Health Alert 274
Your food doesn’t have the nutrients it did even just a decade ago. Commercial farming and processing is producing low nutrient qualities in our food never seen in history. And, the lowest nutrient manufactured foods are the fastest growing portion of our American diet. Today, you’ll find how you can use my “quick-fix” as an important immediate step toward solving this growing health problem.
Taken together, these facts tell a concerning story:
- A USDA study showed that only 4% of Americans are getting even the minimum recommended dietary allowance, (RDA) of their essential vitamins.
- A US government survey found that out of the 21,000 people surveyed, not one of them managed to eat the recommended dietary allowances, (RDA) of the ten basic nutrients studied.
- On any given day, 91% of Americans do not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
- Because of modern agriculture, your food doesn’t have the nutritional value it did in even the recent past. For example, you’d have to eat 60 servings of spinach to get the same amount of iron you would get from just one serving in 1948.
- From today’s produce, you’d have to eat 25 cups of spinach to get one day’s recommended allowance of Vitamin E.
- 65% of Americans don’t get even the minimum daily requirement of zinc. Zinc is essential for your immune system and for strong sexual performance. Zinc is a mineral that I would rather not have deficient.
You’re very likely not getting even the minimum requirement of important vitamins and minerals from the food you eat. Yet, unless it’s a severe deficiency, it may take years for symptoms to show up.
For instance, researchers studied 45 to 64 year-olds for their intake of dairy, fruits, and vegetables. The researchers measured their range of mobility over a 9-year period. They found a direct correlation between low nutrient intake and lost mobility in their legs. Poor nutrition caused some of them to become disabled even though none had been previously diagnosed with any nutritional deficiencies. (1)
Insufficient nutrition in children is even less likely to be diagnosed. Deficiencies in protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins (essential nutrients for proper function and growth of the brain) from as early as three years of age may not appear as behavior problems until the child is seven to ten years old. (2)
In adult men, undiagnosed signs of deficiencies can include heart attacks, cancer, prostate enlargement, sexual dysfunction, and generalized energy loss.
As someone who’s studied nutrition in medicine for more than 35 years, I can tell you that clearly, supplements are an important piece in solving the modern nutrition puzzle. The important question is: Which ones do you take?
To understand which supplements are important and what they do, you need to know a few of the basics. Yet even your doctor may have a very limited knowledge base to advise you. Like the often neglected but very important distinction between nutrients and herbs.
In the next four Health Alerts, I’ll give you an insider’s view on dietary supplements. I’ll show you what to do, what to look for and how to get the most for your money.
By the end of this series of 5 Health Alerts, you’ll be on the fast track toward reversing this negative trend in nutrient quality to support a high-energy lifestyle. Stay tuned…
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, M.D.
1 Dairy, fruit, and vegetable intakes and functional limitations and disability in a biracial cohort: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Denise K Houston1, June Stevens1, Jianwen Cai1 and Pamela S Haines. From the Departments of Nutrition (DKH, JS, and PSH), Epidemiology (JS) and Biostatistics (JC), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
2 Poor Nutrition Makes Kids Angry. ABC News. December 1, 2002.