2Nutrients Essential for Health We all enjoy the aroma, texture and taste of great food. While we enjoy all of these things, our bodies rely on the life sustaining functions that nutrients in food perform. Have you ever really thought about what is inside your food and what it does to keep your body healthy?
3NutrientsMajor nutrients in food are classified into six groups. They work in partnership for health.CarbohydratesFatsProteinsVitaminsMineralsWaterA varied, adequate supply of nutrients from food is necessary to keep your body nourished and sustain life. Foods are digested, or broken down into nutrients that are absorbed into your bloodstream and then carried to every cell of your body. More than 40 nutrients in foods have specific and unique functions for nourishment. These nutrients are classified into six groups.These six groups include:CarbohydratesFatsProteinsVitaminsMineralsWaterWe will talk about each nutrient and the role it plays in nutrition.
4Carbohydrates Your body’s main source of energy or calories. Classified in two groups: complex carbohydrates or sugars.Fiber (a form of complex carbohydrate) aids in digestion and offers protection from diseases.Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy, or calories. They provides the fuel your body needs. Carbohydrates may be simple or complex. Sugars are simple carbohydrates, while starches and fiber are called complex carbohydrates.Fiber is a form of complex carbohydrate that aids in digestion, promotes health and offers protection from some diseases. Even though it plays a large role in good health, fiber isn’t a nutrient because it is not digested and absorbed into the body.
5From Complex to SimpleAll carbohydrates – sugars and starches – break down to simple sugars during digestion. Simple sugars are glucose, galactose and fructose.Glucose is the main form of carbohydrate used for energy.When people hear the word sugar, table sugar often comes to mind, but that is just one of several sugars referred to as simple carbohydrates. Some sugars occur naturally in foods, while others are added. Regardless of the type, your body can’t tell the difference.Sugars are either monosaccharides with one sugar unit or disaccharides with two sugar units. Monosaccharides, or simple sugars, are fructose, galactose and glucose. When two join together chemically, they become dissarcharides. For example, sucrose, or table sugar, is a combination of glucose and fructose. Lactose, or milk sugar, is a combination of glucose and galactose.When starches are digested, they are broken down to the simplest sugars: glucose, galactose and fructose. Then, in your bloodstream, single sugars move into your body cells, where they are converted to energy. Except for fiber, all carbohydrates (sugars and starches) break down to single sugars during digestion. Glucose is the main form of carbohydrate used for energy for the body. This powers everything from jogging to breathing to thinking and even digesting food. Because glucose circulates in your bloodstream, it is often called blood sugar.
6Energy StorageThe body doesn’t burn all glucose at the same time. Some gets stored in muscles and liver as glycogen. Some glucose also may be converted to body fat – if you consume more calories than your body needs.1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 caloriesYour body doesn’t turn all of its blood sugar to energy at the same time. As blood sugar levels rise above normal, insulin (a hormone from your pancreas) signals your liver, muscles and other cells to store the extra. Some gets stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen, a storage form of carbohydrate. If you consume more calories than you need, some glucose may also be converted to body fat.When blood sugar levels drop below normal, another hormone called glucagon triggers the conversion of stored glycogen to glucose. This keeps your blood sugar levels within normal range between meals. Once glucose is back in your bloodstream, it is again ready to fuel your body cells.Your body also gets energy from fat and protein, but “carbs” should be your main energy source. One gram of carbohydrate fuels your body with 4 calories.
7Carbohydrate FoodsFoods with complex carbohydrates form the foundation of a healthful dietWhen you think of “carbs,” what comes to mind? Is it hearty whole-grain bread, piping hot rice, tender fettuccini, naturally sweet sweet potatoes, crunchy celery, a fresh banana or freshly popped popcorn?For total carbohydrates, including starch and sugars, the Daily Value recommended for a 2,000 calorie diet is 300 grams.Carbohydrates often get a bad rap. Many fad diets rely on limiting carbs in the diet, but carbohydrates are important since they are among the six categories of nutrients essential to your health. Glucose is the only form of energy your brain can use so it is essential. Carbohydrates also spare protein for building and repairing body cells. If you choose wisely from carbohydrate-rich foods such as whole- and enriched-grain foods, fruits, vegetables and beans, your body will get more than energy. Nutrient-rich complex carbohydrates should be your body’s main energy source for good health. These foods are usually loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber and are often low in fat.
8Fiber Your body’s broom!!! Not a nutrient because it cannot be absorbed, but it is very important.It bulks up the contents of intestines.High-fiber foods – legumes, whole-wheat bread, bran, many cereals, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, most fruits and vegetables, popcorn, grains, nuts, seeds.Fiber offers more than bulk to food. It is loaded with health benefits. The latest nutritional advice encourages us to make half of our grains whole to increase fiber in the diet. Dietary fiber refers to complex carbohydrates that our bodies can’t digest or absorb into the bloodstream. Instead of being used for energy like other carbohydrates, fiber is eliminated. Fiber promotes good health by bulking up the contents inside your digestive tract. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber doesn’t. Insoluble fiber is also known as “roughage.”. This group of fibers gives structure to plant cell walls. Although insoluble fibers don’t dissolve, they do hold on to water. They move waste through the intestinal tract without being broken down themselves, which is why they are known as “your body’s broom.” Insoluble fibers increase the rate at which wastes are removed. This reduces the time that potentially harmful substances in waste come in contact with the intestinal lining. Surprisingly, soft liquid foods may have fiber, too. Instead of giving a coarse texture to food, soluble fibers, such as those in oat bran, dissolve to become gummy. Soluble fibers are often used in low-fat and nonfat foods to add texture and consistency. Soluble fibers also help regulate the body’s use of sugars. Fiber may help reduce the risk for some chronic diseases. Most foods with significant amounts of fiber, such as legumes (dry beans), whole-wheat bread, fruits and vegetables, are packed with carbohydrates and other essential nutrients.
9Fiber We need about 25 grams per day. Most Americans get about 14 grams per day.If you are like most Americans, your day’s meals and snacks come up short on fiber intake. Most Americans only get about 14 grams per day, which supplies only about half of the amount your body needs.The amount of fiber you needs depends on your age and gender. Most people (based on a 2,000 calorie diet) need about 25 grams per day.
10Fats Supply energy, but also have other functions Transport nutrientsSupport growthPart of many body cellsMade of fatty acids (some fatty acids are more saturated than others).Fats supply energy, but they support other functions too, such as nutrient transport, growth and being part of many body cells. Fats do have important health functions, but are only needed in moderate amounts. Fats are made of varying combinations of fatty acids. All fatty acids are not the same. Some are more saturated, or harder at room temperature, while others are more unsaturated. Saturated fats are more solid at room temperature than unsaturated fats.Fatty acids that your body can’t make are considered essential.Evidence indicates that a diet high in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol increases risks for unhealthy levels of blood cholesterol and therefore increases risk for heart disease. Cutting back to a moderate fat intake, eating less saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol, and replacing some with healthy oils can promote good health in the long run.(Have participants complete the “Fat and Cholesterol Audit.”
11Fats Fats supply 9 calories per gram. Extra fat in the diet is stored as adipose tissue.Fats give a smooth creamy texture to foods.Fats make you feel full.Like carbohydrates and proteins, fats supply energy, or calories, to fuel your body. Fats are a concentrated source of energy with 1 gram supplying 9 calories. Although your body uses fat for energy, it is not the body’s preferred fuel source. If you consume more energy from fat than your body needs, your body saves the extra in your fatty tissues, mostly in fat cells or adipose tissues. When you need an extra energy supply, your body can draw on this stored fat.A little fat in food adds flavor and helps satisfy hunger by making you feel full. This happens because fats take longer to leave your stomach than carbohydrates or proteins do. Fat gives a smooth, creamy texture to foods such as ice cream and peanut butter.
12Types of FatMonounsaturated – liquid at room temperature. Canola, nut, and olive oils are high in this fatty acid.Polyunsaturated – liquid or soft at room temperature. Corn, safflower, soybean and sunflower oils. Fats in seafood are mainly polyunsaturated.Monounsaturated fatty acids are usually liquid at room temperature and can help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels in your blood as well as total cholesterol production. Examples of foods high in monounsaturated fats include vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil. Other sources include avocados, peanut butter and many nuts and seeds.Polyunsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature and when chilled. Polyunsaturated fats can help reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood. Polyunsaturated fatty acids trigger lower total blood cholesterol as well as lower LDL and HDL cholesterol production. Foods high in polyunsaturated fat include a number of vegetable oils, including soybean oil, corn oil and safflower oil, as well as fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout. Other sources include some nuts and seeds.
13Types of FatSaturated – firm at room temperature and are from animal foods and coconut, palm and palm kernel oils.Trans fatty acids: formed during the process of hydrogenation in which unsaturated fats are made saturated. Found naturally in some foods. Extends shelf life of products.Saturated fatty acids are solid or firm at room temperature. They trigger the liver to make more total and LDL cholesterol. In food, they come mainly from animal-based foods such as meat, poultry, butter, whole milk and whole-milk products, and from coconut, palm and palm kernel oils.Trans fatty acids are formed during the process of partial hydrogenation, in which unsaturated fats are processed to make them more saturated and stable and solid at room temperature. Although they are found naturally in some foods, most trans fatty acids in the diet come from partially hydrogenated fats such as those found in many packaged foods like crackers, cookies and stick margarine. Hydrogen is added to their chemical makeup and makes them firmer and more saturated while extending their shelf life. In the body, man-made trans fats act like saturated fats and tend to raise blood cholesterol levels.
14FatsMost all foods contain fat in varying amounts. Some are very high in fat; others have just trace amounts.Be sure to check food label for fat content.Limit total fat intake to no more than 20% to 35% of calories and saturated fat to no more than 10% of calories.Almost all foods contain fat in varying amounts. Some are very high in fat, while others just have trace amounts. The fat content of some foods is obvious such as butter, oil and margarine. In most foods, however, clues to a food’s fat content can be found on food labels. On average, most fat in the American diet comes directly from fats and oils as well as salad dressings, candies, gravies and sauces. With only a few exceptions (avocados and olives) fruits and vegetables don’t supply much fat naturally. That is true for most grain products too unless it is added during food preparation or processing.Experts recommend getting no more than 20 to 35 percent of calories from total fat, with most fats coming from sources of "good" fat, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.
15ProteinSupply amino acids that are building blocks of maintaining and repairing body tissue.The body makes nonessential amino acids; others are essential in food.Proteins provide energy when carbohydrates and fat are in short supply.Proteins are combinations of amino acids, which build, repair and maintain all of your body tissues. Your body makes nonessential amino acids. Others are considered essential from food because your body can’t make them. Proteins can also provide energy when carbohydrates and fats are in short supply, but if they are broken down and used for energy, amino acids can’t be used to maintain body tissue.The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein per day is based on body weight. The RDA for protein for adult men ages 19 or over is 56 grams and for adult women ages 19 or over is 46 grams. Most Americans consume an adequate or excess amount of protein.
16Protein FoodsLean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans, tofu, nuts, peanut butter, dairy foodsProtein foods are great sources of iron, zinc, B vitamins.We often think of protein as a single nutrient, but proteins in both food and your body cells are made up of building blocks or amino acids. Each amino acid has a somewhat different structure. Your body uses about 20 amino acids to make proteins. Like carbohydrates and fats, amino acids are unique combinations of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, but amino acids also have nitrogen which makes their structure and functions unique.Of the 20 amino acids your body uses, nine are considered essential. Because your body can’t make them, your food choices must supply them. Other amino acids are nonessential because your body makes them if you consume enough essential amino acids and enough calories during the day from other amino acids. Amino acids are described as protein’s building blocks.Proteins are part of every body cell. Your body needs a constant supply of proteins to repair body cells as they wear out. During times of growth, the body also needs proteins to make new body tissues. Proteins also help regulate body processes and make various chemical reactions happen as they function as enzymes and hormones.Protein rich foods are often good sources of needed vitamins and minerals.
17Water Regulates body processes Carries nutrients and other body chemicalsCarries waste products awayRegulates body temperatureMakes up 45% – 75% of body weightThis clear refreshing fluid is one of your body’s most essential nutrients. Water is vital to health and to life itself. You may survive for 6 weeks without food, but cannot live longer than a week or so without water. Water is the most abundant substance in the human body as well as the most common substance on Earth. Water makes up 45 to 75 percent of your body weight, which equates to about 10 to 12 gallons of water. Compared with body fat, lean tissue hold much more water, so the leaner you are, the higher proportion of water in your body. It regulates body processes, helps regulate your body temperature, carries nutrients and other body chemicals to your cells and carries waste products away.Water is the nutrient your body needs in the greatest amount and supplies no calories.
18WaterTo keep your body functioning normally and to avoid dehydration, your body needs an ongoing water supply.The average adult loses about 2 ½ quarts of water daily – more in hot weather.Total Fluid Intake Daily:Males (19 & Over) – 3.7 liters (125 ounces)Females (19 & Over) – 2.7 liters (91 ounces)To keep your body functioning normally and to avoid dehydration, your body needs an ongoing water supply. Drinking water and other beverages are the main sources of water, but you eat quite a bit of water in solid foods, too. Juicy fruits and vegetables such as celery, lettuce, tomatoes and watermelons contain more than 90% water. Even dry foods, such as bread, supply some water. The average adult loses about 2 ½ quarts or more of water daily through perspiration and normal body processes. During hot, humid weather or strenuous physical activity, fluid loss may be much higher. The human body doesn’t store extra water for those times when you need more. To avoid dehydration, fluids must be replaced.The Dietary Reference Intakes from the Institute of Medicine advise a total fluid intake of 3.7 liters or 125 ounces (about 13 cups) daily for males ages 19 and over and 2.7 liters or 91 ounces (about 9 cups) daily for females ages 19 and over. One liter is about 1 quart or about 4 cups. These amounts may seem like a lot, but this is for total fluid intake which includes water from many sources including drinking water, other beverages and water from foods. A general guideline for water intake based on a 2,000 calorie diet is about 8 cups daily.
19WaterThirst signals the need for water, but it isn’t a foolproof mechanism, especially for the elderly, children or during hot weather, illness or exercise.Thirst signals the need for fluids, but it isn’t a foolproof mechanism, especially for elderly people, children, and during illness, hot weather, or strenuous physical activity. Waiting until you feel thirsty to drink may be too long. To keep your body well hydrated, consume enough water.
20To increase water supply… Take water breaks during the day.Drink water with meals.Alternate sparkling water for soft drinks.Carry water with you.Drink before, during, and after exercise.Instead of coffee breaks, take water breaks during the day. Keep a cup of water handy on your desk or kitchen counter. When you buy a vending machine or convenience store drink, reach for bottled water.Have water with your meals and refresh yourself at snack time with juice, milk or sparkling water.Drink water before, during and after any physical activity especially during hot weather. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty.Keep a bottle of water with you.
21Vitamins and Minerals The Real Team Players! Vitamins and minerals are key to all of the processes that take place in your body. They don’t work alone. They work in close partnership with other nutrients to make everything happen including: helping carbohydrates, fats and proteins produce energy; assisting with protein synthesis (the creation of new proteins); building healthy bones and helping you think. A variety of food with plenty of vitamins and minerals is part of your ticket to good health.
22Vitamins and Minerals Called micronutrients. Don’t let the small amount fool you – They regulate many processes that produce energy and do a whole lot more.Compared with carbohydrates, proteins and fats, your body needs vitamins and minerals in only small amounts. This is why they are called micronutrients. Don’t let these small amounts fool you, though. Vitamins and minerals don’t supply energy directly, but they do regulate many processes that produce energy and do a whole lot more. Recommendations for vitamins and minerals are given as Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs).The Dietary Guidelines regard several vitamins and minerals as a concern for Americans. For adults, these include: calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E. For children and teens, vitamins and minerals of concern are: calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin E. For some populations, vitamins B-12, D and E, folate and iron are of concern.
23Vitamin Basics Complex organic substances that regulate body processes Often act as coenzymesTwo categories: water soluble and fat solubleWater-soluble vitamins: B-complex vitamins and vitamin CFat soluble vitamins: A, D, E and KVitamins are complex organic substances that regulate body processes. Often they act as coenzymes, or partners, with enzymes, which are the proteins that cause reactions to take place in your body.Vitamins belong in two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble. These categories describe how they are carried in food and transported in your body.Water-soluble vitamins are B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. These vitamins dissolve in water and are carried in your bloodstream. For the most part, water-soluble vitamins aren’t stored in your body, at least not in significant amounts. Your body uses what it needs and then excretes the extra. Since they aren’t stored, you need a regular supply of water-soluble vitamins from your food choices. You need enough, but not too much of these vitamins. Even though you excrete excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins, moderation is the best approach.Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins dissolve in fat and that is how they are carried into your bloodstream and throughout your body. They attach to substances within your body made with lipids, or fat. That is one reason why we do need a moderate amount of fat in our diets. Your body can store fat-soluble vitamins in body fat. Consuming excessive amounts of fat-soluble vitamins for too long can be harmful. Vitamins A and D can build up to harmful levels.Since vitamins are organic substances, they can be destroyed by heat or other food-handling processes.
24Antioxidant Vitamins ACE – vitamins A, C and E Slow or prevent the oxidative processPrevent or repair damage to body cellsMay improve immune functionAntioxidant vitamins include vitamins A, C and E. ACE is an easy way to remember the three antioxidant vitamins. Antioxidants are present in a variety of foods and slow or prevent the oxidative process, which means they slow or prevent damage from oxygen. As a result, they can prevent or repair damage to body cells. They may also improve immune function and perhaps lower risk for infection and cancer. Just how do antioxidant vitamins work? To produce energy, every cell in your body needs a constant supply of oxygen. When body cells burn oxygen they produce free radicals, or oxygen byproducts. A free radical is an unstable molecule with a missing electron. Free radicals can damage body cells and tissues as well as DNA (your body’s master plan for reproducing cells). The quick browning on a cut apple or pear is an example of damage caused by oxidation. However, if you dip the cut fruit into orange juice, which contains vitamin C, it stays white. In your body, the process is similar. Free radicals cause oxidation, or cell damage, as they “steal” an electron from body cells to become stable. Over time, this may contribute to the onset of health problems such as cancer, heart disease, cataracts, deterioration of aging and diabetes. Antioxidants counteract the action of free radicals by donating an electron of their own. As a result, antioxidants may control free radicals or convert them to harmless waste products that get eliminated before they do damage. Antioxidants may even help undo some damage already done to body cells. Antioxidants should come from a diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods.
25Minerals Not “Heavy Metal” When you think about the word minerals, rocks may come to mind, but to your body, minerals are another group of essential nutrients that are needed to regulate body processes and give your body structure. Like vitamins, minerals help trigger, or regulate, a variety of processes that continually take place in your body. They are essential to life. Minerals help regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve impulses. Even though they make up only about 4% of your weight, minerals help give your body structure. They give structure to bones, teeth, muscles, blood and other body tissues. Unlike vitamins, minerals are inorganic. Since they are inorganic they can’t be destroyed by heat or other food handling processes.Minerals fall into two categories: major minerals and trace minerals – depending on how much you need. Regardless of the amount needed, they are all essential for good health.
26Major Minerals Needed in greater amounts More than 250 milligrams recommended dailyCalcium, phosphorus and magnesiumElectrolytes – sodium, chloride and potassiumMajor minerals are needed in greater amounts than trace minerals are. More than 250 milligrams are recommended daily for each one. Calcium, phosphorus and magnesium fit into this category along with three electrolytes: sodium, chloride and potassium. Electrolytes regulate body fluids in and out of every cell. They also transmit nerve or electrical impulses.
27Trace MineralsBody needs small amounts – less than 20 milligrams daily.Chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc.Others are identified, but less is known about their role in health.All are absorbed in the intestines and transported and stored in parts of the body.Your body needs just small amounts of trace minerals – less than 20 milligrams daily for each of the trace minerals or trace elements: chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. Recommended Dietary Allowances have been set for only some: copper, iodine, iron, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. Others are presented in DRI charts as Adequate Intake Levels (AIs).Nutrition experts have reviewed research on other trace elements such as arsenic, boron, nickel, silicon and vanadium. They don’t appear to have a role in human health, but Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) have been set for some. (Boron – 20 mg per day; Nickel – 1.0 mg per day and Vanadium 1.8 mg per day for adult levels)All minerals are absorbed in your intestines, then transported and stored in your body in different ways. Some pass directly into your bloodstream, where they are carried to cells. Others attach to proteins and become part of your body structure. Because they are stored, excess amounts can be harmful if the levels consumed are too high for too long.Let’s spend a little time discussing 3 minerals that are of concern for Americans: calcium, sodium and iron.
28Major Minerals - Calcium Builds bones in length and strengthSlows the rate of bone lossReduces risk of osteoporosisHelps muscles contract and heart beatPlays a role in nerve functionHelps the blood clotThe human body contains more calcium than any other mineral. For an average 130 pound adult, almost 3 pounds of the body is calcium. Of that amount, about 99% of your body’s calcium is in your bones. The remaining 1% is in your other body fluids and cells. Calcium is as important to you as an adult as it was during your childhood.Calcium builds bones in both length and strength by becoming a part of bone tissue. It also helps your bones remain strong by slowing the rate of bone loss as you age. Calcium plays a big role in reducing the risk of osteoporosis. This disease occurs when bones become porous or develop holes in them. Osteoporosis can cause bones to become brittle and break easily. A diet rich in calcium can help prevent osteoporosis. Calcium helps your muscles contract and your heart beat. It plays a role in normal nerve function and helps your blood clot if you are bleeding.For children, not getting enough calcium may interfere with growth. Even a mild deficiency over a lifetime can affect bone density and bone less, increasing the risk for osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease.Very large doses over a prolonged time may cause kidney stones and poor kidney function and may affect the absorption of other minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. However, regular consumption of milk and milk products won’t result in excessive amounts of calcium.
29Calcium – How Much? How much do you need? Age Amount per day 9 – 18 1,300 mgAdult – 501,000 mgOver 501,200 mgFor ages nine through 18, the Adequate Intake (AI) for calcium is 1,300 milligrams daily. As an adult through age 50, the AI is 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. After that, the recommendation goes back up to 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily for both men and women to help maintain bone mass. Calcium recommendations for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding are the same as for other women in their age group. The National Osteoporosis Foundation advises at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily and vitamin D each day, along with regular physical activity that is weight bearing or resistance training. Calcium doesn’t work alone – it works in partnership with other nutrients including phosphorus and vitamin D. Vitamin D helps absorb and deposit calcium in bones and teeth, making them stronger.If you don’t consume enough calcium or if your body doesn’t absorb an adequate amount, your body may withdraw more calcium from bones than you deposit.Three cups of milk supply about 900 milligrams of calcium.
30Sources of Calcium Milk and other dairy foods Dark green, leafy vegetablesFish with edible bonesCalcium-fortified foodsMilk and other dairy products such as yogurt and cheese are the best sources of calcium. Other good sources include dark green, leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli or bok choy; fish with edible bones, calcium-fortified soy beverages or calcium fortified orange juice, and tofu made with calcium sulfate. Some breads are also calcium fortified.
31Major Minerals - Sodium Electrolyte:Helps regulate movement of body fluidsHelps muscles relax (including your heart)Helps transmit nerve impulsesHelps regulate blood pressureSodium is a mineral that occurs naturally in food. It is called an electrolyte because it transmits electrical currents in the body. Sodium helps regulate the movement of body fluids in and out of your body cells. It helps muscles, including your heart, relax and helps transmit nerve impulses or signals. Sodium also plays a role in regulating blood pressure.Your kidneys regulate the sodium level in your body. If you are healthy, your body doesn’t retain excess sodium – even when you consume more than you need – and excess amounts don’t get stored. Instead your body rids itself of the extra. When kidneys don’t work properly, excess sodium isn’t excreted.There is a direct link between increased high blood pressure and sodium intake. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other conditions. Reducing sodium intake may help to lower blood pressure it it’s high.
32Sodium – How Much? Tolerable upper intake level – 2,300 mg daily. 1 teaspoon salt = almost 2,300 mg¼ teaspoon salt = 500 mg.Sources: processed foods, table salt, some naturally occurring in foods.Check the ingredient list for Na, salt, soda or sodium in the name.To keep your body running normally, you need sodium, but most people consume more than enough. On average most adults consume about 3,200 milligrams of sodium daily.The Daily Reference Intakes recommend a maximum sodium intake: for the general public the Tolerable Upper Intake Level is 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily. That is about the amount in 1 teaspoon of salt since there are 500 mg of sodium in ¼ teaspoon of salt. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that less than 2,300 milligrams is better. For most healthy people ages 9 to 50, the Adequate Intake (AI) is 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily. We are advised to choose and prepare foods with little salt as the best way to cut back on sodium. By consuming potassium rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, we can cut back on sodium while still maintaining adequate intakes of the electrolyte potassium.Only about 11% of the sodium in the food most people eat comes from the salt shaker or from sodium added during cooking or at the table. Prepared foods are the main sources of sodium in the average American diet, accounting for 77% of sodium intake. Check the label of processed foods for sodium containing ingredients. If an ingredient has Na, salt, soda or sodium in its name, that is a clue for sodium. “Na” is the scientific symbol for sodium. Foods described as “broth,” “cured,” “corned,” “pickled” or “smoked” usually contain sodium, too. Sodium can also occur naturally in some foods.
33Sodium – Label Lingo Sodium-free – less than 5 mg per serving Very low sodium – 35 mg or less per servingLow sodium – 140 mg or less per servingReduced or less sodium – at least 25% less sodiumYou may see nutrition claims related to sodium on food packages. Here is a sampling of what some of those claims mean.Sodium-free indicates that the product contains less than 5 mg of sodium per serving. Very Low Sodium means 35 mg or less per serving, while low sodium contains 140 mg or less per serving. For reduced or less sodium, it is at least 25% less sodium as compared with a standard serving size of the traditional food.
34Trace Minerals - IronServes as essential part of hemoglobin and other enzymesHelps in brain developmentSupports a healthy immune systemIron is one of the trace minerals and serves as an essential part of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in your blood from your lungs to every body cell. It is also a part of other enzymes and helps in brain development and supports a healthy immune system.An iron deficiency can lead to anemia along with fatigue and infections. In the U.S., iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency.
35Iron – How Much? RDA for Iron Age Gender mg daily 14 – 18 Males 11 Females15Adult819 – 501851 +Iron needs are highest during periods of rapid growth: childhood, adolescence, childbearing years for women and pregnancy. This chart shows the recommended amounts of iron needed daily based on age and gender. During pregnancy the recommendation goes up to 27 milligrams daily.
36Sources of Iron Heme iron – animal sources Meat, poultry, fishNonheme iron – plant sourcesLeafy green vegetablesDried peasEnriched breads and cerealsIron comes from foods of both animal (heme iron) and plant (nonheme) sources. It is much better absorbed from heme iron and when vitamin C is consumed with nonheme iron at the same meal.
37Phytonutrients Also called Phytochemicals – means plant chemicals Compounds in plant-based foodsAppear to promote healthIn addition to supplying nutrients, plant-based foods such as legumes, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, teas, herbs and spices, also contain naturally occurring compounds with potential health benefits. Collectively, they are called phytonutrients or phytochemicals, which means plant chemicals. These compounds appear to promote health by sparking body processes that fight or reduce the risk for the development of some diseases. Phytonutrients are neither vitamins nor minerals. They are substances that plants produce naturally to protect themselves against viruses, bacteria and fungi as well as insects, drought and even the sun. They also provide the color, aroma, texture and flavor that helps food appeal to our senses. An orange for example has more than 170 different phytonutrients. Functional benefits of foods are those that extend beyond basic nutritional effects. Phytonutrients appear to promote health by helping to slow the aging process or reducing the risk for many diseases. They may protect against some cancers, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cataracts, osteoporosis, urinary tract infections and other chronic health conditions.
38Phytonutrients – How Do They Work? Serve as antioxidantsEnhance immunityEnhance communication among body cellsCause cancer cells to dieDetoxify carcinogensRepair damage to DNAThe benefits and actions of phytonutrients are still uncertain, but they seem to work in numerous ways:Serve as antioxidantsEnhance immunityEnhance communication among body cellsCause cancer cells to dieDetoxify carcinogensRepair damage to DNA that is caused by smoking and other toxins
39Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Do you really need them?Can a pill, drink or supplement bar replace your dinner? Of course, the answer is no! Only food can provide the mixture of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and other substances for health. The quantities of nutrients found in food can’t be duplicated with dietary supplements alone. Luckily for Americans, there is plenty of quality, quantity and variety in our food supply. Despite that, more than half of Americans take dietary supplements. Some people wisely limit their use of supplements to 100% or less of the Daily Values (DVs) and only take the recommended dose. However, others use supplements as part of or as a complement to their medical care. Some people self-prescribe high, potentially dangerous dosages of supplements at the advice of a friend or media reports.
40Dietary Supplements What are they? Dietary supplements are neither food nor drugs. They are products taken orally that contain a “dietary ingredient” meant to supplement the diet, not substitute for healthful foods. The term dietary supplement refers to a wide range of products: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, hormones, concentrates, extracts and metabolites.By law, supplements must be labeled “dietary supplements.” About 80,000 dietary supplements are marketed in the U.S. with multivitamin/mineral supplements being the biggest product category. There are an average of 500 new products launched each year sold in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, powders and bars.
41Supplements? Do you consume a varied, balanced diet? Are you healthy? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you probably get all the vitamins and minerals you need from the foods you eat.No dietary supplement can fix an ongoing pattern of poor food choices. Supplements may supply some vitamins and minerals, but not all of the substances found in food for good health. Only a balanced diet that supplies a variety of foods can provide enough nutrient variety, phytonutrients and other substances for health. With some exceptions, supplements usually aren’t necessary if you’re healthy and eat a balanced, varied diet. You probably can get the vitamins and minerals you need from smart food choices.
42Supplements?Under some circumstances, multivitamin/mineral supplements do offer benefits. Follow your doctor’s advice.Supplements can be useful for some groups of people. Keep in mind that you need to discuss any supplement use with your doctor. Supplements can have interactions with food, medicine and other supplements so it is important to keep you doctor informed of any dietary supplements you are using.Let’s look at some situations where supplements may be beneficial.
43Supplements May Be Needed For . . . Women who are pregnant or breastfeedingWomen of childbearing ageWomen with heavy menstrual cyclesMenopausal womenVegetariansPeople with limited milk intake and sunlight exposureWomen who are pregnant or breast-feeding need more of some nutrients such as folate and iron. A prenatal vitamin/mineral supplement may be recommended during pregnancy and breast-feeding.It is recommended that women who are capable of becoming pregnant consume 400 micrograms of folic acid, which is the synthetic form of folate, daily from fortified foods, vitamin supplements or a combination of the two in addition to folate found naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes. The extra folic acid is a safeguard against spinal cord defects for the developing fetus. Synthetic folic acid is absorbed by the body better than food folate.Women with heavy menstrual bleeding may need an iron supplement to replace iron from blood loss. In order to enhance absorption, iron supplements should be taken with water or juice on an empty stomach. They can be taken with food if nausea or constipation occurs, but absorption may be decreased as much as 50% when taken with a meal or snack.Menopausal women may benefit from a calcium supplement with vitamin D, in addition to a calcium rich diet, to slow calcium loss from bones. For some older men, a calcium supplement is advised also.Vegetarians may need extra calcium, iron, zinc and vitamins B-12 and D if their regular eating patterns don’t supply much or any meat, dairy and other animal products.If you don’t consume enough diary foods, you may need a calcium supplement for bone health. You may also be advised to take a vitamin D supplement. Fortified milk is the best source of vitamin D. Your body also makes vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Ten to 15 minutes of sun exposure on your hands, arm and face without sunscreen two times per week is adequate for most people to make enough vitamin D. If you are advised to take a calcium supplement, read the label. Calcium in all over the counter supplements is not the same. The calcium amount may differ. Multivitamin/mineral supplements don’t have as much calcium as calcium supplements do. Calcium supplements are sold as compounds such as calcium citrate and calcium carbonate. Their amounts and absorption of calcium differ so check the label. Calcium carbonate is absorbed best with food while calcium citrate can be taken at any time. Avoid calcium supplements with dolomite, unrefined oyster shell or bonemeal since they might contain small amounts of hazardous contaminants. If you take both calcium and iron supplements, take them at different times of the day. They will each be absorbed better when taken on their own. Calcium is best absorbed in doses of 500 mg or less so if you take 2 or 3 low-dose tablets daily, space them out throughout the day for better absorption.
44In all situations, your doctor’s opinion should be requested. Supplements (cont)Someone on a restrictive dietPersons who do not eat a balanced dietPersons with illnesses that affect nutrient useSome babies after age 6 months, children and teensIn all situations, your doctor’s opinion should be requested.If you are on a 1,600 calorie or less diet, you likely won’t eat enough food to meet all of your nutrient needs. Your doctor may recommend a multivitamin/mineral supplement. A word of caution though – unless you are under a doctor’s supervision, very-low-calorie eating plans are not advised.If you do not eat a balanced diet you may need a dietary supplement to fill in the nutrient gaps. Smarter eating would be a better way to get nutrients though. Take a supplement with the advice of a doctor.Supplements may be prescribed for people with health problems that affect appetite or eating or that affect how nutrients are absorbed, used or excreted. Some medications may interfere with the way the body uses nutrients and lead to a need for supplements.Some babies after age 6 months, children and teens may need a fluoride supplement and possibly iron or vitamin D.In all of these situations, your doctor’s opinion should be requested. Always inform your doctor of any supplements you are using.
45Supplement Labeling Serving size and Daily Value labeling is listed Other ingredients used are also listedFDA Final Rule – promotes safe use of Dietary SupplementsLabels on supplements show the amounts of vitamins and minerals in a single dosage. If you already eat a healthful diet, you probably don’t need any more than a low-dose supplement. Taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement with no more than 100% of the Daily Values (DVs) is generally considered safe, but watch out for those that provide more than 100% of the RDA or Daily Values for nutrients.Although foods and drugs are highly regulated, supplements traditionally have not been regulated the same way. However, on June 22, 2007, the FDA announced a final rule establishing current good manufacturing practice requirements for dietary supplements. By the end of 2007, the industry will be required to report all serious dietary supplement adverse reactions to FDA. Under the final rule, manufacturers are required to evaluate the identity, purity, quality, strength and composition of dietary supplements. This will help consumers be confident that the products they purchase contain what is on the label. The final rule aims to ensure that dietary supplements do not have wrong ingredients, too much or too little of a dietary ingredient, improper packaging, improper labeling, or contamination problems. Dietary supplements are regulated like foods. Unlike new drugs, dietary supplements don’t have to go through review by FDA for safety and effectiveness or be “approved” before they can be marketed. Manufacturers are responsible to maintaining the safety of dietary ingredients.
46If You Take a Supplement: Talk with your doctor before using a dietary supplement.Know that some supplements may interact with prescription and over-the-counter medicines.Inform your doctor about all the supplements you use, especially before surgery.Report adverse effects from the use of dietary supplements to MedWatch.Always discuss supplement use of any kind with your doctor. Being natural does not always mean a product is safe or milder. For example all mushrooms are natural, but some are also poisonous.Consumed in excessive amounts, nutrients in some supplements can have undesirable side effects and may pose serious risks. Taking a combination of supplements or using these products with medications (whether prescription or over-the-counter) could produce adverse effects, some of which could be life-threatening.Some supplements can have unwanted effects during surgery. You may be asked to stop taking these products at least 2 to 3 weeks ahead of the procedure.If you think you have been harmed by a dietary supplement, contact your health provider and report it to FDA’s MedWatch by calling 800-FDA-1088 or visiting
47If You Take a Supplement: Stick with the label dosage and heed warnings.Follow the label directions.Keep in a safe, cool, dry place.Check the expiration date.Stick with the label dosage and heed any warnings. Keep in mind that the dosage is set by the manufacturer not by FDA regulations.Follow the label directions when taking supplements. Some are more effective taken with food; others, on a empty stomach. Water is usually the best thing to take a supplement with.Keep dietary supplements in a safe place away from where children can reach them. Adult iron supplements are the most common cause of poisoning deaths among children in the U.S. Supplements should be stored in a cool, dry place preferably away from the stove and not in the bathroom. Heat and moisture can affect their quality and effectiveness. Keep them in their original containers with the label on.Check the expiration date since supplements lose some potency as they get closer to their expiration date.
48Nutrients – Essential for Good Health! Our bodies need 6 classes of nutrients.A balanced diet with a variety of foods supplies nutrients needed for good health.Consume high-fat foods in moderation.Always consult your physician about supplement use.Nutrients that come from food are essential for good health. We need to strive for a balanced diet with a variety of foods to provide us with nutrients from each of the six classes: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. It is also important to limit the amount of fat in our diets since this is a nutrient we only need in moderation. If you consume dietary supplements, be sure to consult your physician about any supplements you currently consume or plan to use.
49Reference:American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide (3rd Edition) by Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCSFDA Consumer Health InformationPresentation Developed By:Cathy Agan, Extension Agent (FNP)Ouachita Parish