Nutrients made easy

The natural source for nutrients is the food we eat and the beverages we drink. Our bodies need nutrients to work properly. What do we need? It depends on your age, health, and what effect your eating habits have had on your body.

If your getting the right amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals and the proper amount of carbohydrates and the proper amount of exercise, you can probably follow the U.S. government's recommendations.

If your like most people, its a hit or miss on some vitamins and minerals. Did you know that there 13 essential vitamins your body needs every day!

Did you know that the cells in your body are "under attack" on an average of every 10 seconds by free radicals?

Did you know that not all fat is bad and that you need fat in your diet.

Low carbohydrate diets may not be good for you! Read why you need carbohydrates for a healthy active life.

We recommend the dietary guidelines that are written and published in a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a good source of information. However, these guidelines assumes that you are an average, healthy, adult.

Nutrients are the fuel that feed our bodies for a healthy, active lifestyle. Give your body good protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and your body will reward you with good health.

Give your body "empty" nutrients and you are at a higher risk in developing diseases. Science and medicines are developing new drugs every day, but the possible side-effects scare me almost as much as the problem.

Science is also discovering new sources of nutrients every day. Have you heard about the nutrients in the top 10 Super Foods list on Oprah Winfrey web site.

Nutrient rich foods should be added to any diet. This includes raw vegetables and fresh fruits which are high in antioxidants. Sometimes just based on how we prepare our food, we can end up cooking the nutrients out of the food.

Let start with the Basic nutrients:






Carbohydrates are nutrients !

Some of this is more than you wanted to know, but it will help you understand your overall health. Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel in a balanced diet. We convert carbohydrates to “glucose,” which is a type of sugar.

Our bodies use some of this glucose immediately for energy, and any extra glucose is converted into a sugar called “glycogen.”

We store glycogen in the liver and muscles for future use. Glycogen can be quickly changed back to glucose as needed. Once our bodies have made enough glycogen, the leftover glucose is stored as fat.

Sugars and starches are carbohydrates. Sugars are called "simple carbohydrates" or "simple sugars."

They are found in jellies, honey, syrup, soft drinks, candy, fruits and juices. When glucose molecules link together, they create a number of larger molecules called "complex carbohydrates."

Breads, grains,pasta,cereal and vegetables are examples of complex carbohydrates.

The wide popularity of diets like Atkins, South Beach, and other low-carbohydrate diets have lead many people to believe that carbohydrates are “bad,” the source of those unwelcome extra pounds, and a cause of the obesity epidemic. That’s a risky oversimplification.

Easily digested carbohydrates from white bread, white rice, pastries, sugared sodas, and other highly processed foods may, indeed, contribute to weight gain and interfere with weight loss.

Whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and other sources of intact carbohydrates do just the opposite – they promote good health..

Don’t be misled by the comments on the risks of carbohydrates. They are an important part of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates provide the body with the fuel it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function.

The best sources of carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They deliver essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and a host of important nutrients.

What’s so important about Protein?

There are millions of people around the world that don’t get enough protein and nutrients. Protein malnutrition leads to the condition known as kwashiorkor.

The lack of protein can cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, weakening of the heart and respiratory system, and death.

Here in the U.S. and other developed countries, getting the minimum daily requirement of protein is easy.

Cereal and milk for breakfast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and fish with a side of beans for dinner will add up to about 70 grams of protein, which is more than enough for the average adult.

Proteins are compounds made of hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon and oxygen arranged as strands of amino acids. These are the building blocks of protein. There are 20 different amino acids that carry out various functions in our body. Proteins that make up enzymes are completely different from the ones that form muscles.

Animal protein versus vegetable protein

Some of the protein you eat contains all the amino acids needed to build new proteins. This kind is called complete protein. Animal protein from fish, meats, milk, poultry, cheese and eggs are good sources of complete protein.

Other protein sources lack one or more amino acids that the body can’t make from scratch. These are called incomplete proteins and they usually come from fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts.

If you are a vegetarian, you need to be aware of this. To get all the amino acids needed to make new protein and to keep the body’s system in good shape, you should eat a variety of protein-containing foods each day. Examples of some protein-containing foods include grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Facts about Fat

Before blaming “fat” for making us “over-weight,” let’s talk about the needs and benefits of fat. Fats can be divided into two categories: the “good” fat and the “bad fat.”

The "good" nutrients fat

Some fats are good for improving blood cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins have a central role in developing atherosclerotic plaque and cardiovascular disease. The following two main types of lipoproteins work in opposite directions:

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) carry cholesterol from your liver to the rest of the body. When there is too much LDL cholesterol in your blood, it can be deposited on the walls of the coronary arteries. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is often called the “bad” cholesterol.

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) carry cholesterol from your blood back to the liver, which processes the cholesterol for elimination from your body. HDL makes it less likely that excess cholesterol in the blood will be deposited in your coronary arteries, which is why HDL cholesterol is often called the “good” cholesterol.

Basically, the higher your LDL and the lower your HDL, the more you are at risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Unsaturated Fats – Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated

Unsaturated fats are found in products from plant sources, like vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.

Polyunsaturated fats are found in high concentrations in sunflower, corn, and soybean oils.

Monounsaturated fats are found in high concentrations in canola, peanut, and olive oils.

Studies have shown that when polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats were eaten instead of carbohydrates, these good fats decreased LDL levels and increased HDL levels.

More benefits of “GOOD” fat

* Fat helps in promoting healthy skin and hair.

* Our children need fat to grow.

* Fat provides a ready source of energy.

* Fat helps the cell walls within your body.

* Fat adds texture, aroma and flavor to our food.

* Fatty acid that our body can't make comes from fat.

* Fat stores and absorbs vitamins A, D, E, and K. Without fat our bodies would become deficient in these essential vitamins .

* Our vital organs are protected and supported by fat.

* Our bodies insulation is fat.

The “BAD” fat

Trans Fats

Trans fatty acids are fats that are produced by heating liquid vegetable oils with the presence of hydrogen. This is known as hydrogenation. The more hydrogenated an oil is, the harder it will be at room temperature. For example, a spreadable tub margarine is less hydrogenated and has fewer trans fats than a stick margarine.

Most of the trans fats in the American diet are found in commercially prepared baked goods, margarines, snack foods, and processed foods. Commercially prepared fried foods, like French fries and onion rings, also contain lots of trans fat.

Trans fats contribute to higher cholesterol levels than saturated fats because they raise bad LDL and lower good HDL. Trans fats also fire inflammation, an over activity of the immune system that has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.

Intake of saturated fats should be limited and intake of trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils should be eliminated from our diets completely.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats consist mainly of animal fats. Meat, seafood, whole-milk dairy products like cheese, milk, and ice cream, poultry skin, and egg yolks all have saturated fats. A few plant foods are also high in saturated fats, including coconuts and coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil.

Saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol levels more than dietary cholesterol because they tend to boost both good HDL and bad LDL cholesterol. The net effect is not good, meaning it’s important to limit your consumption of saturated fats.

Saturated fats can also be found in cookies, crackers, non-dairy creamers and other baked products. Do yourself a favor and make an effort to cut back on these products.

Doing so will protect you from heart disease, certain cancers and other potential health problems.

Vitamins our body needs,
but can't make.

If you eat a healthy diet, do you really need to take vitamins? Not long ago, the answer from most experts would have been a resounding "no". Today, there's good evidence that adding a daily multivitamin and eating a healthy diet makes sense for most adults.

What's changed? Not only have scientists determined why we need vitamin B6, but they are also finding evidence that this vitamin and others do much more than ward off the so-called diseases of deficiency, things like scurvy and rickets. Taking several vitamins above the minimum daily requirement may prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis,and other chromic diseases.

Vitamins are being recognized and play an important role in our health and wellness. You can read more information about what the FDA has to say about vitamins.

Now that you understand the basics of nutrients, the differences in carbohydrates and important sources of protein, you should enjoy checking out the Amazon Viagra or some of the other benefits for your health and wellness.

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