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"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but will rather cure and prevent disease with nutrition" Thomas Edison, c 1870

  
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Nutrients

Nutrients are food or chemicals required by organisms to live and grow or substances used in an organism's metabolism which it must take from its environment. Methods of nutrient intake vary between organisms. For example, animals with an internal digestive system obtain nutrients through the intake of food. Plants ingest nutrients directly from the soil or atmosphere.

The nutrients required are:

Nutrients that cannot be synthesized must be supplied through external sources.

All living beings require a certain amount of nutrients at specific levels and if any nutrient is not available in sufficient quantities, there will be deficiency symptoms.

Many nutrients are interdependent on another nutrient. Rickets is one of the best known nutrient deficiency diseases. Calcium is required for bone development, but works with phosphorous and also requires Vitamin D to be utilised correctly. So even if there is sufficient calcium in the diet, if vitamin D is lacking, deficiency symptoms will appear. Milk is a perfect example of the "Modern Diet" problems. Today we are advised to eat diets that are low in fat. This has led to increased consumption of skimmed and semi-skimmed milk - removing the fat has removed the source of vitamin D provided in the milk.

Figure 1: Nutrient Interrelationships [source: The Optimum Nutrition Bible]

nutrient interelationships

Figure 1 illustrates the many nutrient interdependencies. Pharmaceuticals tend to target one particular metabolic pathway, with insufficient attention to the effect on other pathways. Statins are a perfect example. Whilst blocking the liver's biochemical pathway to manufacture cholesterol, they also block the production of Co-enzyme Q10. The heart is known to require large amounts of CoQ10.

Refined foods and manufactured foods not only have many nutrients destroyed during the manufacturing process, they also contain various additives (see Modern Diet) that are not a natural part of our traditional diets. This results not only in imbalances but also nutrient deficiencies and metabolic disturbance.

 

Water
Water is the cheapest of all nutrients and is the largest single component of nearly all animal tissue. All the other nutrients depend on water to transport them to the various parts of the body and water carries off body waste. It is also a very essential part of the cooling system that maintains proper body temperature. Water also plays many other special roles in the body – such as lubricating joints, transporting sound in the ear and acting as a cushion for the nervous system.

Apart from the all we drink, there is also moisture in the food we eat. It is essential to drink plenty of fluids daily, but avoid commercial drinks if at all possible. Many are expensive sugar water.

Protein
Proteins provide the material from which body cells are made and repaired. Proteins are extremely complex compounds made up of a large number of different amino acids. There are hundreds of these in nature. Our bodies use around twenty, which can be arranged in an almost infinite number of ways. Amino acids are usually split into two groups: essential and non-essential. The essential amino acids are those that the body cannot make for itself and which must be present in food. There are eight of them. If a protein contains the eight essential amino acids, in the correct proportions it is called a complete protein; if it does not, it is said to be an incomplete protein.

Complete proteins are found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products and also soybean. Animal proteins, which are complete, have a high biological value for us. As we are part of the animal kingdom and composed of similar material to other animals, animal proteins can be utilised by us with the minimum of waste.

Sources of incomplete proteins are cereals, nuts, seeds and legumes. Proportions of amino acids in any one of these types of vegetable food, with the exception of soybean, differ markedly from those needed by us. Maize is deficient in tryptophan, wheat is low in lysine and legumes are low in methionine. Proteins from these vegetable sources are said to be of low biological value. It is necessary, therefore, to combine several vegetable protein sources, fairly accurately, to ensure that the body receives the right amino acid mixture. You can read more at http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/nonsense_diets.html and The Optimum Nutrition Bible pages 55, 56 and 57. Figure 2 below provides a simplistic illustration to illustrate this principle with data taken from page 56.

Figure 2: Combining Foods to obtain Useable Protein

amino acid

The above graphic illustrates that it is necessary to eat a greater amount of food in order to obtain sufficient useable protein when obtaining protein from non-animal sources. Animal proteins also contain many more other nutrients including vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, which is only available in meat protein.

Energy
Energy is essential for life. The confusion comes in the advice on how our bodies use energy and the best food sources to supply that energy.

The book authored by Dr. Lutz and Dr. Alan is based on data obtained on more than 10,000 patients over 40 years has a full chapter explaining how our bodies use energy. They explain that this particular chapter is more technical requiring reading several times to fully understand. They also say that if the reader is not interested in the biochemistry of energy readers may skip the chapter, but if they do so when reading the remaining chapters, readers must accept the point that "you do not need carbohydrates to get energy, even the much-touted fast energy."

For quick reading these three articles discuss energy extremely well and in simple easy to understand language: http://www.livable-lowcarb.com/basics.aspx, http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/do-calories-really-count.html and http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/fat-not-protein.html. Gary Taubes also discusses energy and the flawed concept that a calories in = calories out in Chapter 17 of The Diet Delusion UK version, the same book is published in the US as Good Calories, Bad Calories.

As you will find from studying the recommended reading the principle is that our body uses energy from 3 sources with different cells using different sources of energy:

  • Glucose, which comes mainly from carbohydrates, although protein can also be utilised as a glucose source by the body if necessary;
  • Fats, both from the diet and from stored body fats;
  • Ketones which are derived from the metabolism of fats

The recommendation for obtaining calories was quantified by a Polish doctor by the name of Jan Kwasneiwski.

  • 10-15% of calories from carbs
  • 20-30% of calories from protein
  • 60-70% of calories from fats

Barry Groves, PhD states: "Or put another way, as it is difficult to work out percentages in this way, fifty to seventy-five grams of carb and the rest from meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and their natural fats".

Vitamins and Minerals
Figure 1 illustrates how many vitamins and minerals are interrelated and all experts agree that vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients for optimum health.

As we explore the different diets, we can see that our original diet was primarily animal based, with berries, nuts and fruits gathered when available. All evidence suggests that man eating only all parts of animals remain in excellent health. When man eats a diet of meat and fat of animals, they receive all the nutrients they require in the correct ratios including the required vitamins and minerals.

The challenges arise when grains are introduced to the diet with introduction of fire and the ability to cook food. There is now ample evidence that man can live extremely healthily on a diet of meat and animal fats only. The combination provides all the nutrients required. Once grains are introduced deficiencies become apparent and additional foods are required to help maintain diet in balance. The current "healthy eating" recommends large amounts of these grain foods, that provide an excess of carbohydrates. In addition, these foods undergo a variety of processing that changes their form, removes many nutrients. As a result a whole new industry has developed to provide vitamin and mineral supplements lacking in the modern diet. The new "healthy eating" advice also limits the fat in the diet. Animal fat provides many nutrients including the fat soluable vitamins. Replacing the animal fats, the advice is to consume refined vegetable oils. Here are some links to different articles illustrating just how dangerous this advice is.

Know you fats This web page is an index to a number of articles relating to fats and oils
Optimal Diet - Fats This is the English web site of Jan Kwasniewski
Soft Science of Dietary Fats The publication of this artcile in Science Magazine the peer reviewed journal by Garry Taubes sparked a good debate. This link to Garry Taubes is a video of a talk he gave in June 2008 around the time of the publication of his latest book, The Diet Delusion.
Dietary Fats and Heart Disease One of many excellent article written by Barry Groves, PhD.

 

     

 

 


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