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Essay/Term paper: Nutrition

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Chemistry

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"You are what you eat", goes a famous saying. If that"s truly the case, then a
lot of Americans would appear to be unhealthy, chemically treated,
commercially raised slabs of animal flesh. While that is not a particularly
pleasant thought, it is nonetheless a description of the typical American
omnivore who survives on the consumption of big macs and greasy french
fries. It"s true, and what have the average Americans done about this
problem? Asked for seconds and tell themselves that they won"t eat much for
tomorrow"s meal. You already know what you should be doing, exercise for
at least 20 minutes every second day, eat the correct foods and avoid
dangerous substances: smoke and other poisons, toxins and cancer causing
chemicals. You need a high level of anti-oxidants to live a long healthy life in
our modern world. If you"re healthy and eat a well-balanced diet based on the
Food Guide Pyramid, most nutritionist agree that supplements are
unnecessary. A well balanced diet supplies not only the recommended daily
allowances(RDAs) of all the necessary nutrients, but also important
nonnutrients that vitamin pills lack. Fiber is one of theses nutrients. Nutritionist
also believe that taking supplements perpetuates bad eating habits by making
you think everything will be okay as long as you get your "vities". I totally
agree that if you eat a nutritional meal then why take any dietary supplements
or vitamins. But lets be honest with ourselves. Who honestly consumes their
daily allotted nutrients each day out of their meals? I bet your saying to
yourself, well sure I do, because I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have a
glass of milk and gram crackers for a late night snack. Hey I even get out of
my chair at nights to try to find the remote, I"m healthy enough. I would be
willing to put money on it, that you not reaching your daily benefits, because
only 9% of adults eat a balanced diet. Many people can"t or don"t even eat
some meals during the day due to busy schedules. But it"s been said that you
do your body more harm eating one or two big meals a day then eating four
or five little ones. Even people who eat right don"t get large enough amounts
of antioxidant vitamins which have proven effective in preventing diseases. The
typical American diet is well below what it should be. A study by the National
Food Consumption Survey report only 3% of the population ate the
recommended number of servings from the four food groups. Only 12%
consumed 100% of the RDA for all of the top nutrients like protein, calcium
and vitamin A, B, and C. Over 70% of men and over 80% of women failed to
get even 2/3"s of the RDA for one or more nutrients. Diets in high school
students were found to be inadequate as they only consumed 56% of their
calories from the Basic Four Food Groups. Foods most frequently eaten are
cakes, candy, soda pop, butter, and jellies and jams. So what are the people
to do about this bottomed out problem. Are we suppose to turn into nutrition
freaks or do we forget it and live our drained out lives depressed, out of
money, stress out, and tired. While it seems that everyone from grandmothers
to government has good advice about how to eat well, The American Dietetic
Association is urging people to take charge of their own nutrition destiny.
ADA shows that when it comes to nutrition, there is no such thing as a
"one-size-fits-all" approach. Nutrition experts say achieving good nutrition is
like putting together a puzzle, only you know where the pieces fit. So what is
good nutrition. We know that you can get a good nutrition from a balanced
meal, but know that most Americans don"t get that kind of nutrition that is
needed. So should we be heading towards something new like dietary
supplements. Some nutritionist say that we shouldn"t while I say that if were
not getting enough nutrition out of our meals, then lets do something about it
and put our bodies in better shape. We could save money in the long run. I
know for sure we can better ourselves with nutritional values that we can"t get
out of our meals. Two ways come to my mind with thinking about nutrition
values, dietary supplements and multivitamins. When it comes to supplements,
it"s a brand new world out there. In fact, supplement technology has come so
far in the past five years that for the first time in the history of nutrition it can
honestly be said that a good diet and supplement programs can provide better
gains than a typical body building diet and low dose steroid program of years
past. The big question of course is, are dietary supplements and multivitamins
necessary? There are many debates over the advantages and benefits of
taking vitamin and mineral supplements. The fact is that we do not, or often
can not, get all the nutrients we need from what were eating. The nutrient
content of any given food can vary greatly depending on soil conditions while
growing, transportation and storage environments, decrease due to aging and
loss attributed to cooking. Furthermore, many people just do not eat enough,
if any, of the things like fruits and vegetates required for a nutritionally
balanced diet. For many years the medical establishment has maintained that
healthy adults have no need for vitamins in amounts higher than the RDA. The
RDA figures are the amounts required to avoid disease associated with
dietary deficiencies. The RDA a is slowly changing. There is simply much
more scientific evidence that supplementation can be beneficial for your health
and fitness then there is to the contrary. While you should try to eat a variety
of foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, it is not always possible.
Regular supplementation maybe the best way to insure your body gets the
nutrition it needs. Studies provide strong evidence that heart disease and colon
cancer are associated with folic acid deficit. Eating plenty of broccoli and
oranges would help supply higher levels, but average intake gives you only
about half the optimum level. People who aren"t getting enough in their food
should take a supplement. That"s true for other vitamins as well, especially
vitamin B6 and vitamin E. Studies show that a 40% lower risk of heat disease
for those taking vitamin E supplements. That"s a greater benefit than you get
from fat-reducing drugs, which cost about $1500 a year versus $10 to $20
for vitamin E. It makes sense for most people to take a multivitamin that
contains vitamins E, B-complex, A and C. A large body of evidence supports
taking a vitamin E supplement beyond the multivitamin amount. Women
should choose a multivitamin/multimineral supplement that adds iron, if they
are of child-bearing age. They are a good nutritional safety net. Supplements
can be useful to individuals, consumers and to the U.S. population as part of
an overall strategy to optimize nutrition intake. All people whose diets fail to
provide target amounts of nutrients might reasonably choose to improve
dietary habits and use supplements in an effort to meet nutritional goals. Goals
could improve their overall self-esteem, and would place a better factor on
their lives. Multivitamins and dietary supplements provide a wide range of
micronutrients in modest dosages. They"re typically taken to augment less than
perfect eating habits a form of nutritional insurance against deficiencies. Many
nutritional experts agree that unless you"re consistently eating a good diet, it"s
probably a good way to supplement. David Benton, Ph.D., a psychology
professor at the University of Walees, Swansea, says the first signs of
nutritional deficiencies show up not as physical signs but as declining mental
performances. To prove his hypothesis, Benton gave a group of healthy
college students a daily high-potency multivitamin supplement containing three
times the Daily Value of most vitamins. After a year, the students" thinking
processes were measurably sharper and their moods better than a
comparable group of students given a placebo. Dietary supplements have
been around for a long time. While there has not been a demand for them until
the 90"s there has been one supplement that has been around since 1832. The
supplement is called Creatine. A product by many nutritionist to be a phrase
from God. Creatine is found in the body of humans, lean red meat and fish.
You right now have creatine in your body, around 100 to 115 grams of
creatine stored. Creatine synthesized by the liver, the kidney, and the
pancreas form three amino acids - argenine, glycine and methionine. From the
liver and kidneys, 95% of it goes to the muscles and forms Creatine
Phosphate, which boosts the body"s manufacture of the energy in the skeletal
system. While the other 5% is scattered through out the body. The human
body gets most of the creatine it needs for maintaining its bodily functions from
food or dietary supplements. Red meat is the best food source of creatine,
however there is only about 5 grams per 2 pounds of meat. Scientist say that
a person uses up to two gram of Creatine per day. Therefore, to notice any
positive effects from creatine, you need to supplement. Creatine(scientifically
known as creatine monohydrate) increases the availability of instant energy. It
increases muscle strength. It improves endurance and delays fatigue, as well
as taking off and replacing it with muscle. Creatine will force a more fluids into
the muscles, giving a good pump and making them a little bit bigger. This is
known as cell volumization, leading more water inside the cells, making
muscles bigger and firmer. Creatine is research proven to help increase peak
power, delay fatigue, and increase energy during high intensity exercise.
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance that exists in every muscle of your
body. Whenever you use your muscles, a chemical(adenosine triphospate-
ATP) is broken down into two simple chemicals (adenosine
di-phospahate-ADP and inorganic phospate). This process of ATP turning
into ADP releases the energy which gives your muscles power. The problem
is that your muscles only contain enough ADP to last about 10-15 seconds at
maximum exertion. That is where Creatine comes in. It restores everything
giving more ATP in your body means more fuel for your muscles. That gives
you more energy. But once the creatine is used up in your body so are you.
You then have to rest your muscles and wait a while before you can go do
anything again. Creatine is the most popular dietary supplement on the market.
It builds lean mass and speeds muscle recovery. It would be impractical to try
to supplement your diet with just whole foods, this is why creatine
supplementation is so popular. It"s made talk around the world from home run
king; Mark McGuire, the Russian great Olyimipic team, world record holder;
Michael Johnson, and to great body builders like Dorien Yates. The U.S
health care system should place a much greater emphasis on disease
prevention as a means of prolonging healthy life, reducing the burden of
disease, and saving health care cost. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Health and Human Services has recently predicted that the expansion of
preventive measures such as health screening, immunization, and individual
behavior change "could eliminate an estimated 45% of cardiovascular disease
death, 23% of cancer deaths and more than 50% of the disabling
complications of diabetes. Better control of fewer than 10 risk factors for
example, poor diet, infrequent exercise, the use of tobacco and drugs, and the
abuse of alcohol could prevent between 40 and 70 % of all premature deaths,
a third of all cases of acute disability, and two thirds of all cases of chronic
disability." Nutrition is a key component of any disease prevention strategy.
Better dietary habits and increased intakes of several vitamins and minerals
can substantially reduce the risk of major chronic diseases. It is in the interest
of the public health for nutritional improvements to be adopted and
encouraged now in order to obtain the full potential benefits of health
promotion and disease prevention. If the people would use dietary
supplements it could potentially have effects like reducing infectious disease in
elderly, and potentially cut the number of sick days by half. Hip fracture by
perhaps 20% meaning 40,000 to 50,000 fewer hip fractures every year.
reducing heart disease, preventing 800,000 Americans from dying. Reducing
cancer which would save 500,000 Americans each year. The use of
nutritional supplements of vitamins and minerals could have diverse benefits. A
modest multivitamin with minerals could virtually eliminate the risk of
micronutrient deficiency in the poor of this nation. It could provide substantial
assurance against anemia in children and in women of child-bearing age, and
provide the folic acid necessary a few weeks before and after conception to
help protect against neural tube defects. It also would prevent nutrient
deficiency and improve immune function in the elderly. The potential role of
nutritional supplements in protecting health and preventing disease should be
affirmatively recognized by public and private organizations which play a role
in promoting the public health and in advising consumers about food and
supplement choices in the context of healthy lifestyles. In today"s society, a lot
of emphasis is placed on how you look. Almost everybody wants that
"perfect body". But with all the things people have to do, not many are willing
to put in the time to get it. But now you can be one step closer to that perfect
body and living a healthy life. As Dr. Earl Mindell would put it "your health is
the most important thing you have". References Antonia, J. Hearty Results for
Creatine. Flex. October 1998. pg. 174 Batcheldor, B. Supper Supplements.
Flex. September 1998. pg. 221-222. Sparkman, D. Lowering Cholesterol.
All Natural Muscle Development. February 1999. pg. 38 Woodgate, D. Gain
10 pounds In Only 7 Days. Flex. December 1998. pg. 141-142. What does
your body need, Natural Health, www.naturalhealth1.com Extreme Fuel
Extreme Ignition, Symmetry Products with Creatine. www.go-symmetry.com
Anything You Could Want To Know, www.angelfire.com Health &
Wellbeing, www.ozol.com  

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