women

The Healthy Home : For the Love of Food (part 4) - Out of Balance - More Potassium, Less Salt, Balancing Good and Bad Fats

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

Respect Your Elders

Although the science of acid/alkaline balance sounds complicated, making your diet more like that of your ancestors is actually quite simple: Consume more whole foods and eat less processed junk.

You can bring pH balance back to the dinner table by serving meals that consist of 60 to 80 percent alkalizing fruits, plants, and vegetables. You’ll want to reduce your use of acid-promoting white flour by using whole multigrain flour in its place. You also can increase your intake of inflammationreducing omega-3 fats, found in fish and flax seeds.

Finally, aerobic exercise every day will help blow out excess acid-producing CO from your tissues and help maintain muscle tone.

Simple Solution:
Start each day with an alkalizing glass of lemon water by squeezing a fresh lemon (no sugar) into purified water. Make sure you include the pulp.

More Potassium, Less Salt (Sodium)

Those pesky ancient ancestors have another message for us in regard to the imbalance of our modern diet: We’re getting far too much salt and not nearly enough potassium. It’s estimated that our ancestral diet had a potassium/ sodium ratio of 10:1, which has now been inverted to 1:3—three times as much salt as potassium—reflecting a thirty-fold change.

Basically, our meals used to feature potassium-rich fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans along with a small amount of fish or meat—all of which naturally contain only a small amount of sodium.

As bad as sodium can be for us, potassium provides a wide range of benefits that include helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure, rate of metabolism, and muscle strength as well as reducing the threats of anxiety, heart and kidney disorders, and stroke.

Compare that to our modern diet of high-sodium, highly processed food. In that frozen meal or can of condensed soup you had for lunch—maybe with a single serving of veggies—you received up to 1,700 mg of salt. This inverted ratio of potassium to sodium in our contemporary diet is known to adversely affect cardiovascular function and contribute to hypertension and stroke.
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As if that weren’t disturbing enough, we’ve recently learned that high-sodium foods and acid-producing foods can act independently to induce and sustain increased tissue acidity. This “tag team” effect is enhanced as you get older and by the kidney’s impaired ability to excrete excess acidity.

Even if you never reach for your salt shaker, you could be getting far too much sodium. The best way to decrease your salt intake is to cut back on processed or convenience foods like canned soups, frozen meals, and potato chips. Read your labels. Even if something doesn’t taste salty, it can contain an entire day’s worth of recommended sodium.

Simple Solution:
Trade in your table salt for natural sea salt, which contains a mixture of alkaline complexes. And use pepper or other spices to liven your meals.
Although it’s important to reduce sodium levels by cutting back on processed foods and by reducing salt intake, don’t forget to increase your potassium, too. Foods rich in potassium include apricots, avocados—break out the guacamole!—bananas, cantaloupe, kiwis, carrots, prune juice, raisins, and more.

Balancing Good and Bad Fats

Earlier we talked about good carbs vs. bad carbs and the need to stay away from those white foods with high-glycemic indexes. Well, we’ve also gotten seriously out of balance with our fat consumption.

For years, governments and marketers did us a disservice by ranting and raving about getting fat out of our diets. We actually need fat—in fact, we can’t live without it. Our brain is mostly fat. In our attempts to go “fat-free,” though, we mainly reduced the amount of good fat we consume and increased the amounts of sugar and bad fat in our diets.

Some nutrition authorities consider the essential fatty acids (EFAs) the closest thing we have to a true miracle nutrient because they’re involved in so many aspects of our health. From cardiovascular disease to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and cancer, it would take page after page to note the full listing of the health conditions that we know are influenced by either a deficiency or an imbalance of EFAs.

Ask the Scientist
“Dr. Wentz, how did you come to your understanding of the importance of nutrition?”
 
I believe nutrition is the most important science in all of medicine. My own realization about the importance of nutrition came about as a result of my scientific research. While growing cells for twenty years at my previous company, Gull Laboratories, I learned what nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and cofactors were needed to keep human cells truly robust and healthy.

Later, I learned how much of the nutritional value of our foods has declined over recent decades. We have turned the beautiful world that God gave us into a dumping ground for our toxic wastes, robbing our food of the nutrients we need to stay healthy and exposing our bodies to harmful substances. Because of the environmental hazards in today’s society, our bodies—the cells, organs, and systems it comprises—need significantly greater amounts of the essential nutrients, especially the protective antioxidants, than ever before. Nutrition that will help our cells defend themselves from the oxidative stress of today’s environment is critical.

There is no question that the nutritional needs of most people’s cells simply aren’t being met by the food they consume, which is having devastating consequences—a rapidly growing epidemic of chronic degenerative diseases. The good news, however, is that degenerative diseases are diseases of lifestyle, which means they can be prevented through small adjustments in daily habits, such as avoiding environmental toxins and stress, obtaining regular physical exercise, and providing your body with optimal nutrition.

In fact, over the years, I have become convinced that optimal personal nutrition is the single most effective thing we can do to decrease our risk of degenerative disease.

However, their influences on our health at the cellular level can be grouped into three major categories.

First, EFAs are critical structural components for all cell membranes. The “good” fatty acids—omega 3s and omega 6s—keep the cell membranes flexible, which is important for transporting nutrients and oxygen into the cells and waste products out of the cells.
Second, they are the precursors to important molecules—prostaglandins—that are key to regulating more than a dozen critical functions from inflammation to nerve transmission.

Third, the essential fatty acids are involved in many important processes without which the cells and the body could not survive. For example, fatty acids are needed for oxygen transport from the lungs to the red blood cells that are circulating in the blood vessels. They do this by facilitating the transport of oxygen through the capillary walls, red blood cell walls, and directly to the hemoglobin in the red blood cells.

In with the Good, Out with the Bad

To avoid the damaging fats, read your labels.
“Partially hydrogenated” oils of any type are detrimental to your health. These oils contain trans-fatty acids, which most nutrition experts agree are unhealthy for human consumption.
To increase your intake of good fats, look for key phrases on the label:
• Cold-pressed
• Unrefined
• Organic
Use extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, grape seed oil, or butter for cooking. Eat nuts (almonds/hazelnuts) and seeds (pumpkin/sesame) for snacks. Another good source of healthy fat is flaxseed oil, which can be drizzled over a salad or added to a smoothie.

Food for the Soul

With all of our talk about the importance of good nutrition, let’s not lose sight of just how much fun food really is. Yes, food is fuel, but it’s also something to be enjoyed and shared.

Take some time every weekend to map out your week’s meals. Make planning your menu something fun and encourage the whole family to join in. With a little effort and a little common sense, you can enjoy a healthful diet full of nourishing, clean, real food.

Start wherever you are—nutrition novice or dietary genius—and take it day by day. It’s the choices you make consistently every day that will make all of the difference in the long term.
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