Weight Loss - One Mineral at a Time

Weight loss continues to be a raging hot topic in America - as it should. We are number eight on the latest top 10 most obese nations list, as defined by the World Health Organization, or WHO. That's out of 196 countries in the world, by the way. Interestingly, all of the nations ahead of us are small island countries whose citizens are obese due to the spread of our country's dietary bad habits into their lands. It seems that Samoans, Tongans, and people from the Cook Islands, Nieu, Nauru, Micronesia, and Palau have largely replaced their native diets of mainly fruits and fish with western fast foods. Simply sounds like a calorie issue, right? At the end of the day, isn't weight management all about calories-in versus calories-out? The short answer is yes, but this is a bit like looking at a forest and completely missing the trees.

Obesity can rear its ugly head in situations where calories are empty of nutritional factors that allow our bodies to function at their best, even when calories are kept in line. The old adage, "a calorie is a calorie" just doesn't hold water when you consider the following scenario: two friends are attempting to lose some body fat, and both require roughly the same caloric range to do so - let's say 1400 calories per day.

One friend decides that she really needs to make a shift, so she goes the route of eating small servings of lean proteins with larger servings of vegetables and fruits, with moderate servings of whole grains. The other friend chops her calories down by drinking only 2 sodas per day, cutting out the ice cream before bed, but otherwise simply eats smaller amounts of the processed foods she's always lived on. At the end of 8 weeks, the friend that decided to eat "clean" lost 8 pounds; the other girl lost 2 pounds. Why would this happen if both girls were eating a sub-maintenance amount of calories? It's because one was eating nutritionally dense foods, and the other ate foods with nothing but junk in them. It's all in the choices we make!

Calorie-for-calorie, high nutrition foods contain more vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, and other dietary co-factors that enable the chemistry lab called "your body" to function at its peak. Meals that keep our insulin levels in check (which is one of the biggest benefits of pH-balanced eating!) helps promote weight management, higher energy levels, and better overall health. These meals contain proven weight management factors like vitamin D3, magnesium, calcium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and many others. You're simply not going to find these nutrients in a soft drink and a bag of chips. This reliance on junk foods is one of the biggest reasons that up to 80% of us are deficient in minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron and many of the trace minerals like chromium, vanadium, and zinc.

Even those that eat a sound, nutritious diet, filled with organic fruits and vegetables aren't entirely safe. A study completed in 2008 by The Society of Chemical Industry's (SCI) Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture showed that there aren't significant differences in nutrient value in organically grown food compared to non-organically grown food. Both methods produce remarkably low nutrient values deficient in critical minerals due to past over-harvesting practices which deplete soils of nutrients.

 In 2008, a UK science publication published a study where food quality changes were measured from 1940-2002. It showed that in an analysis of milk that iron content had fallen 62%; magnesium was down 21%; copper content had disappeared completely. In parmesan cheese there was a 70% decrease in magnesium. The calcium and iron content of all the foods examined were reduced dramatically. The iron content in beef rump steak fell 55%. These are just a few examples to show the loss of vital nutrients in our foods. Think your organically-grown spinach salad and range-fed chicken dinner is keeping your minerals levels in check? You may need to think again!

Moving back to our weight loss theme, how can we be assured of getting enough of the macro and trace minerals that have been proven to aid weight management? Supplementation should be a given choice, even for those practicing sound nutrition habits. Many people take a daily multivitamin, but unfortunately that isn't always enough to optimize levels of important minerals. Using a blood sugar stabilizer mineral like magnesium as a potent example, the average "multi" contains only 40 mg of this vital weight loss nutrient; the RDA for magnesium is 320 mgs for an adult female and 420 mgs for an adult male. Most research has shown the average adult takes in less than 150 mgs of this very important mineral. Many magnesium experts suggest 600 mg or more daily for best health. Supplement manufacturers often formulate with inferior forms of magnesium, along with other minerals, that are cheaper alternatives.

While this can improve a company's bottom-line, this doesn't help consumers, due to the fact that these cheap ingredients don't absorb well. Look for a better chelated version of magnesium, like magnesium citrate or glycinate as these forms are absorbed better. There are also ionic liquid minerals that have a high bioavailability score, and can be taken in small doses throughout the day for best use. The key is to be consistent with supplementation; our bodies use up minerals every day for hundreds of regulatory functions. Start a healthy habit by filling a weekly pill minder with supplements you've discussed with your healthcare provider; set it where it will be a visual reminder.
There is a lot to talk about when the topic of weight loss comes up; exercise, good nutrition, proper sleep, and stress management come to mind immediately. Calories aren't the only weapon in your weight management arsenal. Make sure you're getting enough minerals in your foods and supplements; this will help your body utilize its healthy weight tools better, for a leaner healthier you!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stacy_Kimmel,_Ph.D.


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