Nutrients vs Food: The BASICS
Dr. Michelle Kmiec, Founder OHH
We are “told” that we do not need supplements if we eat a well-balanced meal. And believe it or not, this is even controversial (well everything is controversial these days isn’t it?) But the question is, are we really getting all the nutrients we need from the food we eat?
Let’s take a look.
Would you believe me if I told you that food can have plenty of substance and it can also lack nutritional value at the same time? Well, it is true! And I am going to prove it. We will call this type of food, the one with no nutritional value, as “empty” food, meaning empty or void of nutritional value.
Empty food has become an American staple (Standard American Diet), after all, we are a nation of processed and fast foods (not to mention all the added chemicals, artificial sugars, pesticides, and GMO food). We love the Standard American Diet (or S.A.D. if we use the unbelievably appropriate acronym.)
Anything to have the quickest meal possible. Heck, even sitting down at an actual table is a rare event anymore. We would rather eat standing up, walking, watching TV, and our favorite…while driving. Anything to be more convenient and save time.
But what happens over time when we ingest this empty food?
We develop indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea as evident with the countless TV commercials advocating some sort of anti-acid, anti-diarrhea, anti-constipation, and fiber supplements.
If we were getting all the nutrients we need, why so many digestive complaints?
Most of us would agree that processed and fast food is an epidemic and is extremely unhealthy. Thus, the solution to all these complaints would obviously be to change your diet, because it’s all about the quality of the food.
But, even processed food has nutrients right?
The short answer is a, well, hesitant yes, there is some. I hesitate because this is not addressing the nutritional value of those nutrients (and in some cases, there isn’t any value). So the long answer is NO, there isn’t any value! Did I just confuse you? Well don’t worry, let me explain.
When we usually think of food, we think of:
- Proteins (chicken, beef, fish, beans etc.)
- Carbohydrates (Bread, pasta, rice, vegetables etc.)
- Fats (Butter, oils, etc.)
All of those, and we’ll call them macronutrients, include things like vitamins, minerals, enzymes…things like that.
In other words, we don’t usually think of, “Mmmmm, I’m going to eat a big plate of B vitamins with a dash of Vitamin A on the side tonight followed by a good helping of minerals”. Of course not! We don’t usually “think” of food as nutrients. We naturally “assume” that we are getting enough. At least it looks like it when you look at the ingredient list on the back of a package.
What we really are thinking is, “Man that looks good! I can’t wait for the first bite!” Right? Be honest! We just want it to taste good and we want to feel full and satisfied.
However, what happens to that food once it enters your body isn’t quite as simple.
When you eat food, the protein, carbohydrate, and fat are broken down into substances that the body can use for metabolism, meaning energy. The n
Vitamins are used for the purpose of body regulation.
Let me use an example of water to explain what I mean. And don’t worry, this is all going to come together.
Water, like food, is something that we must have to sustain our life. If you were to drink a liter of water, you would be “full” just like you’d also be “full” if you ate a big meal. You are “full” due to the physical substance/volume that you just ingested.
Now, if you and I were both lost on a desert and you had only distilled water to drink whereas I only had mineral water to drink, who do you think could survive longer?
The answer is I would live longer than you would. Sorry, but there is a reason. The reason is within the water.
Although you would be getting hydrated which is needed for metabolism, the minerals that are lacking in the distilled water would prevent the regulation of your body’s systems.
So now going back to food, you could eat an entire meal that is full of substance for metabolism (energy), but totally lacks the vitamins needed for the regulation of the body.
And this is the key difference between professed fast food and non-processed whole organic foods.
Our body not only needs the substance for energy, but we also need nutrients in that substance in order for our body’s system to function properly; just as with the water example. Makes sense
Bottom line: So doesn’t it make sense to give your body the best quality of foods? And it doesn’t have to complicated! Don’t worry about all the different tpyes diets and lifestyles that are out there today, because literally there are hundreds! Simply choose to eat more organic wholes foods to ensure that you are consuming the least amount of chemicals and are also of higher nutritional value.
You will be amazed just be making this one change! And you’ll LOVE the changes!