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Understanding Nutrition


With the release of the new dietary guidelines, in the form of the new food pyramid, I still find that many people don't actually understand what nutrition actually means. Because of this, dietary choices can seem overwhelming. Even greater confusion can be generated by prime time news specials which only strive to educate through clever sound-bites and diet fads which lead some to believe that all of their answers are found in one single "magic food." So what is nutrition and how can you understand it in a way that helps you apply it to your life and to the benefit of those you know and love? Here's an analogy I have found helpful in teaching those who attend my free Sunday Night Wellness Call.

Your body functions in a manner similar to a car assembly plant. At that plant, a steady stream of new parts, the correct parts and parts in the right ratios to each other are absolutely necessary in order to keep that plant open for business and running smoothly.

What would happen if someone in purchasing forgot to provide that plant with steering wheels? The cars would be almost functional. But because of a single part deficiency, that car would not be able to carry out its intended function.

If this only happened to a few cars, it probably wouldn't be a big deal. You wouldn't see any symptoms of a parts deficiency. But what if that plant had no steering wheels for an entire month? How about year? First the plant would probably close, the community would fail. Good people would move away and the "bad elements" would most likely take over the town. The lack of balanced parts would eventually lead to dire conditions.

What happens when the cells of your body are missing parts?

You eat to provide your cells with nourishment. It's not just about calories. That nourishment is the collection of parts every cell in your body needs to function properly. You provide your cells with parts and those parts are assembled according to instructions in your DNA to create a variety of finished products. That could include new cells, of which there are many kinds, anti bodies to fight disease, neurotransmitters to carry signals between nerves, and hormones to regulate your body.

So again, there are beneficial raw materials in foods, which our bodies use, and need, to carry out vital cellular functions.

These functions keep us alive.

These functions combat disease.

These functions allow us to heal.

These functions allow our cells to build new cells and all of the other finished materials that are necessary for normal life and optimal health.

And these raw materials are called nutrients.

We eat to give our body access to nutrients.

Sadly, our food does not contain the nutrients it once had in abundance, so it is necessary to supplement a good diet with quality nutritional supplementation to ensure that our cells do not suffer from a parts deficiency. We should still strive to have a good diet, from as many whole foods as possible, with supplementation being a means to supplement, not substitute, the benefits of a good diet.

Dave Saunders is a certified nutritional educator, wellness coach,member of the American International Association of Nutritional Education (AIANE) and author. He is also the host of a weekly, nation-wide telephone lecture on health and nutrition.

For additional information, please visit http://www.glycoboy.com or http://www.glycowellness.com or email Dave at dave@glycoboy.com>


MORE RESOURCES:

U.S. News & World Report

Obama personal chef, nutrition policy adviser, friend hangs up White House ...
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Sam Kass has been a fixture at the executive mansion, serving up nutrition policy alongside meals for Obama, his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha. He was not only their personal chef but senior adviser for nutrition policy, giving him a ...
Obama personal chef to hang up apron after 6 yearsU.S. News & World Report

all 118 news articles »


KABC-TV

Nutrition and fitness experts offer tips to stay slim over the holidays
KABC-TV
Nutrition and fitness experts offer tips to stay slim over the holidays. Health experts offer tips to stay slim this holiday. Nutrition and fitness experts provide 'diet free' ways to stay slim and healthy during the holiday season. Embed. <iframe ...



Gardens are woman's latest step to teach nutrition, combat heart disease
Palm Beach Daily News
Grassy Waters Elementary School pupil Fania Delva, 8, waters a teaching garden earlier this month at the school. Sally Soter, left, works with the American Heart Association and reading teacher Cassie Kenski to provided and maintain garden boxes for ...



The Express Tribune

SUN-CSA, PK demands to scale up nutrition, food security
Daily Times
Amid such grim situation as far as the menace of malnutrition is concerned, a two-day National Conference on the State of Nutrition in Pakistan and formation of the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN-CSA) was convened here in Islamabad.
Scaling up nutrition: 'Pakistan does not lack policy, just the will to implement'The Express Tribune
Pakistan facing worst malnutrition crisis: BosanThe Nation

all 3 news articles »


Healthy choices West Feliciana s tudents of all ages learn about nutrition
The Advocate
For the past three months, the adult education class at the Family Services Center in St. Francisville has been learning about the MyPlate nutrition guide and the five food groups, as well as why it's important to make half of the food on their plates ...



Environmental Nutrition: Fill your nutrient shortfall
Chicago Tribune
When scientists observe that lots of people within our population don't meet their needs for particular nutrients, they are dubbed "shortfall nutrients." Here are four essential nutrients most likely to be insufficient in your diet, based on the ...



Lake Placid News

EDIBLE EDUCATION: Nutrition toolkit available for schools
Lake Placid News
ELIZABETHTOWN - A year after the Essex County "School Nutrition Toolkit" was published, some of the 13 public schools that serve county residents are embracing the document's message of serving healthier food to students and moving beyond the ...



How Well Do You Know The Nutrition Basics?
Huffington Post
For such a universal activity, eating can be pretty confusing. Grocery stores are crowded with nutritional jargon -- think: organic, vegan, enriched, local and GMO-free -- and it's hard to know what's a legitimate health claim and what's merely a smart ...



Asia's nutrition time bomb
East Asia Forum
An important nutrition and health transition is unfolding alongside Asia's economic transformation. Continuing income growth and changing patterns of food consumption among Asian economies are creating unintended effects on nutrition and health.

and more »


Food from home fails nutrition test
Worcester Telegram
These improvements in the nutritional value of lunches served in schools that are eligible for federal reimbursement followed congressional passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The law was prompted by shocking findings in 2008 by child ...

and more »

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