Did you know that approximately 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient? Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and experiencing high levels of emotional stress are two of the ways we lose it. If you are experiencing:
Increased perspiration and/or body odor,
Arthritis, stones in the gallbladder or kidneys or bursitis,
Urinary frequency or
it may be a sign of a magnesium deficiency. Find out more with your family health care practitioner.
Did you know that lobster is low in fat and calories and lower in cholesterol than lean ground beef and the skinless white meat of chicken or turkey?
Did you know also that lobster meat is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, potassium, magnesium, vitamins B12, B6, B3 (Niacin), B2, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and vitamin A?
Have you ever tried it? If not, put it on your to-do list. If you aren’t vegan or vegetarian it’s definitely worth the try!
The easy way to remember what to eat:I have MANY patients who tell me that they don’t know how or what to eat. They end up eating what’s convenient or handy or psychologically satisfying because they don’t have a game plan to eat nutritionally well. They say the concepts of portion sizes and ratios of carbohydrates to proteins to fats are like trying to decipher a foreign language. Well, worry no more! The above picture is a handy memory tool for a great, basic, nutritionally balanced eating strategy.
You start off with whatever size plate you usually use for eating (i.e. a dinner or salad sized plate). This doesn’t mean that from now on you can only eat your food from a plate but you can use the plate concept when figuring out portion sizes. This “formula” takes care of the ratios of fats to carbs to proteins. You’ll notice that you first divide the plate in half. Half of the plate should be filled with vegetables and the more colors of veggies you have, the better the meal. The other half of the plate is divided in half again. One quarter is filled with a deck-of-cards sized piece of protein. It doesn’t matter whether the protein is from an animal (like fish or chicken) or a plant source (like soy). The last quarter can hold an ice-cream-scoop sized amount of a starch such as rice, pasta or bread.
And that’s pretty much it. What this strategy doesn’t do is take into account any special dietary needs an individual might have. For example, someone with Crohn’s disease would have to make adjustments to their vegetable intake. Someone with blood sugar issues would have to be careful with the amount of starches they ate. If you wanted to lose weight you also might have to make adjustments to the starches. It’s always crucial to consider your unique constitution when choosing your meals so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to call the office.
On occasion, a patient will come into the office expressing frustration that trying to eat healthy is like trying to figure out rocket science. I completely understand. There are so many ways of “tweaking” your eating habits that it can easily become confusing. So for today’s post, we’re getting back to the basics of nutrition.
Nutrition is things that nourish. To nourish means to supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth. (As an aside: please note that more than food can accomplish this!) In regard to what we ingest, there are the 4 basic nutrients and also the micro-nutrients (micro because we need them in micro amounts).
Water, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats: The Basic 4
Did you know that the human body is two-thirds water? Water is needed for every function of the body! Therefore, it is certainly considered one of the four basic nutrients. You lose up to 1 quart of water a day between your kidneys and skin. You lose approximately a half cup from feces and around a cup from your lungs. At a minimum, replenish this loss by drinking around 10 cups of clean, clear, delicious water daily.
Carbohydrates are the gas that make the body go. Both simple and complex carbs are needed on a daily basis for good health.
Did you know that proteins help maintain the correct acid/alkali balance of the body? They are also needed to make the body’s tissues, enzymes and hormones. Proteins are formed from amino acids. (Think freight train: the number and arrangement of the variety of box cars, aka amino acids, determines the type of protein). There are both non-essential amino acids (meaning it is NOT essential that they come directly from the food you eat but can be put together by the body from the foods you eat) and essential amino acids (it IS essential that you get those exact amino acids in the food you eat).
Fats are also nutrients needed for good health. Fats are made from fatty acids. There are also essential fatty acids: omega 3s, 6s and 9s. Understanding fats completely is a blog entry in itself but for now, make sure to always get your essential fatty acids and the proper amounts of good fats in your diet.
The Micro- Nutrients: Vitamins and Minerals
Needed vitamins include:
Vitamin A (retinol)
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol)
Essential fatty acids
Needed minerals include:
Do you get your daily nutrients? it’s a good place to start when you are getting back to basics!