Nutrition / Vitamins

Are You Eating More – But Benefiting Less?

Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more difficult in our modern society to get adequate nutrition from the food we eat.  One reason is the national penchant for buying pre-packaged, pre-processed foods which are generally not very nourishing as they are often loaded with sugar and preservatives.  They’re certainly convenient, but when it comes to nutritional value they can’t hold a candle to the basics: meats and cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh frozen vegetables.  These basic foods are generally not damaged by processing before they reach your grocer’s shelves.  However, they can be and often are damaged while being prepared for the dinner table.

One of the major problems facing everyone is how to prepare food without destroying its nutritional value.  It is a basic fact that most vitamins and minerals found in fresh fruit, vegetables and meat are heat and water soluble.  By that I mean they’re destroyed by heat and water if cooked at temperatures exceeding 212 degrees Fahrenheit (the boiling and burning point at sea level).  As an example, if you boil vegetables you will destroy between 30 and 75 percent of their nutritional value.

The best method for preparing food at lower temperatures, and thus preserving most of its nutritional value, is to use waterless cookware.  It takes some getting used to and readjustment of cooking times, usually about 10 percent longer, but it is our opinion that the advantages far outweigh the temporary inconvenience of adjusting to new cooking habits.

Patients frequently ask us, “Doctor, do I need vitamin supplements?” Of course, this is a question that can only be answered on an individual basis.  Vitamin deficiencies are the product of a number of factors which include diet, environment and the ability of your body to assimilate certain vitamins and minerals.  If it is necessary for you to have some supplements, we will be happy to recommend the proper ones to you.

While virtually all vitamins and minerals are essential to the growth and repair of tissue, the amino acids are the most important.  They are found in protein – meat, cheese, fish and some vegetables products such as alfalfa and soybeans.

One thing we do find is that most people don’t get enough iron in their diet.  The main reason is that iron is most abundant in beef liver, heart and the dark vegetables which many people don’t like.  But it is essential that you get iron either in your everyday diet or through supplementation.

And while certain foods are very rich in vitamins and minerals, others are detrimental to health and the healing process.  We feel that the most destructive of these is refined sugar.  Unfortunately, all too many people snack on sweets from hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, are often surprised to learn that they must avoid foods which are high in sugar content.

While a normal diet of a large breakfast, moderate lunch and light dinner is generally thought best for most people, hypoglycemic should eat sparingly every three hours or so to try to maintain a balanced sugar level.  Their diet should be high in protein and light in carbohydrates.

There’s an old saying “You are what you eat”.  And while this may not be entirely true, your diet certainly affects your health in general and the recuperative process in particular.  So, let’s get into the habit of proper nutrition!