Vitamins are organic compounds found in living things. Their function is to act as catalysts for chemical reaction. Some chemical processes require the presence of several vitamins simultaneously. Vitamins themselves do not furnish energy, as they have no calories, but they are necessary for metabolism. Vitamins are soluble in either fat or water. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K require fat in order for the body to absorb them from the intestinal tract. They are also easily stored in the body and can become toxic at high doses. This is particularly true for vitamins A and D. Water-soluble vitamins are the B complexes and vitamin C. Because they are water soluble, unneeded amounts can be disposed of easily in the urine. And because [Read more...]
The entire concept of an “ideal” weight for any woman or group of women should be abandoned. Instead, we should focus on getting plenty of good food and exercise. We need to create new patterns for dealing with food and activity if old patterns are not serving us well. Here are some suggestions.
• Listen to your own body’s feelings of hunger and fullness. Years of dieting and bingeing can cause us to lose awareness of our body’s signals. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
• Learn good nutrition. Basically, this means cutting down on high-fat foods and replacing them with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. If you ate four candy bars a day you would get 1,600 calories but you wouldn’t be feeding your body what it needs. [Read more...]
LDLs distribute cholesterol and triglycerides throughout the body and HDLs pick up the strays and send them back where they came from. This is why LDLs are sometimes referred to as “bad cholesterol and HDLs as “good cholesterol.” These terms are misleading. The body never does anything wrong. The body isn’t designed to produce anything “bad,” and it is designed to produce low-density lipoproteins.
You want your house-cleaning HDL count high and your litter-bug LDL count low. The objective is to keep cholesterol
from building up in the arteries and forming plaque. It’s plaque that accumulates in the arteries. As the plaque builds up, the space inside in the arteries (lumen) becomes smaller and the blood flow is restricted. When blood can’t get through, stroke or heart attack is invited. When there’s too much cholesterol in your blood, the blood gets thicker. It’s like having 30 weight oil in your car engine in freezing weather. The oil can’t circulate well. Similarly, blood thickened with cholesterol is harder for the heart to pump. Eventually, the cholesterol begins to get caught in the nooks and crannies of arteries. As time goes on, more of the fat-like substance builds up on the inside of the arteries. If you looked at an affected section of the artery, you would see that it is loaded with fat. We call that atherosclerosis. If you continue to follow the lifestyle that prompted atherosclerosis, calcium will infiltrate the fat. Now we call it arteriosclerosis—hardening of the arteries. Remember the inorganic calcium from milk and calcium supplements? It had to go someplace, and getting caught up with surplus cholesterol is one of the places. The abdominal aorta, a large artery that runs in front of the spine and is designed to expand and contract, had become so brittle with accumulated calcium-filled cholesterol that it broke like a boner.
The magic number for protein is 25 grams a day. This amount will provide all of the protein you need physically and should satisfy the most well entrenched psychological need for “enough protein.” Keep in mind that 25 grams a day includes the protein in all of the food you eat, not just meat, eggs, chicken, and fish. Vegetables, breads, potatoes, and snacks all have protein in them. The 8 grams of protein in a hot-dog-on-a-bun come from the hot dog and the bun. Cutting down on protein isn’t all that difficult. You may be surprised, after you have reduced your meat and dairy protein intake, to find that a little goes a long way. Believe that you can maintain glowing health on a daily protein intake of the amount that is in two eggs. You could get enough protein each day on nothing but two eggs and distilled water. There are about 9 grams of protein in a raw egg. Two eggs would be more than enough. You wouldn’t have much energy, but you would have your protein supply
There are hundreds of different enzymes. Enzymes are protein substances produced by living cells. We produce enzymes and we ingest enzymes with our food. Some enzymes move nutrients through the digestive tract into the body others act throughout the body as catalysts for different metabolic functions. Enzymes are the substances that allow the body to perform complicated chemical reactions at room temperature. Enzymes from food provide the vitality the body needs to carry on life. Without a non-stop adequate supply of enzymes from raw, whole, living foods, the body can’t properly replenish and rebuild cells. Enzymes, like just about everything else, do their best work in a favorable environment. Enzymes are produced by living plants and animals. They cause changes in other substances without being changed themselves. In living plants, enzymes serve a metabolic function of building new tissue. However, they can be destroyed by cooking and be rendered inert by refrigeration. If fruit is refrigerated after it is picked, it won’t ripen properly. Enzymes are ripening agents but cold temperatures keep them from working. At some time you have probably bought a beautiful, succulent-looking peach from the cooled produce section of the supermarket. You bit into the magnificent specimen of nature in eager anticipation of savoring a ripe, sweet, juicy treat. Instead, your senses were startled by a hard, bitter impostor. The fruit had been picked and shipped to the store before it was ripe. Although the color was good, the maturing process had not been completed. Had you put your prize peach on the window sill for a couple of days, the enzymes would have again performed their magic and you would have had a succulent, mature piece of fruit instead of a ripe-retarded look-alike. The enzymes in whole food act to complete the food’s development and maturing. If the ripening process isn’t interrupted by heat or cold, it continues until the food disintegrates it rots. Overripe fruit and rotten potatoes have a lot in common non-stop enzymatic activity. When the same disintegrating process takes place inside the body, its termed digestion. The function of enzymes in fruits or vegetables doesn’t change just because they are in the stomach. These enzymes can continue to work in an acid environment enzymes from the pancreas can’t. Meat is affected by enzymes also. Seldom are an animal butchered and the meat immediately tossed onto the stove. Muscles harden soon after an animal is slaughtered rigor mortis sets in. Stiffening develops as the pH drops and the muscle becomes more acid. The muscle hardens as it loses its capacity to retain water. If the meat has hung for a few days and the enzymes in the meat have a chance to work, water is again retained and the muscles soften. In essence, they begin to self destruct. Then they are ripe for eating. Prime beef is sometimes allowed to hang in a refrigerator for up to ten days or two weeks. Green mold forms on it. Then its “prime,” “aged.” It is deteriorated beef, tender, but rotting with the aid of enzymes. Enzymes in saliva begin to ready food in the mouth for digestion. Enzymes also help to begin the digestive process in the stomach. When we eat whole food, living enzymes in that food initiate the digestion of the food that carried it in. Raw fruits and vegetables contain all of the enzymes necessary to almost completely digest their constituent parts: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Although we think of fats as being exclusive to the animal world, we also get fats from plants. Fats are stored energy. There’s more energy packed into a gram of fat than there is in a gram of either carbohydrate or protein. Average Americans receive approximately 15 percent of their energy from protein, about 40 percent from fat and 45 percent from carbohydrates. compare these figures with those of other populations, such as the people in Mongolia, who receive about 85 percent of their energy from carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates and proteins in foods are in a watery mix. Consequently, the proportion of carbohydrates or protein in a food is only about 25 per cent of the weight of the food. Not so with fats. They don’t mix with water. Fats are fats 100 percent. More oxygen is needed to metabolize fats than to metabolize either protein or carbohydrates. It takes 100 molecules of oxygen to form 70 molecules of carbon dioxide from fat. With protein oxidation you get 80 molecules of carbon dioxide from the same 100 molecules of oxygen, and carbohydrates give you a one-to-one return. more fat in your diet means that more oxygen must be used to metabolize it, and more acid produced; therein lies the rub. Fat in and of itself isn’t the big problem in American’s arteries and health; it’s the acid produced by fat metabolism and the acid from the foods the fat is contained in that causes problems.
Americans are on a fight-food-fat crusade. The principal concern about dietary fat is that it contributes to the cholesterol level, clogs arteries, and in turn, restricts or shuts down the supply of blood to the heart. While that may be a valid reason for cutting down on the amount of fatty meats you eat, it isn’t the whole picture. Remember, your body produces about sixty percent of your cholesterol. The bad news about fats, an even greater concern than cholesterol, is that fats are acid producers. Although they leave a neutral ash, metabolism of the fats generates acid, and when fats are accompanied by meat even more internal acid is generated. When your body must handle excessive amounts of acid, your physiological processes run into trouble. As long as you can keep breathing, you can eliminate acid from fats through the lungs. When the acid level of your system gets too high from too much protein, it is a whole body condition. No matter how fast you pant, breathing won’t get rid of acid that must be eliminated through the kidneys. Most fat gets into your digestive system as a close companion of animal protein. After a prolonged continuous diet of meats, the pH of the body drops, and any additional acid may be enough to spark a heart attack, especially if you exercise strenuously after eating. Your vital organs must operate in a slightly alkaline environment. Too much dietary fat is one situation that upsets the balance. Urine and saliva pH tests can show you if your pH scales have tipped to the acid side.