An estimated half of the diseases that lead to premature death and disability are caused by eating too much of the wrong food and exercising too little. The American diet is currently centered around foods that did not exist two hundred years ago. While highly processed foods like white four and white sugar seem normal, they are not normal for your body. There is really no getting around the truth that if you want to look and feel your best over time, you cannot eat the typical American diet. The two questions I ask myself when considering a person's nutrition are: Is there a lack of something? Is there too much of something
Though medical schools and doctors have ignored nutrition over the past decades, research has continued to demonstrate its central importance in human health. We now know that , as stated in toxicology letters, "Micronutrient deficiency may explain, in good part, why the quarter of the population that eats the fewest fruits and vegetables has approximately double the cancer rate.” Lacking certain essential nutrients creates damage in your body that mimics the damage caused by radiation.
Because of our different genetic make-ups, our different environmental challenges and different demands on our bodies, each person needs a slightly different nutrient balance for optimal health. Some people require iron supplements to avoid anemia, others need more folic acid to avoid the same problem. There are genetic uniquenesses that make 9% of the American population need high amounts of folic acid to stay healthy. An interesting development in nutrition research is the recognition of conditionally essential nutrients. Conditionally essential nutrients are nutrients that are not considered essential because the body can synthesize them. We now recognize that under certain conditions, the body cannot manufacture enough, so they are essential under those special conditions. Some things that create extra nutritional demands and therefore increase nutrient requirements are detoxification imbalance, inflammation and oxidative stress.
The epidemiological evidence is compelling: diets low in saturated fat and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber are associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.”Circulation 1997; 96(7): 2468-81
“Among women, adherence to lifestyle guidelines involving diet, exercise, and abstinence from smoking is associated with a very low risk of coronary heart disease.” M Stampfer…Walter Willett NEJM 2000;343:16-22.
Nutrition interacting with other systems
Problems with the American Diet
Testing Nutritional Status
Best Way to Eat
Australian Government Health and Nutrition Website (excellent nutritional information)
The Polymeal from British Journal of Medicine