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Hoodia Nutrition Guide

Overview - Eating Well


The food you eat is the source of energy and nutrition for your body. Eating should be a pleasurable experience, not one that causes guilt or remorse. Getting enough food is rarely a problem, but getting enough good nutrition can be a challenge. What should you eat to stay healthy? Nearly everyone has an opinion, from your best friend to the daily newscaster. There is a lot of advice available, but the basics for good health have not changed since the first fad diets were introduced centuries ago.

Nutrients
Your body needs over 45 different nutrients every day. These nutrients are essential for health and must be provided in the foods eaten. These nutrients can be divided into five classes: Carbohydrates (starches, sugar, and fiber) Proteins (includes 22 amino acids) Fats (saturated, monosaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids) Minerals Vitamins

These nutrients work together and interact with body chemicals to perform several functions. Provide materials to build, repair and maintain body tissues Supply substances that function in the regulation of body processes Furnish fuel for energy needed by the body

Each nutrient has a certain job to do in the building, maintenance, and operation of your body. Some jobs require that nutrients work together as a team. These jobs are nutrient-specific. They cannot be done by other nutrientsan extra supply of one nutrient cannot make up for a shortage of another. Thats why a balanced diet including all food groups is so necessary. Your body needs all of these nutrients, not just a few. Some nutrients need to be replenished every day from food, while others can be stored in the body for future use.

The Energy Providing Nutrients


Of the six classes of nutrients, only 3 provide energy: Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins. Energy is the bodys most basic need. Energy is used when you breathe, when the heart pumps blood, and when you sit, stand and walk. The more vigorous the activity, the more energy is required. The energy contained in a carbohydrate, fat or protein is measured in kilocalories, commonly shortened to calories in the United States. The calorie is a measure of energy available to the body. When you eat something, the number of calories it contains is the number of energy units it provides to the body for its needs. The calorie is also a measure of energy your body uses in everyday life or exercise.

Where the Numbers Come From


A bomb calorimeter is a special instrument used to measure calories in food. The food is first dried to remove water and then placed in a special container that rests in water. When the food is burned, heat is transferred to the water. The amount the burning food heats the water is the measure of calories. One calorie is the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree centigrade. The energy values of the 3 calorie-providing nutrients are as follows: 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories 1 gram of protein = 4 calories 1 gram of fat = 9 calories

Calories may also be added to food intake by consuming alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is not a nutrient because it cannot be used in the body to promote growth, maintenance, or repair. It is a toxin that is broken down as an energy (calorie) source and can be converted to fat. 1 gram of alcohol = 9 calories

Nearly all foods supply energy or calories. However, some provide more calories than others. No single food or kind of food is fattening by itself. When the energy provided in food is not used whatever food it is the excess is stored in the body in the form of fat. Storage of too many excess calories results in being overweight. The carbohydrate world can be very confusing. At times, carbohydrates are accused of being the cause of gaining weight, while other times carbohydrates are viewed as the ideal energy source for the body. Lets take a closer look at the functions of carbohydrates: Carbohydrates spare protein so that protein can concentrate on building, repairing, and maintaining body tissues instead of being used up as an energy source. For fat to be metabolized properly, carbohydrates must be present. If there are not enough carbohydrates, then large amounts of fat are used for energy. The body is not able to handle this large amount so quickly, so it accumulates ketone bodies, which make the body acidic. This causes a condition called ketosis. Carbohydrate is necessary for the regulation of nerve tissue and is the ONLY source of energy for the brain. Certain types of carbohydrates encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines for digestion. Some carbohydrates are high in fiber, which helps prevent constipation and lowers the risk for certain diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

How Carbs Turn to Fat


The digestion of carbohydrates actually starts in the mouth where an enzyme called salivary amylase starts the breakdown. The rest of the digestion process occurs mainly in the small intestine where enzymes break down large carbohydrate molecules into a simpler form called glucose. Glucose is absorbed into the blood stream and is used in several different ways: Much of the glucose is used for immediate energy needs by the cells. If there is more glucose than the cells need, then part of the glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle tissue. If blood glucose levels drop too low, the body can use this stored glycogen to replenish the supply. If levels are too high, the excess continues to be stored as glycogen. After energy needs are met and the glycogen stores are filled, any excess glucose can be converted to fatty acids and stored as fat tissue. The fat tissue has unlimited storage capabilities. Fiber is also a type of carbohydrate but it has a different chemical make-up. Humans do not have the enzymes necessary to break down this type of carbohydrate. Therefore it is not digested and provides no calories or energy. Fiber gives the bulk to the intestinal contents and aids in normal elimination.

Different Types of Carbs


One way to classify carbohydrates is by their chemical make-up:

Monosaccharides
Glucose - Found naturally in fruits, sweet corn and honey. It is also the basic unit of complex carbohydrates. Glucose is the form of sugar normally found in the blood stream and used by the body for energy. Fructose - Found in fruits and honey. Galactose - Does not occur freely in nature but is produced from the breakdown of milk sugar (lactose).

Disaccharides
Sucrose - Ordinary table sugar. It is found mainly in sugar cane, sugar beets, molasses, maple syrup, and maple sugar. Sucrose if formed when glucose and fructose bond together. Maltose - Appears when starch is broken down by the body and also occurs in germinating seeds. It is formed when two units of glucose bond together. Lactose - The sugar found in milk. It is made by the combination of glucose and galactose.

Polysaccharides
Starch - Found in grains, roots, vegetables and legumes. It is made up of many (up to 1000) glucose units. Humans can digest it. One only needs to cook and chew the plant cells to break open the cellulose walls. Enzymes release the individual glucose units, which are absorbed into the blood stream. Glycogen - The storage form of carbohydrates in man and animals and is the primary source of glucose and energy. Muscle glycogen is used directly as energy. Liver glycogen may be converted to glucose and carried by the blood to the tissues for their use. Cellulose - Made up of many glucose molecules and is the supportive framework of plants. Cellulose cannot be digested by humans. Therefore, it provides bulk to the stool. Cellulose is a type of fiber. Hemicelluloses - Includes pectin and agar-agar. The body does not digest them. However they do absorb water, form a gel and increase the bulk of the stool, which gives a laxative effect. Pectin is found in ripe fruit and agar-agar comes from seaweed.

Fiber
Only found in plant foods. It is the part of plants that the body cannot digest. There are two kinds of fiber, and it is important to have both kinds in the diet every day. Soluble fiber is found in beans, peas, lentils, oats, and barley. Some fruits and vegetables also have soluble fiber, such as apples, carrots, plums and squash. Eating foods with soluble fiber may help to lower blood cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease. These foods may also help lower blood sugar levels, which is important if you have diabetes. Insoluble fiber is found in foods like wheat bran, whole grains and all vegetables and fruits. It is often called roughage or bulk because it keeps the digestive system running smoothly. This helps with constipation, hemorrhoids, and other digestive problems. It may help to prevent some types of cancer.

The Glycemic Index


A new system for classifying carbohydrates is the glycemic index. The glycemic index ranks foods on how they affect blood sugar level by measuring how much the blood sugar increases after one eats. For example, white bread is digested quickly into glucose, causing blood sugar to spike quickly. Therefore white bread has a high glycemic index number. In contrast, brown rice is digested more slowly, causing a lower, more gentle change in blood sugar. It therefore has a lower glycemic index number. Diets filled with high glycemic index foods, which cause quick and strong increases in blood sugar levels, have been linked to an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. Using the glycemic index can be somewhat confusing. Some foods that contain complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes, quickly raise blood sugar levels, while some foods that contain simple carbohydrates, such as whole fruit, raise blood sugar levels more slowly.

The Bottom Line


The basic message is simple when it comes to selecting the amount and type of carbohydrate foods. Carbohydrates should make up 45% - 65% of the total daily calories in a healthy diet. At least 130 grams of carbohydrate should be included in the diet to prevent ketosis. Whenever possible, replace highly processed/refined grains, cereals, and sugars with minimally processed whole-grain products. The harder your body has to work to convert the carbohydrate into glucose (and ultimately fat), the lower the foods glycemic number. Therefore, anything that slows the digestion and absorption of a carbohydrate-containing food will lower its glycemic index. These factors include: Particle size. Larger particle sizes found in stone-ground flour, as opposed to finely processed flours, will slow digestion and lower the glycemic index. Soluble fiber. This type of fiber, found in some fruits, vegetables, legumes, oat bran, and oatmeal, slows digestion and lowers the glycemic index. Fiber coverings. Foods with a fibrous cover such as beans and seeds are digested more slowly and have a lower glycemic index. Acidity. The acid found in some fruits, pickled foods, and vinegar slow digestion and lowers the glycemic index. Type of starch. Starch comes in many different configurations. Some are easier to break into sugar molecules than others. Ripeness. Some ripe fruits and vegetables tend to have more sugar than unripe ones, and so tend to have a high glycemic index. Fat. Fat slows digestion and lowers the glycemic index.

Carbohydrates: The Energizers


Choose More Often Whole grain products: breads, cereals, crackers, pancakes, muffins, bagels, pasta, brown rice, oats, bulgur, vegetables and fruits, legumes, low fat dairy products Choose On Occasion Refined, white flour products: breads, cereals, crackers, pancakes, muffins, bagels, pasta, white potatoes, white rice, fruit juice Choose Seldom Sweets and snacks: pastries, doughnuts, candy, cake, pie, cookies, sugared cereals, soft drinks, table sugar, honey, ice cream, sherbert, fruit drinks, potato chips, pretzels, snack crackers

Proteins & Amino Acids


Protein is a nutrient that is needed daily by the body. Protein has many functions: It helps to build, repair, and maintain body cells and tissues like your skin, muscles, organs, blood, and even bones. It also forms enzymes and hormones that enable your body to function normally. Enzymes enable chemical reactions to take place in your body. Hormones signal the appropriate enzymes to start working on what the body needs. Proteins as antibodies protect you from disease-carrying bacteria and viruses. Proteins help regulate the quantity of fluids in the compartments of the body to maintain your fluid balance. Protein also controls the composition of the body fluids. Proteins control your bodys acid-base balance. Normal processes of the body continually produce acids and their opposite, bases, which must be carried by the blood to the excretion organs. The blood must do this without allowing its own acid-base balance to be affected. The proteins in your blood accomplish this task. Only protein can perform all the functions described above. But it will be sacrificed to provide needed calories if insufficient fat and carbohydrates foods are not eaten. The bodys top-priority need is energy, and protein is a source of calories (4 calories per gram). As with all foods, if you eat more protein than you need, the extra will be stored as fat.

The Purpose of Amino Acids


During digestion, protein is crushed and mixed with saliva in the mouth. It then enters the stomach and comes in contact with very strong acid. This acid helps to uncoil the proteins tangled strands. Stomach enzymes attack the protein bonds, breaking apart the protein strands into smaller pieces. The protein pieces enter the small intestine where the next team of enzymes accomplishes the final breakdown of the protein strands into free amino acids. The cells of the small intestine release the amino acids into the bloodstream. Once the amino acids are circulating in the blood stream they are available to be taken up by any cell of the body. Amino acids combine with other amino acids to form the specific proteins needed by the body. The many different proteins in your body are all made up of these amino acid building blocks. There are a total of 22 different types of amino acids. The body cells connect these building blocks to form each specific protein that is needed. Nine amino acids are considered to be ESSENTIAL. Your body cannot make them, and your food choices must supply them. Their names may sound familiar: histamine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The other amino acids are NONESSENTIAL. Your body can make them if you consume enough of the nine essential amino acids during the day. Believe it or not, 10,000 different proteins may exist in a single cell of your body. Each one requires a different arrangement of amino acids.

Sources of Protein
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and soybeans provide all nine essential amino acids. For this reason, they are considered high quality or COMPLETE proteins. Plant sources of protein include legumes (dried beans, peas, and lentils), nuts, and seeds. Grain products such as barley, wheat, millet, rye, as well as many vegetables have smaller amounts of protein. These plant sources are all INCOMPLETE proteins because they do not contain all of the nine essential amino acids that the body needs. It is possible to still get your complete proteins without eating animal products. Luckily, the essential amino acids present in one plant food can connect with the essential amino acids in another plant food to form a complete protein. This is the principle of a healthy vegetarian diet. There is no need for combining specific foods at each meal, as once thought. Your body can make its own complete proteins if you eat a variety of plant foods and eat enough calories throughout the day.

How Much is Enough


Health organizations recommend limiting your protein intake to 10-35% of your total calorie needs. Your protein baseline should be 20% of your total calorie intake. For someone who is consuming 2000 calories, this would equal 100 grams of protein (at 4 calories per gram, equals 400 calories). In most cases, this example protein intake could still be considered healthy if it ranged from 50 grams (10% of intake) to 175 grams (35%). To give you an idea of the amount of protein you can find in certain foods, check out the following list: 1 cup milk8 grams 1 ounce cheese7 grams 1 ounce meat7 grams 1 egg6 grams cup legumes7 grams 2 tablespoons peanut butter8 grams cup nuts6 grams cup cooked non-starchy vegetable2 grams 1 serving of grain (1 slice bread, bun, 1 c. dry cereal, 1 small muffin)3 grams

The power of protein is easy to achieve. Obviously, with the great availability of animal foods and nutritious grains and vegetables, most of us have little trouble meeting and probably exceeding our protein needs.

Fats & Oils


Your LDLs are too high, reports the doctor. Cut back on fat to decrease your risk of cancer, touts the magazine article. Thats great to know. But how? You may have the impression that fat is bad for you. It may come as a surprise that lipids (the general term for fats) are very valuable. Fat is a concentrated source of energy. It supplies 9 calories per gram. It supplies essential fatty acids needed by the body. Fat carries and transports the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat helps the body use protein and carbohydrates more efficiently. Fat is a component of every cell wall. Deposits of fat in the body serve to support and cushion vital organs, and to provide insulation. Fat is the body's chief storage from for energy and work. Fat carries the compounds that give foods their aroma and flavor.

Types of Fat
The most common forms of fat in foods and in the body are known chemically as triglycerides, making up about 95% of the total. Triglycerides are made up of three molecules of fatty acids and one molecule of glycerol, an alcohol. In addition to triglycerides, food fats also contain phospholipids and sterols. The most famous sterol is cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in animal foods and in the bodys blood, brain and nervous systems. It is essential to the structure of every cell in the body. Cholesterol is related to vitamin D and the steroid hormones, such as cortisone and sex hormones. Dietary Cholesterol is found in the foods eaten. It is found only in foods of animal origin, never in plant sources. The dietary goal is to limit intake to <300 milligrams each day. Serum (blood) Cholesterol flows through the bloodstream. Cholesterol is essential for certain body components such as hormones, cell walls and various functions. Therefore your body manufactures most of its blood cholesterol. Some is also absorbed through the foods you eat. The goal is to have a total blood cholesterol level of <200 milligrams per dL.

What LDL and HDL Mean


During digestion, carbohydrates and proteins are dealt with first. However by the time fat reaches the small intestine, it receives all the attention. Bile is squirted into the mixture to emulsify or break up the fat globules, allowing enzymes to attack the chemical bonds on the triglycerides. The fats are digested and broken down into fatty acids and glycerol, and pass into the intestinal cells. Since blood and other body fluids are watery, fats need a special transport system to travel around the body. They travel from place to place mixed with protein particles, called lipoproteins. There are 4 types of lipoproteins with very distinct jobs: Chylomicrons are made by the intestines for transporting new fat to the bodys cells. These carry mostly triglycerides. Very-Low-Density-Lipoproteins (VLDL) are made by the intestines and liver to transport fats around the body. These carry mostly triglycerides. Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) are made by the liver to carry cholesterol to the bodys cells and tissues, and may form deposits on the walls of arteries and other blood vessels. They are therefore considered the lazy, or bad, cholesterol. The goal is to have an LDL level of < 100 milligrams per dL. High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) pick up and carry excess cholesterol from artery walls and bring it back to the liver for processing and removal. They are therefore considered the healthy, or good, cholesterol. The goal is to have an HDL level of >45 milligrams per dL. L = LAZY H =HEALTHY

What Exactly are Fatty Acids?


Fatty acids are the major component of triglycerides, the material of fat. Fatty acids are energy-rich chemical chains that come in three forms: Monounsaturated Fatty Acids: Liquid at room temperature, decrease total blood cholesterol but maintain your HDL (healthy/good) cholesterol. Sources include: certain oils and margarines (canola, olive, peanut, sesame), avocado, nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, peanuts, pistachios), peanut butter, olives, sesame seeds, tahini paste. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Liquid or soft at room temperature, decrease total blood cholesterol by lowering both the LDL (lazy/bad) cholesterol and the HDL (healthy/good) cholesterol. Sources include: certain oils and margarines (corn, safflower, soybean), walnuts, mayonnaise, most salad dressings, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are highly polyunsaturated. They are mostly found in seafood, especially high-fat fish, such as albacore tuna, mackerel, and salmon. Saturated Fatty Acids: Solid at room temperature and increase total cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Sources include: butter, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, cream, ice cream, whole milk, bacon, bacon grease, lard, beef, pork, poultry, shortening, coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, cocoa butter.

Hydrogenation is a food production process that changes liquid oils to solid at room temperature. Trans fatty acids are a type of fat formed by hydrogenation. It acts like a saturated fat and increases your LDL (lazy/bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. The bodys cells can utilize the fatty acids directly as a source of energy. Any not used are stored in the fat tissue as a reserve supply of energy. Fat cells are able to expand almost indefinitely in size and quantity.

Diet & Fat Guidelines


One of the quickest and healthiest ways to reduce calories and lose weight is to cut back on the fat. Eating a diet low in fat is an important step in keeping your heart and arteries in tip-top shape too. The overall goal is to avoid excess fat, especially saturated fat and LDL cholesterol. Limit your intake of total fat to <30% of your total calories each day. This is about 45-65 grams each day. Limit your intake of saturated fat to <10% of your calories each day. This is about 15-25 grams each day. Limit your intake of cholesterol to <300 milligrams each day. Remember that all fats and oils are not created equal; however all fats and oils are still high in calories. Things to keep in mind: o Monounsaturated fats help to lower the LDL (lazy/bad cholesterol) while NOT lowering the HDL (healthy/good cholesterol). These fats are the most heart friendly. o Polyunsaturated fats help lower the LDL (lazy/bad cholesterol) but they also lower the HDL (healthy/good cholesterol). So they are only somewhat heart healthy. o Saturated fats raise the LDL (lazy/bad cholesterol) and increase the risk of heart disease. Therefore, they are not heart healthy. o Trans-fatty acids can raise the LDL (lazy/bad cholesterol) and triglycerides levels, and lower the HDL (healthy/good cholesterol). They are not heart healthy.

Food Group Meat and Protein

Choose No More Than 3-4 Times a Week Lean cuts of beef and pork-- Egg yolks, fish sticks, tuna canned in oil, with fat trimmed, poultry poultry with skin, chicken without skin, dried beans nuggets, turkey hot dogs and peas, lentils, tofu, egg whites, egg substitutes, fish or bologna, nuts, peanuts, and peanut and shellfish, tuna canned butter with water Skim milk, 1% milk and buttermilk, nonfat yogurt, nonfat frozen yogurt, fatfree cheese, low fat cottage cheese, soy milk, soy cheese 2% milk, 4% cottage cheese, ice milk, light cream cheese, light sour cream, low fat yogurt, sherbet, low fat cheese

Choose Daily

Choose for Special Occasions Only Prime grade meats, duck, goose, dark poultry meat, bacon, sausage, scrapple, bologna, salami, hot dogs, ribs, organ meats, fried meats Whole milk, regular cheese, cream, halfand-half, most nondairy creamers, real and non-dairy whipped cream, cream cheese, sour cream, ice cream, custard style yogurt Fruits and vegetables prepared in butter or cream sauce, fried fruits and vegetables, coconut, vegetables with high fat salad dressing Croissants, pastry, pies, doughnuts, sweet rolls, granola, snack crackers (with saturated fats), grain products prepared with cream, butter, or cheese sauce Butter, lard, beef tallow, bacon fat, shortening palm, palm kernel and coconut oils, margarine or shortening made with hydrogenated oil

Milk and Dairy

Fruits and Veggies

Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits and vegetables

Olives and avocados

Grains

Breads, bagels, pasta, cereals (whole grain products preferred), oats, brown and white rice, bulgur, baked corn tortillas, low fat crackers, air-popped popcorn, pretzels Olives and olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil

Angel food cake, crackers, fat-free cakes and cookies, biscuits, fig bars, oatmeal raisin cookies, pancakes, waffles, packaged mixes

Fats and Oils

Safflower, corn, soybean, sesame, sunflower oils, margarine, mayonnaise, lower fat salad dressings, margarine that does not contain hydrogenated oil

Minerals
What comes to mind when you hear the word minerals? Do you think of rocks, stones, and metal? How can these be of benefit to your body? Minerals are another group of nutrients (along with vitamins) needed by the body. They have two general body functions: to regulate body processes, and to give the body structure. Their regulating functions include a wide variety of systems, such as: heartbeat blood clotting maintenance of the internal pressure of body fluids nerve responses the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.

Their building functions affect the skeleton and all soft tissues. Even though they make up only a small percentage of your bodyabout 4 percent of your body weight minerals are essential to life. Minerals are very stable. They cannot be destroyed by light, water, heat or food handling processes. In fact, the little bit of ash that remains when a food is completely burned is the mineral content. Minerals can be divided into two main categories, based on the amount that is needed by the body. The major minerals (or macrominerals) are present in relatively large amounts in the body and are required in fairly large amounts in the diet more that 250 milligrams daily. Calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium fall into this category as well as the electrolytes sodium, chloride, sulfur, and potassium. The electrolytes are grouped together because their work is so interrelated. They help regulate cellular fluid and transmit nerve impulses. The trace minerals (or trace elements) are needed in much smaller quantitiesless than 20 milligrams daily. Most trace minerals do not occur in the body in their free form, but are bound to organic compounds on which they depend for transport, storage, and functioning. Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) have been set for copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc. Adequate Intakes (AI) have been set for chromium, fluoride, and manganese. Both RDAs and AIs may be used as goals for individual intake needs. Other trace minerals have been identified, including tin, arsenic, silicon, vanadium, nickel, and boron. However, even less is known about their role in health and presently no adequate or safe intake ranges have been set. Therefore, a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods in a moderate amount is the best way to consume a safe and adequate amount.

Major Minerals
Calcium Potassium Phosphorus Sodium Magnesium Sulfate Chloride

Trace Minerals
Arsenic Manganese Boron Molybdenum Chromium Nickel Copper Selenium Fluoride Silicon Iodine Vanadium Iron Zinc

Vitamins
At the turn of the century, the romance and thrill of discovering the first vitamins captured the worlds heart. People loved vitamins! They were the perfect answers for people looking for an easy path to good health. Fascinating stories described how vitamins cured diseases that had mystified doctors for centuries: For years, sailors had suffered at sea with bleeding gums called scurvy. However when the sailors ate lemons, oranges and limes that had been loaded on the ship, the disease was cured. Sailors were fondly called limeys. These citrus fruits provided the missing vitamin C that was needed in their diets. In the 19th century, children were given their daily dose of cod liver oil to prevent the bone deforming disease called rickets. But not until 1922 did scientists discover that vitamin D was the substance in cod liver oil that provided the protection.

As white, polished rice became more popular than brown rice the risk of developing beriberi also increased. A Dutch scientist observed that chickens in a prison yard showed symptoms similar to those of his patients. The chickens ate the polished-rice scraps of the prisoners. However, when the chickens were accidentally given the part of the rice that was discarded after polishing, their health improved. This discarded part of the rice contained the nutrient thiamin. With discoveries such as these, it is easy to see why people were so impressed. With the discovery of each vitamin, whole groups of people were miraculously cured. The term given these substances originally was vitamine (vita meaning life). When it was later realized that most vitamins are not amines, the e on vitamine was dropped. At first, vitamins were named using letters, like vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C. Later, chemical analysis showed that what had been thought to be one chemical was actually two or more. So sub-numerals were used like vitamin B-1, vitamin B-2. Some vitamins are also named based on the diseases they cure.

Why Too Much Can Be Bad


Vitamins are important and good for your health. Many have the notion that if a little is good, then more must be better. This is a myth that can be very dangerous. Vitamins actually function primarily as catalysts, regulating chemical reactions within the body. They are also essential for the release of energy from food. But they do not provide calories or energy themselves. Each vitamin serves one or more special functions in the body that no other nutrient can. Deficiencies also have specific consequences. To become active in the body, each vitamin must associate with a special protein. Together they form an active enzyme ready to regulate body processes. However, it is important to realize that once the special proteins in the body cells are filled up with a particular vitamin, no further activity can possibly be achieved by adding any more of that vitamin. The excess vitamin serves as a chemical substance that in many cases can do damage to the body. This is why over-dosages of vitamin supplements cannot benefit the body and may in fact be harmful. Vitamins are sometimes referred to as micronutrients since they are needed in only small amounts. Vitamins are measured in milligrams (one-thousandth of a gram) and in micrograms (one-millionth of a gram), or in International Units. An inadequacy of a minute amount of a vitamin can have far-reaching effects on body processes and health. Too much of certain vitamins, though seemingly a small amount, can produce harmful toxic conditions.

The Vitamin Family


Vitamins belong in two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Each name describes an important qualityhow it is carried in food and transported in your body. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. They include the B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. They are carried in your bloodstream and are not stored in the body in significant amounts. Your body uses the amount that is needed, and then the extra is excreted in the urine. Since your body

does not store water-soluble vitamins, regular intake is necessary. Water-soluble vitamins are also destroyed more easily during food storage, processing and preparation. Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fat. To be carried in your bloodstream and throughout your body, they must be attached to body chemicals made of lipids or fat. Four vitamins are fatsoluble: A, D, E, and K. Your body is able to store these fat-soluble vitamins in body fat. Getting a new supply each day is not essential. Harmful, toxic levels of the fat-soluble vitamins can occur when excess amounts are consumed on a regular basis, usually from supplements. Fat-Soluble Vitamin A Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K Water-Soluble Thiamin (vitamin B-1) Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) Niacin Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) Folic Acid Vitamin B-12 Biotin Pantothenic Acid Vitamin C

Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin A
Functions Vitamin A is needed for night vision and helps the eyes adjust to lower levels of light. It promotes the growth of skin, bones, and male and female reproductive organs. Vitamin A protects you from infections by keeping the skin and tissues in your mouth, stomach, intestines, respiratory, genital, and urinary tracts healthy. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and possibly heart disease. Deficiencies Lack of vitamin A may lead to night blindness, dry eyes, eye infections, dry scaly skin, reproductive problems, and slow growth. Excesses Because vitamin A is stored in the body, large quantities can be very harmful. Symptoms of overdosing include headaches, dry scaly skin, liver damage, bone and joint pain, vomiting,

appetite loss, nerve damage, and birth defects. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level for vitamin A is 3,000 micrograms for adult males and females. Amount Needed The recommended intake for adult males is 900 micrograms and 700 micrograms for adult females. Food Sources Your body can get vitamin A in two forms: retinols and beta-carotene. Retinols are found in foods that come from animals such as meat, milk fortified with A, fish oil and eggs. Betecarotene is found in red, yellow, and orange vegetables and fruits, and many dark-green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D
Functions Vitamin D is one member of a large team of nutrients and hormones that promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D helps deposit these minerals in your bones and teeth, thus making them stronger and healthier. Deficiencies Lack of vitamin D in childhood may lead to a condition called rickets, in which bones and teeth are weak. In older adults a lack of vitamin D can cause a condition called osteomalacia, a softening of the bones. It can also cause bone loss called osteoporosis. Excesses Because vitamin D is stored in the body, large quantities can be toxic. Kidney stones, kidney damage, weak bones, excessive bleeding, muscle weakness and damage can occur. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level for vitamin D is 50 micrograms for adults. Amount Needed The recommended intake for adults up to age 50 is 5 micrograms (200 International Units). Between the ages of 51 and 70, recommended intake is set at 10 micrograms (400 IUs). After age 70, 15 micrograms is recommended (600 IUs). Food Sources Vitamin D is found naturally in fish and fish-liver oils. However it is also found in vitamin D fortified milk. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it is made in your skin when the ultraviolet light hits your skin. If you eat a balanced diet and get outside in the sunshine at least 1 to 2 hours a week, you should be getting all the vitamin D you need. As a precaution, especially during the winter, for people who do not get outdoors much (especially during the winter), and for older people whose skin is less efficient with this conversion, milk is fortified with vitamin D. If you do not drink milk, ask your health care professional about supplementation. Note: most cheese and yogurt products are NOT made with fortified milk.

Vitamin E
Functions Vitamin E is the bodyguard for your body. It works as an antioxidant, preventing a chemical reaction called oxidation, which can sometimes result in harmful effects in your body. For example, vitamin E protects polyunsaturated fats, red blood cells, and vitamin A from the destructive forces of oxygen. The cells of the lungs are continually exposed to the destructive properties of oxygen, but vitamin E protects these tissues. It is important for proper functioning of nerves, blood and muscle tissue. Deficiencies Because it is abundant in many foods, a deficiency of vitamin E is rare. However, there are two exceptions. Since the transfer of vitamin E from mother to infant occurs during the very last weeks of pregnancy, premature infants may be deficient. Without vitamin E, the red blood cells rupture and the infant becomes anemic. There are also some people who are unable to absorb fat normally and therefore develop a vitamin E deficiency. In this case the nervous system can be affected. Excesses People who take large doses by mouth do not seem to have major symptoms. However blurred vision, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, nausea, stomach cramps, unusual tiredness, and weakness have been reported. The Tolerable Upper Intake Limit for vitamin E is 1,000 milligrams daily. Amount Needed Vitamin E is a group of substances call tocopherals with different potencies. The amount is given in alpha-tocopherol equivalents as a standard measure. The recommended daily intake for adults is 15 alpha-tocopherol equivalents. Food Sources E is found in a variety of foods. The best sources include wheat germ and wheat germ oil, soybean, corn, safflower and cottonseed oil. Good sources include margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings, nuts, seeds, peanuts, and peanut butter. Fair sources include whole grains, corn, beef liver, leafy-green vegetables, fish and eggs.

Vitamin K
Functions Vitamin K refers to a group of chemically similar fat-soluble compounds. Vitamin K is necessary to make proteins that cause your blood to coagulate and clot. This stops bleeding. Vitamin K also helps your body make other body proteins for your blood, bones, and kidneys. Deficiencies Vitamin K deficiency is rare. However, a deficiency can lead to defective blood coagulation and increased bleeding and bruising. Certain health problems can cause deficiencies such as malnutrition due to alcohol dependency, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, cystic fibrosis, and short bowel syndrome. Some drugs may reduce vitamin K levels by altering liver function or destroying the intestinal bacteria that makes vitamin K.

Excesses No symptoms have been observed with excess intake. Moderation is still the best approach. People taking blood-thinning drugs and anticoagulants such as warfarin (coumadin) need to eat foods with vitamin K in moderation. Too much can make blood clot faster. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level for vitamin K has not been determined. Amount Needed The recommended daily intake for adult males is 120 micrograms and 90 micrograms for adult females. Food Sources Vitamin K can be made in your digestive tract by the billions of bacteria that are in your intestines. Some of these bacteria synthesize vitamin K that your body can then absorb. Good food sources include green-leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, pork, liver, whole wheat, oats, and bran. Fair sources include fruits, vegetables, seeds, tubers, milk, and eggs.

Water-Soluble Vitamins
Thiamin (vitamin B-1)
Functions In all the cells of the body, thiamin is needed for the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates. Deficiencies In the United States, a deficiency of thiamin is rare because refined grains are enriched with this nutrient. Before refined grain products were enriched, a thiamin deficiency could result in a disease called beriberi. Signs of beriberi include loss of appetite, constipation, muscle weakness, pain or tingling in the arms and legs, swelling of the feet, mental depression, memory problems, shortness of breath, and fast heartbeat. Thiamin deficiency does occur in alcoholics because of impaired absorption. Excesses In some people an excessive intake can cause an allergic reaction. For most people, the body excretes the excess consumed. Extra thiamin does not boost your energy level. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level has not been determined due to a lack of data concerning adverse effects. Amount Needed Adult males need 1.2 milligrams of thiamin each day and adult females need 1.1 milligrams daily. Food Sources The best food sources of thiamin include pork, peas, liver, and wheat germ. Good sources include whole-grain and enriched grain products, such as bread, rice, pasta, tortillas, and fortified cereals. Fair sources include pineapple, citrus fruits, milk, spinach, tomatoes, bananas, beans, nuts, seeds, and peanuts.

Riboflavin (vitamin B-2)


Functions Riboflavin is involved in several vital metabolic processes in the body. It is necessary for normal cell and tissue function. Riboflavin is needed for normal protein and energy metabolism. Deficiencies A deficiency of riboflavin rarely occurs except in the severely malnourished. Symptoms can include eye disorders, dry and flaky skin, sores at the corners of the mouth, a sore, red swollen tongue, throat swelling, and anemia. Excesses There are currently no reports that indicate problems associated with an excessive intake of riboflavin. Amount Needed Healthy, adult males need 1.3 milligrams of riboflavin daily and females need 1.1 milligrams daily. Food Sources The best food sources of riboflavin include liver, milk, cottage cheese and other dairy products. Good sources include eggs and meats. Fair sources are whole grains, enriched grains, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, beans, and peas. Ultraviolet light, including sunlight, can quickly destroy riboflavin. Thats why milk is stored in opaque plastic or cardboard containers, not clear glass.

Niacin
Functions Niacin helps the body to metabolize and release the energy in carbohydrates and fats. It is involved with the making of protein and fat. Niacin helps promote healthy cells, gastrointestinal tract, skin, and nervous system. Deficiencies Pellagra is a disease that develops due to a deficiency of niacin. Symptoms include skin problems, diarrhea, dementia, and depression. Excesses An excessive intake of niacin can cause tingling and flushing of the skin, itching, digestive upsets, low blood pressure, abdominal pain, liver problems, and ulcers. Large doses of niacin have been used along with medication to help lower cholesterol levels. Speak with your physician before ever starting such a treatment plan. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level is 35 milligrams daily for both adult males and females.

Amount Needed Niacin recommendations are given in niacin equivalents (NE). This is because niacin comes from two sources: (1) niacin found in food and (2) the amino acid tryptophan which can be converted to niacin in the body. 1 milligram of niacin equals 60 milligrams of tryptophan. The recommended intake of niacin (as NE) is 16 milligrams daily for adult males and 14 milligrams for adult females. Food Sources The best sources of niacin include meats, poultry, and fish. Good sources include mushrooms, peanuts, legumes, and nuts. Fair sources include enriched grain products. Niacin is also produced in the body from the amino acid tryptophan.

Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6)


Functions Pyridoxine is necessary for the normal breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. It helps turn the amino acid tryptophan into niacin and serotonin. Serotonin is a messenger in the brain. Niacin also helps produce body chemicals such as insulin, antibodies, and hemoglobin. Deficiencies A lack of pyridoxine may lead to anemia or weak blood, depression, nerve damage, seizures, greasy, flaky skin problems, and sores in the mouth. Excesses At extremely high doses, nervous system damage can occur. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level is 100 milligrams for both adult males and females. Amount Needed The recommended intake for adult males is 1.3 milligrams during the ages of 19-50. From age 51 and above, the amount is 1.7 milligrams. The recommended intake for adult females is 1.3 milligrams during the ages of 19-50. From age 51 and above, the amount is 1.5 milligrams each day. Food Sources The best food sources of pyridoxine are blackstrap molasses, wheat bran and germ, soybeans, and brown rice. Good sources include organ meats, veal, lamb, chicken, fish, and pork. Fair sources include bananas, lima beans, cabbage, corn, oats, carrots, potatoes, and legumes.

Folic Acid (folacin or folate)


Functions Folic acid is necessary for strong, healthy blood by helping to form hemoglobin. It plays a role in making new cells. By synthesizing the essential nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, normal cell division and replication occurs.

Deficiencies A lack of folic acid produces poorly formed blood cells that cannot carry as much oxygen. A deficiency can affect normal cell division and impair growth. Pregnant women who do not get enough folic acid prior to conception and during the first trimester have a greater risk of having a baby with neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Excesses Consuming too much folic acid can mask a vitamin B-12 deficiency. An excess can also interfere with some medications. Sleep disturbances are possible as well as irritability. The Tolerable Upper Limit Level is 1,000 micrograms daily for both adult males and females. Amount Needed The recommended intake of folic acid for adult males and females is 400 micrograms daily. Food Sources The best food sources of folic acid include liver, and green leafy vegetables. Good sources include lima beans, asparagus, broccoli, nuts, whole grains, fortified bread, rice, macaroni, noodles, cereals, oranges and orange juice, and lentils.

Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin)


Functions Vitamin B-12 works closely with folic acid to make red blood cells. Vitamin B-12 is necessary for a healthy nervous system. It helps the body to use fat acids and some amino acids. Deficiencies A lack of vitamin B-12 may lead to anemia, fatigue, nerve damage, stomach problems, a smooth tongue, or very sensitive skin. A vitamin B-12 deficiency can be masked by taking extra folic acid. Some people have a medical problem called pernicious anemia in which vitamin B-12 is not absorbed from the intestines properly. They are missing a body chemical called intrinsic factor that comes from the stomach lining. Others have a diseased intestine or have had a large part of their stomachs or intestines removed. These conditions require treatment with vitamin B-12 injections. Strict vegetarians, who eat no animal products, are at risk for developing a vitamin B-12 deficiency. The elderly are also at risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency since 10-30% absorb food-bound vitamin B-12 poorly. If not managed, this could cause severe anemia and irreversible nerve damage. It is important to include a variety of vitamin B-12 fortified foods or a dietary supplement to prevent these problems. Excesses There are no known symptoms of taking excessive amounts of vitamin B-12. Extra vitamin B12 does not boost energy levels. A Tolerable Upper Intake Level has not yet been determined due to a lack of data of adverse effects. Amount Needed Adult males and females need 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 daily.

Food Sources The best sources of vitamin B-12 include animal products, such as organ meats, beef, pork, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy foods. Some foods are fortified with vitamin B-12 and are fair sources.

Biotin
Functions Biotin helps produce energy in your cells. It helps metabolize protein, fat and carbohydrates. Biotin is required by the body in order for four specific enzymes to function properly in metabolism. Deficiencies A biotin deficiency is extremely rare in people who eat a healthy diet. In rare cases, these symptoms may appear: heart abnormalities, appetite loss, fatigue, depression, dry skin, low blood sugar between meals, acidic blood, and high blood ammonia. A chemical in raw egg whites prevents the body from absorbing biotin. This problem is prevented by cooking eggs, which destroys avidins ability to bind the biotin. Excesses There are currently no reported effects of consuming excess amounts of biotin. Therefore the Tolerable Upper Intake Level has not been determined. Amount Needed The recommended intake for both adult males and females is 30 micrograms daily. Food Sources Biotin is found in a variety of foods. Good sources include eggs, liver, yeast breads, cereals, chocolate, peanuts, cauliflower, nuts, peas, and mushrooms. Fair food sources include milk. Biotin is also produced by the bacteria naturally found in the intestines.

Pantothenic Acid
Functions Pantothenic acid helps with the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It also helps the body produce energy in the cells. Pantothenic acid is involved in antibody production, adrenal activity, growth and metabolism. Deficiencies A deficiency of pantothenic acid is rarely a problem for those who eat a healthy diet. Excesses The only symptoms of excessive intake are occasional diarrhea and water retention. An excess may trigger a thiamine deficiency. No Tolerable Upper Intake Level has been determined for pantothenic acid due to a lack of data on adverse effects.

Amount Needed The amount needed by both adult males and females is 5 milligrams daily. Food Sources Pantothenic acid is found widespread in plant and animal foods. Meat, poultry, fish, wholegrain products, legumes, and eggs are considered the best sources. Good sources include broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, bran, sweet potatoes, potatoes, lima beans, soybeans, peanuts, peas, oatmeal, and cheese.

Vitamin C
Functions Vitamin C forms collagen, a connective tissue, which gives strength and structure by holding together muscles, bones, and other tissues. It helps to build, repair, and maintain red blood cells, bones, and other tissues. It gives strength and flexibility to blood vessels and capillary walls. This helps to prevent bruising. It helps the body to absorb iron found in plant foods. Vitamin C is necessary for cuts and wounds to heal. It keeps the gums healthy and protects you from infection by keeping the immune system strong and healthy. Deficiencies A lack of vitamin C can lead to a disease called scurvy. Scurvy causes muscle weakness, swollen and bleeding gums, loss of teeth, bleeding under the skin, bruising, poor wound healing, tiredness, and depression. Excesses Vitamin C is water-soluble, so the body excretes any excess consumed. However, very large doses may cause kidney stones and diarrhea. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level is 2,000 milligrams for both adult males and females. Amount Needed Adult males need 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily and adult females need 75 milligrams daily. People who smoke need about twice as much vitamin C daily. Food Sources The best sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, tangerines), strawberries, peppers, kiwi, and cantaloupe. Good sources include some green-leafy vegetables, cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes, and pineapple.

Fiber
Figuring Out the Facts on Fiber
When your parents told you to eat your vegetables, and when Grandma said Eat your beans and cornbread, they knew what they were doing. These foods are excellent sources of fiber. While eating fiber may be great adviceit has the reputation of tasting like cardboard. This could not be further from the truth! Fiber can be a delicious addition to your diet. Read on to learn all the benefits of developing a fiber fixation, along with easy, tasty ways to add it to your diet. What is fiber? Fiber is found only in plant foods. It is found in dried beans and peas, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is a type of carbohydrate that gives plants their structure. Fiber is not digested or absorbed into the body when eaten. It therefore contains no calories. There are two types of fiber. Both are beneficial in different ways: 1. Soluble Fiber (such as pectin) mixes with water to form a gummy substance that coats the insides of the intestinal tract. There, soluble fiber binds to cholesterol and reduces its absorption. This helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. It also delays the absorption of glucose and helps with diabetes control. Sources: oats, seeds, beans, barley, peas, lentils, apples, citrus fruit, carrots, plums, and squash. 2. Insoluble Fiber absorbs water, making the stool larger, softer and easier to eliminate from the body. It keeps the digestive system running smoothly, reducing constipation, hemorrhoids, and other digestive problems. Since the stool is in the intestines for a shorter period of time, less cancer-causing agents deposit in the digestive tract, preventing certain types of cancer. Sources: bran, whole grain products, skins of fruits and vegetables, and leafy greens.

What can fiber do for you?


There are many health benefits to bulking up on fiber: Aids in Weight Loss - Fiber-rich foods may help your body stay trim. They take longer to chew, which may slow down your eating time so you eat less food. Fiber helps you feel full and slows the emptying of your stomach. In other words, fiber helps you to fill up before you reach the point of overeating. Fiber itself cannot be fattening because it isnt digested and has ZERO calories! Reduces Risk of Heart Disease - Studies have shown that people who consume a high fiber diet are less likely to develop heart disease. Certain types of fiber may help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff). Fiber also helps bile acids pass through as waste. Therefore the body absorbs less dietary cholesterol.

Lowers High Blood Pressure - Fiber-rich foods are also a good source of potassium and magnesium. These two minerals are needed to help regulate blood pressure. Manages Diabetes - Water-soluble fiber also helps to regulate blood sugar by delaying the emptying time of the stomach. This slows the sugar absorption after meals and reduces the amount of insulin needed. Prevents Cancer - Eating a high fiber diet throughout ones life may help prevent certain cancers, such as colon and rectal cancers. Fiber absorbs excess bile acids that are associated with cancer. It also speeds up the time it takes for waste to pass through the digestive system, which decreases the amount of time that harmful substances remain in contact with the intestinal wall. Fiber also forms a bulkier stool, which helps to dilute the concentration of harmful substances. Reduces Constipation, Hemorrhoids, and Diverticulosis - Fiber absorbs water, softening and bulking the stool. This helps it pass through the digestive system more quickly and easily. As a result, fiber prevents constipation. There is less straining with bowel movements so hemorrhoids are less likely to form. Fiber is also a standard therapy for the treatment of diverticular disease. This painful disease occurs when the tiny sacs in the intestinal wall become weak and infected. A high fiber diet helps to keep these sacs from becoming inflamed.

How much do I need?


The recommended daily intake for total fiber is: Adult males, under age 50 Adult males, over age 50 Adult females, under age 50 Adult females, over age 50 Adult pregnant females 38 grams daily 30 grams daily 25 grams daily 21 grams daily 25-35 grams daily

Where can I get more fiber?


Check out the chart below for the amount of fiber in some common foods. Fruit Raspberries, 1/2c Apple, 1 Blueberries, 1c Prunes, dried, 3 Banana, 1 Pear, 1 Orange, 1 Strawberries, 1c Grapes, 1c Apricots, dried, 1/4c Peach, 1 Pineapple, 1c Plums, 2 Cantaloupe, 1c Watermelon, 1c Grapefruit, 1/2 Apple Juice, 1c Orange Juice, 1c Vegetables (1/2 cup cooked) Potato with skin, 1 Green Peas Brussel Sprouts Carrots Broccoli Cabbage Cauliflower Grams of Fiber 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 0 Grams of Fiber 4 4 3 3 2 2 2 Grains & Pasta ( 1 cup cooked ) Bulgar Barley Whole Wheat Spaghetti Brown Rice Couscous Macaroni Spaghetti White Rice Cereal Fiber One, 1/2c All Bran, 1/3c Kashi, 3/4c Raisin Bran, 1c Shredded Wheat, 1c Wheat Chex, 1c Bran Flakes, 3/4c Grape Nuts, 1/2c Oats, 1c Cheerios, 1c Granola, 2/3c Wheaties, 1c Corn Flakes, 1c Special K, 1c Rice Krispies, 1c Other Grains ( 1 slice ) Pupernickel bread 4 Grams of Fiber 8 6 6 4 2 2 2 1 Grams of Fiber 14 14 8 8 6 5 5 5 4 3 3 3 1 0 0 Grams of Fiber

Corn Carrot, 1 med Green beans Spinach Asparagus Celery, 1 stalk Lettuce, 1c Tomato, 1/2

2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1

Whole wheat bread Triscuits, 7 White Bread Green pepper, 1/2 Beans Lentils, 1/2c Pinto beans, 1/2c Lentil soup, 1c Kidney beans, 1/2c Ham / bean soup, 1c

4 4 1 1 Grams of Fiber 7 7 7 7 6

Tasty ways to add fiber to your diet: Try a high-fiber grain instead of rice. Bulgur, barley, and brown rice are great high-fiber substitutions Add beans to your favorite stir-fry, dips, quesadillas, burritos, and tacos. Eat some type of fresh or dried fruit with every meal. Start your meal with a large spinach salad, sprinkled with nuts, seeds or dried fruit. Choose fruit instead of juice. Make a pot of vegetable soup Add extra veggies and/or beans, peas, and lentils to soups, casseroles, and stews. Try Middle Eastern cuisine, such as tabbouleh or falafel. Keep nuts, trail mixes, and cereal mixes available for snacks Buy whole wheat pasta, breads, crackers, and cereals. Top casseroles with wheat germ or bran. Eat the skins of fruits and vegetables when possible. Start your morning with a whole grain, high fiber cereal. Ask for lunchtime sandwiches to be prepared with whole grain bread and topped with veggies.

Cautions: Too much fiber too quickly may cause constipation or stomach discomfort. Increase fiber in your diet slowly, and boost your fluid consumption by drinking 8 glasses of water daily. Use canned beans or dried beans that are thoroughly cooked; the undercooked starch in beans can cause gas. Discard the cooking water because it contains some indigestible sugars. If bothered by gas, try Beano, an over-the-counter product which contains an enzyme that digests bean sugars.

Laxativesexit here: Do not take any laxatives for more than one week without checking with your physician. Do not take a laxative within two hours of other medications. Bulk formers (Metamucil, Citrucel, Konsyl, Serutan). These products absorb water in the intestines and make the stool softer. They are similar to insoluble fiber. They are the safest laxatives. Stool Softeners (Colace, Dialose, Surfak). These products keep the stool moist and prevent dehydration. Saline Laxatives (Milk of Magnesia, Citrate of Magnesia, Haleys M-O). These products act like a sponge to draw water into the colon for easier passage of the stool. Lubricants (mineral oil). Lubricants grease the stool so it moves more easily in the intestines. They also can bind with fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) and can cause a deficiency over time. In rare cases, pneumonia can occur with usage. Stimulants (Correctol, Dulcolax, Purge, Feen-A-Mint, Senokot). These products cause the intestinal muscles to contract and move the stool through the intestines. They can lead to a dependency.

The Confusing Calorie


You know by now that both eating and activity affect your weight. Eating provides your body with the energy it needs, while physical activity burns off calories. So the key to successful weight loss is finding the right ways to balance the calories you take in with the calories you put out. It all sounds so simple and it really is. But theres actually a lot to know. How to track calories in food. How calories are used and stored as fat. What is starvation mode? Can you cut calories too far? What to do about plateaus? This simple, little thing called a calorie can actually seem pretty complicated. Read on to help sort through the mystery. The calorie is a measure of energy available to the body. When you eat food, the number of calories it contains is actually the amount of energy units the food provides the body. The calorie is also the measure of energy that your body uses. Your body uses calories for many functions, such as breathing, pumping blood, resting, sitting, working, and exercising. So the calorie is used to measure both the amount of energy contained in foods, as well as the amount of energy your body uses.The difference between the two is the Calorie Equation. When you eat more calories than you use, the rest is stored as fat and you gain weight. To lose weight, you simply need to use more calories than you eat so your body is free to call upon other energy sources such as stored fat.

Where Do Calories Come From?


There are six classes of nutrients: carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Of these six classes of nutrients, only 3 provide calories or energy for the body: carbohydrate, protein and fat: 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories 1 gram of protein = 4 calories 1 gram of fat = 9 caloriesCalories are also found in alcohol. Alcohol is not a nutrient because it cannot be used in the body to promote growth, maintenance, or repair. It is a toxin that is broken down as an energy source and can be converted into fat. 1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories

How are Calories Used and Stored?


The function of each calorie-providing nutrient is different, but the end result of excessive intake is the sameFAT STORAGE. Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose for immediate energy needs; the surplus is stored as glycogen for long-term energy needs and brain function. However, after the glycogen stores are filled, the excess carbohydrate is stored as FAT. The nutrient Fat is initially broken down and used for its primary functions, such as providing cell structure. However, any excess fat fragments will be reassembled and stored in the FAT cells. Protein will also encounter the same fate. Once protein has met immediate energy needs and provided the body with other building and repairing functions, the excess will be converted into FAT and stored away. All foods supply energy or calories. However, some provide more calories than others. No single food or class of food is fattening by itself. When the calories provided in food are not needed by the body, the excess is stored in the body in the form of fat, no matter what food the calories came from. And while the storage of most cells is limited, fat tissue is able to store an unending amount of fat.

How Many Calories Do I Need?


Your energy needs take precedence over all other body functions. For an adult, there are three factors that determine your total energy requirements: Basal Energy Requirement. This is the minimum amount of energy needed by the body at rest in the fasting state. It includes basic body functions such as respiration, cellular metabolism, circulation, gland activity, and body temperature control. It is affected by such things as age, gender, pregnancy, body composition, nutritional status, sleep, climate, and fever. Physical Activity. The amount of calories needed for physical activity depends on the type of activity or work, the intensity and the duration. Specific Dynamic Action of Food. This is the amount of calories needed to manage food intake and includes digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food.

Balancing the calories you take in with those you put out is the safest, healthiest way to control your weight for the next two weeks, or the next 20 years. It takes about 3500 calories to make one pound of fat. So to lose one pound, you can: a) Burn 3500 excess calories (if you

have a few hours to kill) b) Eat 3500 fewer calories (starvation diet, anyone?) c) A combination of exercise and diet (the best option) For example, to lose one pound in a week, you could simple create a calorie deficit of 500 per day (7x500 = 3500). That could be as simple as cutting out one donut (280 calories) and jogging for 25 minutes (240 calories) each day. Paying attention to both sides of the Equation actually makes it easier to lose weight than relying on one or the other, and is much easier on your body. The Hoodia Diet Set Up process used scientific calculations to determine your current calorie needs as well as calorie and fitness goals to promote weight loss based on the information you provide. By using the meal plans, nutrition tracker and calories-burned tracker, you are able to monitor your calorie intake and output.

Starvation Mode
There is a common misperception that to lose weight, the lower the calories, the better. Ironically, the key may be eating more calories. You can actually hurt your body's ability to lose weight by going too low. Here's why. The body has a protective mechanism. When calories drop too low (we recommend a minimum of 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men) the body reacts as if it is starving and tries to conserve energy. It will lower your metabolism, conserve calories and fat, and you will not burn calories as quickly. This results in a slower weight loss or even no weight loss. This is what's know as "Starvation Mode." When calorie intake falls below 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, it is also extremely difficult to follow a balanced diet and obtain all the nutrients that are needed by the body to stay strong and energetic and prevent disease. These very low calorie intakes can also lead to other health problems such as eating disorders, gout, gallstones, and heart complications. For these reasons, the Hoodia Diet strongly suggests not going below 1,200 calories daily for women and 1,500 calories daily for men.

Muscle Power
Fat tissue lowers the rate at which one burns calories, because fat tissue requires less oxygen and is very inactive. On the other hand, muscle is a more physically and metabolically active tissue. It therefore burns more calories than fat. Through exercise, especially strength and resistance exercise, you can decrease the amount of fat in your body and increase the amount of muscle. This will then help you burn more calories each and every day, even when youre not exercising. Muscle also weighs more than fat. Near the beginning of your program, you may gain some weight after strength exercising. This is perfectly normal. As the composition of your body changes from fat to muscle, the muscle will help burn off that remaining fat at a faster rate, uncovering your lean, fit muscles.

On The Dreaded Plateau?


Hitting a plateau during a weight loss program is normal (though it can still be frustrating). Your body requires fewer calories to function as your weight decreases. It needs time to adjust to all the healthy changes that are occurring due to the weight loss. So continuing to follow the same eating and exercise patterns wont work forever. Everyones body will adjust differently. To jump-start your metabolism and break out of the plateau, you may need to select a different form of exercise to stimulate other muscle groups to become more active. Do not become discouraged; this may take several weeks or months. Stay focused on all the positive things

you have accomplished. Your goal during plateaus is to try not to gain any pounds back. Get energized with a brisk walk. Add on a little jogging or running. Try a new piece of equipment. Test out a strength training routine. Try a new activity like dancing, rollerblading, or crosscountry skiing. Start taking the stairs at home and work.

Do I really need 8-12 cups of water a day?


In general, we recommends that people drink 8 cups of water each day. But you might be surprised to know that there is no scientific evidence that everyone needs 8 cups of water per day. In fact, most experts aren't even sure exactly where that recommendation came from. One source of this "myth" may be a 1945 article from the National Research Council, part of the National Academy of Sciences, which noted that a "suitable allowance" of water for adults is 2.5 liters a day, although much of that already comes from water in the foods that you eat. So why do we emphasize water drinking so much? Here are a few reasons: Most people today drink way too many of their calories from other beverages like soda, juice, flavored coffees and teas, sports drinks, fruit drinks, artificially-sweetened drinks, etc. Drinking 8 cups of plain water a dayin place of, not in addition tothese caloric beverages can help with weight management. Plus, most of these beverages don't offer any health benefits, while water does. Starting a healthy lifestyle can be overwhelming. Even if you can't exercise five times a week, for example, you can probably still drink water each day. By focusing on simpler goals like drinking water, you can begin to build momentum to reach other goals. When it comes to weight loss, which is a goal for most of our members, water can also help you feel fuller. We recommend a high-fiber diet. Drinking additional water can help promote regularity and prevent the cramping and discomfort that often comes when you begin eating more fiber. While you can get a lot of water from foods like water-rich fruits, vegetables, soups and more, following a reduced-calorie diet (for weight loss) means you're eating fewer foods in general. Eating less food means you're getting less water from food, so drinking plain water can help you meet your needs when food alone can't. You should also do 3 cardio sessions per week, so you will lose water through increased sweating, you need to replace it. We also recommends 1-3 strength training sessions each week to build lean muscle. Muscle is made up of mostly water, so the more you train, the greater your body's water needs will be.

Some people worry that they could be drinking too much water. Water intoxication results when a dehydrated person drinks too much water without the accompanying electrolytes. You usually need to drink a large volume of water in a very short period of time to be in danger of this, which is why it's not common. If you drink 8 cups throughout the day, you should be fine. So do you really need 8 cups each day? Like most recommendations, it depends. Everyone's needs are different and dependent on several factors such as: your weight, how much you exercise, how many water-rich foods you eat, the amount of muscle mass you have, the weather (such as heat and humidity) and more. But 8 cups a day is still a good goal for the

average person to aim for. The best way to find out how much you need is to check the color of your urine. It should look like you squeezed a lemon in it. If it's much darker, try drinking a little more water. Even if a new study comes out tomorrow that says we don't "need" any water after all, it sure isn't harmful to aim for your 8 cups a day. Are your nutrition recommendations accurate for people who are in wheelchairs (and therefore mostly sedentary)? The Hoodia diet program does have the ability to determine calorie needs for people who get very little activity. However as the dietitian with this site, there are so many issues involved that I encourage you to meet with the following professionals to get the most reliable assessment possible for your needs: 1. A Physical Therapist. Your doctor can give you a referral to a therapist in your area. He or she can then determine the types of activity that you can do safely, such as various forms of aerobic activity, strength training (with weights or resistance bands), range of motion exercises, and stretches. Once your physical therapist gives you a plan, you can then share your activity recommendations with A Registered Dietitian. Your doctor can give you a referral to a dietitian in your area. He or she can then determine your specific calorie needs, based on the activity recommendations from your physical therapist, your medical history and your current health condition.

2.

If your activity is limited, set a realistic weight loss goal knowing that you won't be able to lose weight as quickly as someone who burns a lot more calories through daily activity and exercise. For someone who cannot increase their physical activity due to medical reasons, your calorie deficit for weight loss must come from decreasing your caloric intake alone. People in this situation will also lose weight more slowly than people who can cut calories through both diet and exercise.

Is it possible to be addicted to food and eating?


Be careful with the idea of "food addiction" because it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy if you start believing that any food has the power to "make" you eat it. The words you use when thinking and talking can have major effects on how you actually behave. Sometimes ideas like "cravings" or "addictions" take power away from you and place it in the food (something in the food makes you want it) or in some mysterious physiological process (that your body really "needs" a particular food, like sweets). This is rarely true. Scientists have found that our brains DO react to foods at the chemical level in ways that resemble our responses to drugs (eating makes us feel good and certain foods, like sweets and other carbs, affect brain chemicals to improve mood). But this is NOT the same thing as a true, physiological craving or chemical dependency.

Most of the time, what you really want is pleasure and comfortnot a particular food itself. A common scenario is that a stressor has upset the chemical balance in your brain, and it wants you to do something that will produce other chemical reactions to restore balance. This can make you very susceptible to emotional eating and to the appeal of "comfort" foods. This isn't because these foods are addictive. They are nothing more than effective ways to alter brain chemistry, which you've learned very easily and early in life, creating very powerful habits. You know that emotional eating worksfor a few minutes. But then it has the opposite effect. You get more depressed and feel worse. Eating foods high in fast-acting carbs (simple sugars) is not the only way to restore balance and feel good. The trick is finding other ways to soothe yourself in the moment, instead of reaching for something to eat. In fact, anything that calms you, makes you feel good, and helps you relax will give your brain exactly what it needs. A little bit of exercise, a walk outside, a massage, or some soothing music or inspirational reading will cause the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain. The other part of the equation is to develop a good collection of stress management, problem solving, and relaxation practices you can use to keep your brain chemistry in balance. These techniques should help you stay cool, calm and collected all or most of the time, so that your brain chemistry doesnt get out of balance so easily in the first place . The bottom line is that "food addiction" is usually just a habit. Like all habits, it can be unlearned and replaced with something else. You just have to start by believing that you CAN do this.

Does a "raw" vegan diet really enhance health and weight loss?
The Raw diet is a strict vegetarian (vegan) diet that excludes all animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, etc.) and processed foods. It is high in raw fruits and vegetables, but can also include some grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and dehydrated foods. Raw foodists believe that heating foods over 116 degrees Fahrenheit destroys health properties, enzymes, vitamins, etc. and makes food "toxic" to the body. Most raw food advocates also believe in eating only organically grown foods. While adding more raw foods to your diet is healthy for most people, please keep in mind that the benefits that raw foodists tout about their diet are all claims that have NOT been backed up by scientific evidence. Here are a few more of the myths and truths of the raw food diet: Claim: A raw food diet will result in weight loss. Following a raw food diet will allow you to eat as much food as you want and still lose weight. Fact: Too much of anything, raw food or not, will lead to weight gain. Claim: Raw foods contain all the nutrients, protein, and vitamins you need. Fact: When you limit your choices to only raw foods, you are eliminating a tremendous amount of other types of foods, some of which are healthy, and others that are not healthy. Yes, fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of protein, but it's very difficult to meet your protein

needs, let alone your needs for vitamins (such as B12, which only occurs naturally in animal products) and minerals like calcium and iron. Claim: Heat can destroy health-enhancing properties of food. Fact: While it's true that heating can destroy some vitamins, heat can also ENHANCE certain properties. Clinical research shows, for example, that lycopene (the healthy phytochemical found in red foods like tomatoes that protects against certain cancers) is greater in processed foods and better absorbed by the body from heated foods. This is no miracle diet. Not only is it extremely difficult to stick with, but it really limits the foods and variety that you can get. The raw food diet is also risky and can result in nutrient deficiencies, food poisoning (from sprouts and uncooked produce), and lower bone density. Your best bet for weight loss and overall health is to eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes all foods in moderation. A much safer and healthier approach is to avoid or limit highly processed foods. A diet without these foods is high in the raw fruits and veggies, but also in healthy grains, breads, cereals, lean protein sources, and calcium-rich foods like dairy or fortified soy milk. A great book that dispels many of the claims of the raw food diet is The Raw Secrets: The Raw Vegan Diet in the Real World. Be sure to discuss this diet with your health care provider first, in addition to getting plenty of unbiased research about its effects. If you want to try adding more raw foods to your diet in general, a fun raw cookbook is Raw: The Uncook Book: The New Vegetarian Food for Life by Juliano Brotman. His recipes are both beautiful and tasty, but many are time-consuming and contain obscure ingredients.

Is there really such a thing as "negative calorie" foods?


Your body burns calories by digesting food, just as it does by maintaining many other biological and bodily functions. This is the concept behind the idea of "negative calorie" foods. The idea that there are negative calorie foodsfoods that are so low in calories that simply digesting them burns more calories than they containis a popular theory. Certain low-calorie (and often water-rich) foods like celery or cucumbers are often touted as examples of negative calorie foods, but this concept is wishful thinking. There is no such thing as a negative-calorie food. Digesting and absorbing food uses about 10% of your total calorie intake. For someone eating 1500-1800 calories daily, for example, only 150-180 calories are expended to completely digest and absorb EVERYTHING you eat in a day. It is great to include low calorie, high fiber, and water-rich foods in your daily diet. These foods add nutrients, bulk, and volume to your diet, but they still contain calories and should always be included in your calorie count. No food is a "free" food; eating too much of any food can cause weight gain or inhibit weight loss.

Is there such a thing as too much fiber?


Fiber is found only in plant foods (beans, grains, fruits and vegetables). It gives plants their structure and cannot be digested by humans. Fiber plays an important role in your health. Most adults need to eat between 25 and 35 grams of fiber each day. You CAN overdo a good thing when it comes to fiber. Eating more than 50-60 grams of fiber a day may decrease the amount of vitamins and minerals your body absorbs, among them zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium. move food through the digestive tract too quickly for some nutrients to be absorbed properly. cause gas, diarrhea, bloating, diarrhea or stomach discomfort. decrease your appetite for other nutrient-rich foods that are needed by the body for proper health.

Increase fiber in your diet slowly, and boost your fluid consumption by drinking 8 glasses of water daily.

How will fasting for religious reasons, such as Lent, affect my weight loss?
Today, religious fasts have different connotations for each individual, based on religious beliefs and preferences. However, it usually is not a complete abstinence from food, but rather it is the omission of one or two food items (often luxury foods) from the diet. Usually the omitted food is something that you would normally eat during the course of the day. Each time you get an appetite for that food, youre reminded of the fast, and will therefore remember the reason for the fast and can pray instead of eating. This can have immense spiritual benefits. Others may fast more restrictively. Most healthy adults can safely fast for one day and their bodies will be able to adjust, drawing upon energy and nutrient stores. However, always check with your physician regarding how fasting will affect your medical conditions, medications, and health history. Certain disease conditions may warrant against fasting altogether. You should also discuss with your doctor the specific danger signs and symptoms that would indicate the need to stop the fast, such as dizziness, light-headedness, inability to focus or concentrate, blurred vision, heart rate changes, etc. Talking with your religious leaders can help you determine an appropriate fasting option to meet both your medical needs and religious commitment. Healthy adults need not worry about altering their metabolic rates when going on a one-day, modified fast. Although the body will sense the drop in calories, it will bounce back when you at food the following day.

Will fasting jumpstart my weight loss efforts and boost my health?


Fasting is the deliberate abstinence from food. Fasting has long been touted as a healthy process with many benefits such as cleaning the system, ridding the body of so-called toxins, benefiting the intestinal track, boosting metabolism, and jumpstarting weight loss. However none of these notions are true, nor are they backed up by medical research. While a short-term fast probably wont harm most people, it could be quite dangerous for others, depending on their medical conditions, health histories, and medication use. I strongly urge you to talk to your physician before ever starting a fast. During normal metabolic conditions (non-fasting), the body gets its energy primarily from glucose and fat (in the blood), which are supplied by the carbohydrates and fats that you eat. Both the brain and nervous systems use blood glucose for energy and proper functioning. Your body also stores energy in both the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. Within only hours after starting a fast, when dietary glucose is used up, the body draws on its glycogen stores, but these dont last very long. When these stores are exhausted, your body enters an altered metabolic state. It turns to its own protein (and a portion of its fat) to make more glucose for the brain and nervous system. This results in a considerable breakdown of both lean muscle tissue and fat tissue, and a production of ketones. This is not considered a healthy or desirable state. As a result, you might lose weight, but it is due to water loss, dehydration, and muscle tissue wasting, and is usually accompanied with symptoms such as fatigue and dizziness. Therefore, you can reason that after years of abusing the body with a poor diet and excessive fat and calories, a fasting state is not the answer to better health. Your body is truly craving proper nutrition, including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, healthy fats, and lean meats, fish, beans, and other protein sources. Then and only then, can the body systems work together effectively and efficiently. This healthy diet will results in improved energy and overall health. NOTE: Certain medical procedures and tests require patients to fast for a designated time period. Always follow the advice of your primary health care provider in these situations. How do I know if the recommended serving size is cooked or uncooked when I look at it in the food database?

Cooked vs. uncookedthat is the question. However, standard serving sizes are always listed in a ready to eat state. When you are dishing the food item onto your plate, this is when the measuring and weighing begins. These standard portions are perfect examples: Meat: 3 ounces, cooked Vegetables: 1 cup, raw Vegetables: cup cooked Pasta, Noodles, Rice, Oatmeal: cup cooked

But many times recipes do not use these standard portion sizes. Here are a few tips to help determine how much is being used: MEAT Meat contains 7 grams of protein per cooked ounce. Example: If the nutrient analysis for a pork chop recipe indicates 35 grams of protein/serving, you can estimate that approximately 5 ounces of cooked meat is used for the serving. GRAIN PRODUCTS Grain products contain about 15-17 grams of carbohydrate, 3-4 grams of protein, 0-1 grams of fat; for a total of 80-90 calories per cup cooked portion. Example: If a pasta salad contains 24 grams of carbohydrates per serving, you could estimate that approximately 3/4 cup of cooked pasta is being used for the serving.

If I consume fewer calories than my plan recommends, will I lose weight faster?
Strange as it sounds, going too low on calories can hurt your ability to lose weight. Here's why. Your body is designed to protect itself from starvation during times of greatly-reduced food availability. So when you eat too little, your body thinks it's starving. To compensate, your metabolism will slow down considerably, making it very difficult (or impossible) for you to lose weight. In this state, your body will preferentially burn everything but your stored body fat. Eating too little poses other problems as well, such as nutritional deficiencies. On top of that, if you later increase your calories after a long bout of eating too few, your body will be more likely to store these calories as fat, in preparation for another future "famine." Your best bet is to aim for a slow weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week by combining a moderate calorie reduction with increased calorie expenditure through exercise. If all the info you entered during your program set-up is accurate, the recommended calorie range you received should be what you need to accomplish this healthy rate of weight loss. Some people have problems eating enough calories when they try to avoid dietary fat especially by always choosing low-fat or non-fat versions of common foods. So try to find some good sources of "healthy fats" (the monounsaturated fat in nuts, olive and canola oils, avocados, etc.), and foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, like flaxseed, salmon, or tuna. The

following articles will help you boost your overall calorie intake and choose healthy fats to add to your meals and snacks:

What is considered a serving of vegetables?


It varies depending on the vegetable, but here are the standard sizes: 1 cup of raw, leafy veggies 1/2 cup other raw veggies 1/2 cup cooked 1/2 cup of juice

Can you give me suggestions for a good pre-game meal?


The main idea of the pre-game meal is to prevent hunger without eating so much that it brings on cramping. This is really an individualized call of what your body can handle and what you feel is best to eat. Usually athletes take in lighter meals, not high fat, 1-2 hours before the game. If you are playing in all day competitions, these light meals will work best throughout the day. Things like cereal and milk, trail mix, turkey sandwich, salads, nuts, cheese and crackers, tuna salad, pasta salads, fruit and veggies, juices, and of course, plenty of water to drink. Your true energy will come from your glycogen stores. These should be filled by eating healthy meals, higher in carbohydrates for several days before big event.

Can other drinks such as diet sodas and herbal tea count towards my 8 glasses of water for the day?
The latest recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, Dietary Reference Intake for Electrolytes and Water say: "The fluids consumed do not have to be only water. Individuals can obtain their fluids from a variety of beverages and foods. Contrary to popular opinion, consumers do not need to consume 'eight glasses of water a day' to meet their fluid needs." However my own personal opinion, particularly for people trying to lose weight, is to encourage additional water intake whenever possible. I feel it helps to cleanse the body when weight loss and fat breakdown is occurring. I also know that it helps to keep the hands and mouth busy, so snacking is less. This is a form of behavior modification. I personally know that many people feel better when at least 4-6 glasses of plain old H2O is consumed to help meet total fluid needs.

I get tired every afternoon. Is this normal?


Actually, a bit of fatigue in the afternoon (usually hitting around 3 p.m., varying according to when you wake up) is very common. Studies have shown that humans were actually "designed" to sleep in the afternoon--just like when we were kids.

Are you spreading out your meals/snacks evenly throughout the day? Doing so will keep your energy levels stable all day long. You may be experiencing either a drop in blood sugar because it has been too long since you have eaten, or you could have had a quick surge in blood sugar followed by a sharp drop. Refined carbohydrates/sugar/very large meals can cause this. My advice would be: 1. Avoid or limit caffeine. You should try to have less than 1-2 cups per day of any caffeinated beverage (tea, coffee). 2. Drink more water- this will actually sustain your energy more than coffee will and keep it up. 3. Exercise regularly. This will give you more energy too. 4. Eat several smaller mini-meals throughout the day to keep your energy levels stable. And if all else fails...Take a 20 minute nap in the afternoon!

What is the difference between simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates?


Simple carbohydrates are absorbed very quickly, which causes your blood sugar to rise rapidly, leaving you feeling tired, hungry, and craving more sugar shortly after youve eaten. Simple carbs are mainly added sugars, which have very little nutritional value. They are considered "empty" calories. Types of simple carbs are soda, white bread, white rice, many breakfast cereals, candies, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Fruit is also considered a simple carb, but it is a naturally occurring sugar that is packed with many nutrients. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are at the low end of the spectrum of carbs with fruit. Complex carbohydrates (whole grains) take a while to absorb, resulting in a steady blood sugar levels, which allows you to feel "full" longer and gives you lasting energy. Whole grains are packed with nutrients, especially fiber. "Whole" wheat or grain breads and cereal, oats, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, beans, peas and vegetables are considered wholesome foods.

What are the benefits of drinking more water?


As a whole, we are made up of 70% water. Water regulates every function in your body. Water flushes out all the waste and toxins in our bodies. It also transports all the necessary nutrients our bodies need to look and feel good. It flushes out impurities in the skin; when skin cells are hydrated, they plump up to give you a good complexion. Also, muscles that are hydrated look more toned because they are made of 70% water. Not drinking enough water is similar to depriving that less-than-vibrant plant you water every few weeks. The plant will survive, but at what expense Other benefits to drinking water include: Helps digest food Lowers Blood pressure Reduces Constipation Lessens Asthma Eases Depression Metabolizes fat Supports healthy hair and nails Carries more blood and oxygen to your face Eases irritability Regulates body temperature so you don't get too cold or too hot Suppresses appetite Prevents water retention Reduces stress

There are so many aches and pains that most people attribute to being old, sick or tired, when in all actuality, its probably just a case of dehydration. Even a lack of concentration and focus can be attributed to a lack of water. It only makes sense, considering our brains are made up of 90% water. Those nagging headaches we often get, that most people shrug off as part of life or the common cold can also just be a case of dehydration. What about those painful joints that we complain about? Water works as a lubricant the two opposing surfaces (for example, the femur and the tibia at the knee) will glide freely and minimize friction damage, causing less pain.

What are the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables?


Molecules in the body called "free radicals" cause damage to our cells. Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables actually combine to neutralize these molecules, slowing down the aging process. Aging of your cells is directly tied to how much antioxidant rich foods you eat over a lifetime. Eating broccoli or an orange each day might not necessarily give you an energy spike like a cup of coffee, but it has a great impact on your health over your entire life. Different fruits and vegetables have different antioxidants try to eat a variety of both. Dark colored fruits and vegetables have more antioxidants than light.

I've heard that hydrogenated oils are bad for you. What foods should I avoid?
Your sources are absolutely right...hydrogenated oils are very unhealthy for you! They are also known as Trans Fatty Acids. More food labels are providing information on how much Trans Fatty Acids are in the product, thanks to a new law passed in 2006 that requires it to be listed on the Nutrition Facts label. Trans Fatty Acids are mainly found in processed foods, because they help prolong the products shelf life. They are also a side effect of deep fat frying at most fast food restaurants (chicken, fries, cheese sticks). Here are some tips to help you reduce the number of Trans Fatty Acids in your diet:

What are some ways to reduce the sodium in my diet?


Most Americans are encouraged to consume less than 2300 milligrams of sodium each day. With certain disease conditions such as hypertension or congestive heart failure, 2000 milligrams or less is encouraged. However, the average adult American takes in around 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams daily. Try to tame your salt-craving taste buds by slowly decreasing the amount of salt in your diet to a moderate level. The preference for salt is learned. It will take time to adjust. Season with herbs, spices, herb-vinegars, herb rubs, and fruit juices. Drain the salty liquid from canned vegetables and beans. Rinse with plain water. Try some of the low-sodium, reduced-sodium or no-salt products at your grocery store. Taste foods before you reach for the saltshaker. Skip the salt in the cooking water of pasta, noodles, rice, vegetables and cooked cereal. Use salty meats such as bacon, ham and sausage in moderation.

To keep your sodium intake to a healthful level, try these tips: Eat more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables which are naturally low in sodium. Use salt either at the table or in cooking, but not both. Request that restaurant meals be prepared with less or no salt. Rinse canned vegetables and beans to remove some of the added sodium before using in a recipe. Beware of condiments...ketchup, soy sauce, salad dressings, etc. can be very high in sodium. Purchase low-sodium versions of foods you eat often...low sodium frozen dinners, canned soups, salt-free spaghetti sauce, etc. Use fresh meat, poultry, and fish instead of cold cuts, sausage, hot dogs, metts, brats, bacon, and canned meats. Use unsalted pretzels, fresh or dried fruits, raw vegetables, and unsalted crackers instead of salty snacks like potato chips, pretzels, corn chips, nuts. Try plain cooked rice and homemade pasta instead of rice and pasta mixes.

Select herbs, spices, vinegars, pepper, lemon pepper, herb seasoning blends (Mrs. Dash), or try one of these blends.

SPICE OF LIFE 1T ground marjoram 1T ground savory 1T ground thyme 1 1/2t ground basil 1 1/2t pepper 1 1/2t oregano Combine and mix well. Great on chicken, fish and in your favorite tomato dish. ZESTY HERB SEASONING 1/4 cup instant chopped onion 1 T sweet basil 1 T ground cumin 1 T garlic powder 1 T black pepper Mix well. Enjoy on salads and vegetables SOME LIKE IT HOT 1 t chili powder 2 t ground oregano 2 t black pepper 1 T garlic powder 1 T dry mustard 6 T onion powder 3 T paprika 3 T poultry seasoning Mix well. Use on meats, chicken, fish and chili.

What are some ways to get extra fiber in my diet?


Check out this list of high fiber foods. Just 1-2 changes in your daily habits can really increase your fiber intake. Remember to increase fiber slowly over time, allowing your body to adjust, and drink more fluid, especially water. Fiber acts like a sponge. It will absorb the water, adding bulk to your stool, making it softer and easier to eliminate from the body. 7 grams or more of FIBER All Bran Cereal 1/3 cup Fiber One Cereal 1/2 cup Butter beans 1/2 cup Green northern beans 1/2 cup Kidney beans 1/2cup Navy beans 1/2 cup 5-6 grams of FIBER Raisin Bran Cereal 3/4 cup Bran Flakes 3/4 cup Brussels sprouts 1/2 cup Turnips 1/2 cup Black beans 1/2 cup Lentils 1/2 cup Pinto beans 1/2 cup 2-4 grams of FIBER Grits 1 cup Oatmeal 3/4 cup Popcorn 3 cups Pumpernickel bread 1 slice Rye bread 1 slice Apple 1 Apricots 4 Orange 1 Pears 1/2 large Plums 2 Prunes, dried 4 Strawberries 1 cup Broccoli 1/2 cup Carrots 1 Green beans 1/2 cup Lima beans 1/2 cup

What are the best foods for someone with high blood pressure?
Your sodium levels are most important, so when it comes to food choices, the less processing the better. Fresh foods contain much less sodium than boxed, canned or frozen. Make sure you are getting at least 1000 mg calcium daily from low-fat dairy. And be sure to include at least 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables (little processing if possible) for the potassium benefits.

What is wrong with eating too much protein in a day?


It all depends on how much is too much. A very high protein diet can cause the kidneys to work harder and cause the bones and teeth to excrete calcium since protein foods (meats) are usually higher in fats (depending on your choices). This can increase the unhealthy saturated fat and be a risk factor for heart disease, certain cancers, weight gain and high blood pressure. High protein diets are sometimes low in fiber which is associated with intestinal disorders such as constipation, diverticular disease, and cancer. It all comes down to how much is too much and what else you are eating. A healthy diet should be made up of 10-35% protein. For someone eating 2000 calories/day, that is 50-175 grams daily.

What are some of the pitfalls, if any, of becoming vegetarian or vegan?


If done right, a well planned veg'n (vegetarian and/or vegan) diet is extremely healthy. Plant foods are naturally low in fat, free of cholesterol, and high in fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. In fact, the American Dietetic Association has reported that vegan and vegetarian diets can significantly reduce one's risk of contracting heart disease, colon and lung cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, obesity, and a number of other debilitating conditions. But there are many vegans and vegetarians out there who are not being healthy about their diets. Even without consuming animal products, many veg'ns could still be consuming too many refined foods, fatty, high sugar foods, and not enough fruits and vegetables. So, as you can see, just being veg'n doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy. The biggest problem I see veg'ns run into is removing foods (like meat, dairy, eggs, etc.) but not replacing these foods with plant-based alternatives that are similar in nutritional value. For every food group a veg'n removes from his or her diet, something has to be added back in. That means: Replacing meat with other high-quality protein sources, such as edamame, tofu, beans, lentils, legumes, eggs or egg whites (for ovo-vegetarians) and meat analogs (like veggie burgers) Replacing dairy products with other calcium-rich foods, such as calcium-enriched soymilks, soy yogurts, non-dairy milks that are enriched with calcium (like almond milk, rice milk, etc.) and possibly even a calcium supplement

Also, there are several nutrients that vegetarians and vegans need to make sure they're getting. Vitamin B-12, for example, is hard to come by in plant foods. Vegetarians and vegans need to be conscious about this nutrient (available in vegetarian supplements and fortified in nutritional yeast and some other foods), along with adequate calcium intake (found in dark leafy greens, almonds, broccoli, and fortified juice and soy products). Still some other vegetarians might want to monitor their intake of other nutrients like iron. When done right, a vegetarian or vegan diet can be very healthy. But it's important to include plenty of highly nutritious foods into your diet at the same time.

When I eat, Im still hungry. What can I do?


Often the main reason for a persistent appetite has to do with food quality rather than food quantity. Some examples of food choices that will leave you hungry: Eating junky carbs Not eating protein or enough protein Not eating complex carbs with a good dose of fiber Not eating enough fat

Concentrate on food quality and calorie distribution throughout the day. Try things like: Eat more calories during breakfast and lunch Have a good dose of protein with each meal Never eat carbs without protein Have some good fat at every meal Eat plenty of fiber Get some of that fiber from raw veggies (lots of chewing!) Drink plenty of water Have some protein and healthy fat, plus fiber with every meal, to provide satiety as well as slow the emptying time of the stomach. Try an apple and some nuts, or cheese and whole grain crackers. Start keeping a food diary of what you are eating. Note how much you eat and how you are feeling when you eat is it true hunger, or is it related to boredom, depression, stress, anxiety, excitement, or fun? It may bring awareness to your eating habits.

How can I prevent nighttime hunger?


There is a rule of thumb not to eat two hours before going to bed. This is often misunderstood to mean that you cant eat anything at all. Not true. You shouldnt eat a full, filling meal too close to bedtime, but a small, healthy snack is often okay. It is possible to include a nighttime snack, especially on workout days, to prevent cravings and to get a good nights sleep. What are your total calorie needs? Set aside about 200 calories for an evening snack. Then fill your kitchen with healthy choices for these 200 calories. Examples:

a bowl of cereal/milk, hot chocolate, yogurt, 1/2 sandwich, fruit. Keep track of exactly how much you can have of each snack for 200 calories so you dont fool yourself or make bad decisions at the last second. Now you have set limits and have a plan. If you are willing to fix a snack, sit at the table and eat it (without watching TV, etc.) then you are probably truly hungry and not just eating out of boredom.

My most difficult time is late evenings. How can I resist the temptation to snack at this time of day?
I understand that you may want to "graze" at night, but part of a diet is changing your lifestyle. It takes will power and a lot of work to change your habits. If you do graze all night, you will definitely be over in calories, and you will not be sticking to your diet. Knowing that about yourself, you could probably adjust your meals a little. Eat less in the morning and at lunch and then have a larger dinner and save your snacks for later in the day. It doesn't matter how you break up your calories. As long as you stay within your limits, you will be okay. Ideally, you should try to limit eating very late as it is best to spread out your calories throughout the day. This can seem daunting if you haven't done it before, but try to start with small changes. No one can expect to completely change their habits overnight. Maybe you'll be a little over in your first few days. Use the nutrition tracker and learn about your habits to see where you can improve. Check out the articles in the Resource Center under Nutrition and Motivation for more help about staying motivated and on track, and ways to start changing your diet to be healthier.

Can you explain the concept of "burning more calories than you consume" in order to lose weight?
It sounds like you're referring to a "calories in vs. calories out" type of equation. First you need to understand that one pound of fat is made up of roughly 3,500 extra calories. So in order to lose one pound of fat, you need to create a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. Basically, you can create a deficit of calories in three different ways: 1. Eat fewer calories than you burn each day. Keep in mind that your body burns calories all day long as part of your basal metabolic rate (BMR), because it takes energy (calories) for your body to perform basic physiological functions that are necessary for lifebreathing, digesting, circulating, thinking and more. On top of that, physical activity (bathing, walking, typing and exercising) uses even more calories each day. It's not important for you to know what your BMR is. Your Hooida Diet has already estimated your BMR based on variables like age, gender and weight, so you don't have to do any calculations. The calorie goal recommended in your Hoodia Diet plan will help you create a caloric deficit and lose weight. Example: If you eat 500 fewer calories each day for a week, you'll lose about one pound of fat (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories). Again, keep in mind that your Hoodia Diet

has already done these calculations for you, so simply follow the calorie recommendations on your plan (don't eat less than is already recommended). 2. Burn more calories than you consume by increasing your physical activity. If you eat enough calories to support your BMR, but exercise more, you'll create a caloric deficit simply by burning extra calories. This works only when you're not overeating to begin with. Example: Regardless of your BMR, if you exercised to burn an extra 500 calories each day, you'll lose about one pound of fat in a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories). 3. A combination of eating fewer calories and exercising to burn more calories. This is the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off. It's much easier to create a substantial calorie deficit when you combine dieting with exercise because you don't have to deprive yourself from food, and you don't have to exercise in crazy amounts. Example: If you cut just 200 calories a day from your diet and burned just 300 calories a day by exercising, you'd lose about one pound per week. Compare that to the other examples aboveyou're losing weight at about the same rate without making major changes to your diet or exercise routine. Some people hate to cut calories, while others hate to exercise, so a combination approach allows you to do more of whatever comes easier for you. As long as you are consistent, your calorie deficit will "add up" over time, and youll slim down. But it's important to remember that your Hoodia Diet Nutrition and Fitness recommendations are already based on the goals you created. You don't have to do any extra math. Simply follow the Nutrition and Fitness recommendations on your Trackers and you'll be creating the deficit needed to reach your goal weight! It's also important to note that although this math seems relatively simple, our bodies are very complicated and you might not always see the results you expect based on equations alone. Many other factors can affect your weight loss rate along the way.

What is the best type of diet to lose body fat while maintaining lean muscle mass?
The best diet for weight loss with muscle maintenance is also the safest diet and one that can be followed for a lifetime. This type of diet: Restricts calories by 300-500 daily, aiming for a 1-2 pound weekly weight loss but not so low that the body goes into starvation mode. Encourages a fitness program to boost metabolism and health benefits. Allows for a variety of foods to meet the body's nutritional needs. As far as the breakdown of carbs/protein/fat, a good range would be: Carbs; 45-65% Protein; 10-35% Fat:20-35%

Common Foods Comparison


Numbers reflect one typical serving of a variety of snacks (servings sizes vary by snack). Individual items and brands will vary, and preparation method will make a difference too. Snack Cucumber Slices (1/2 cup) Cucumber Slices (1/2 cup) Carrot Sticks (1/2 cup) Tangerine Slices (1 large) Applesauce (1/2 cup) Celery Sticks w/ Cream Cheese (1 Tbsp) Grapes (1/2 cup) Dried Apricots (1/4 cup) Apple Slices (1 med) Pretzels (1 oz.) Oil-Popped Popcorn (2 cups) Graham Crackers (2 large) Jelly Beans (30) Raisins (1/4 cup) Trail Mix (1 oz.) BBQ Chips (1 oz.) Tortilla Chips (1 oz.) Cheese n Crackers (1 oz.) Chocolate Pudding (1/2 cup) Cheese Puffs (1 oz.) Cashews (1 oz.) Sunflower Seeds (1 oz.) Peanuts (1 oz.) Colby Cheese Cubes (1.5 oz.) Beef Jerky (1.5 oz.) Apple Slices w/Peanut Butter (1 Tbsp) Chocolate Bar (1.55 oz.) Chocolate Chip Cookies (4 med) Doughnut (1) Chocolate Ice Cream (1 cup) Fig Bars (6) French Fries (med order) Fat 6.8 6.8 27.5 43.1 52.5 54.4 56.8 77.4 81.4 108 110 118.5 121.1 123.8 131 139.2 142 142.6 150.3 157.1 162.7 165 165.8 167.5 174.4 176.3 225.7 236.2 250.2 285.1 334.1 458.3 Calories 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1 5.1 0.5 0.1 0.5 1 6.2 2.9 0.2 0.2 8.3 9.2 7.4 7.2 4.5 9.8 13.1 14.1 14.1 13.7 10.9 8.7 13.5 10.8 11.9 14.5 7 24.7 Carbs 1.4 1.4 6.5 11 13.8 1.3 14.2 20.1 21 22.5 12.6 21 30.7 32.6 12.7 15 17.8 16.5 25.8 15.3 9.3 6.8 6.1 1.1 4.7 24.1 26 32.7 34.4 37.2 68.1 53.3 Protein 0.4 0.4 0.7 0.6 0.2 1.3 0.5 1.2 0.3 2.6 2 1.9 0 1.3 3.9 2.2 2 2.9 3.1 2.2 4.3 5.5 6.7 10.1 14.1 4.3 3 2.4 2.7 5 3.6 5.8