Post about "Nutrition"

Nutritional Supplements – Are They Truly Necessary?

Find out if nutritional supplements are truly necessary for good health and why

Nutritional supplements, vitamins and minerals taken to improve diet and health, are becoming more and more popular in today’s society. Many people, looking for some way to improve health and wellness, have turned to nutritional supplements for help. This trend has created an endless supply of nutritional supplements and brands advertising them in slightly different, supposedly better forms. Is it simply a useless fad? Or do people really need nutritional supplements to improve their health? The fact is that, due to eating habits, food quality, and other environmental factors in our society, nutritional deficiency is a reality that is difficult to avoid. Taking nutritional supplements is necessary to combat nutritional deficiency.

Modern eating habits have created a need for Nutritional Supplements

Eating habits have changed dramatically over the last century. Low in nutrients but extremely high in convenience, fast food has become a daily part of life for many people. Fresh foods are preferable, but not always easy to obtain or convenient to use. Even the healthiest individuals find it nearly impossible to get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients from dietary sources alone. Very few people actually consume the seven to ten servings of fruits and vegetables that they should a day. Nutritional supplements can fill in important gaps in a normal diet. The vitamins and minerals that they contain contribute to overall health and a strong immune system. Keep in mind, however, that nutritional supplements only supplement a diet, they do not replace it.

Nutritional Supplements and the decreasing quality of food

As eating habits have slowly become worse, so has the quality of the food itself. It is nearly impossible for the average person to obtain the proper amounts of vitamin and minerals from modern processed food that is packed full of sugar and fat. Even vegetables and fruits are of a lower standard. In 1992, the United Nations Earth Summit found that vegetables naturally containing vitamins and minerals like copper, potassium, boron, magnesium, and bioflavonoids contain dramatically less than they did fifty years ago. Such diminished levels of vitamins and minerals can be made up for through the use of nutritional supplements. Not doing so can lead to nutritional deficiency and a slew of completely avoidable health problems.

Other environmental factors and Nutritional Supplements

Unfortunately, our society and culture produce other factors that can be damaging to health. These include high levels of stress and pollution. Both can weaken the immune system and make people vulnerable to sicknesses that could be combated if the body was stronger. Nutritional supplements help the body’s immune system continue functioning at peak levels of performance and thereby protect itself from the constant bombardment of disease that we all face.

Taking nutritional supplements helps the body maintain a healthy, efficient immune system. This, in turn, protects the body from harmful effects and diseases brought on by factors like eating habits, food quality, and our stress filled environment.

Mcdonald’s Nutrition Vs Homemade Nutrition

How Does Mcdonald’s Nutrition Stack Up?Fast food is a huge part of our lives whether we eat it or not. We see dozens of ads every day on TV, billboards, buses, emails, mobile ads, and many more. We are constantly reminded of the convenience, affordability and improved “healthy” qualities of various fast food items. But how healthy or unhealthy is fast food really? Is it worth saving a few minutes of cooking to eat that double cheeseburger or hard shell taco? I’d like to start a series of posts comparing the nutrition facts of various fast food chains vs their homemade counterparts. Today I’ll show you some of Mcdonald’s nutrition facts compared to the nutrition facts of a healthier, homemade option, then you can be the judge on whether saving a dollar or a few minutes is worth the nutritional differences.Mcdonald’s Nutrition – Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese
Vs
Homemade Version – Quarter Pound Burger w/ Wheat Bun and CheeseMcdonald’s Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese:Calories: 520Calories from fat: 240Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1100mgTotal Carbs: 41gDietary Fiber: 3gSugars: 10gProtein: 30gVitamin A: 10%Vitamin C: 2%Calcium: 30%Iron: 25%Homemade Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese on Wheat BunCalories: 401Calories from fat: 118Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat:.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 4.5gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 723mgPotassium: 469mgTotal Carbs: 31gDietary Fiber: 4gSugars: 7gProtein: 35gVitamin A: 16%Calcium: 57%Iron: 3%There you have it. The nutrition facts for a fast food joint and a homemade burger. Let’s take a minute to discuss the differences in Mcdonald’s nutrition and the homemade version. We will start with the fat content. the Mcdonald’s version has more saturated fat and trans fat (the bad fats) while the homemade burger has higher amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fat (the OK fats). The Mcdonald’s nutrition shows higher amounts of cholesterol, sodium, sugars, and Iron. The homemade burger shows higher amounts of fiber, protein, vitamins and potassium.It is no surprise that the homemade version is healthier than the Mcdonald’s version. The real surprise is how much healthier it actually is. By avoiding the Mcdonald’s nutrition and taking a few extra minutes to make your own burger, you’ll be taking in less fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar, and more fiber, protein potassium and vitamins. In other words, you turn Mcdonald’s nutrition into muscle building nutrition. A homemade burger with 35g of protein, 4g of fiber, some good fats and much less starch makes for a muscle building, delicious dinner.Keep an eye for my next fast food comparison coming soon!