorporate healthy fats and a healthy diet has really extended my career," Flanagan told CBS This Morning.
"I do not think I would be sitting here, talking to you and running at a high level if it were not for the fact that I changed my diet."