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Basic Nutrition Facts

Human Body Structure: 

Cells are the building blocks of Human body, Cells are the smallest units that perform all vital physiological functions. Proteins make up the majority (approximately 50+%) of the Human cell’s structure while carrying out a much higher proportion of the cell’s functions (in the 90+% range).

If we think of a cell as a factory, proteins build the actual factory such as walls, floors, ceiling, plumbing, furniture and equipment. Protein’s building blocks, amino acids make up most of the raw materials used to produce the factory’s products(that vast majority of it would be the proteins themselves). Proteins can also serve as an emergency energy source or reserve, like a backup generator, when other energy sources are depleted. Under normal conditions they are not the preferred fuel source. Preferred fuel sources are Fatty acids and Glucose, other raw materials which are used to make specialized cellular products. Proteins do all of the work and processes (several thousand in a typical cell) while the DNA merely serves as the blueprint or instructions.

A human cell, is capable of producing up to an estimated 300,000 different proteins. All of the cells have the ability to produce all of the proteins as they all have the same full DNA that contains the blueprints needed for the cells in the entire body.

Although the genome contains the genetic blueprint, the proteins provide the unique structure and function that defines a particular cell or a tissue type. This ultimately defines an organism. Different types of cells make different proteins, so the proteome of one cell will be different from the proteome of another. The number of genes identified in the human genome is only about 30,000-35,000.

Proteins (also known as polypeptides) are organic (carbon-containing) compounds made of amino acids arranged in a linear chain and folded into a globular form. The sequence of amino acids in a protein is defined by the sequence of a gene, which is encoded in the genetic code. In general, the genetic code specifies 20 standard amino acids.

Roll of Energy in body:

Healthy Cells Have Lots of Energy, Energy production is the difference between living and dead cells. A living cell (or person) has the ability to produce energy while a dead one does not. Healthy cells (and people) have the ability to make energy as needed, while sick, dysfunctional cells (or people) have very little energy producing capacity.


Remembering a time when you felt good and were healthy you most likely remember that you had energy and were not tired or fatigued. Your cells are no different.

If your goal is to optimize your health, or regain it, your body energy reserves and production capacity are essential. Energy is absolutely essential for optimum health and function. The energy production system of our bodies has many components. In fact the entire body, each and every system, is involved in the procurement and production of energy. There is little doubt that energy is one of the most basic keys to obtaining and maintaining optimum health.

The vast majority of all physiological processes require the expenditure of energy. Growth, development, metabolism, digestion, immune response, the fight or flight stress response, heat generation, breathing and the beating of the heart are all examples. That energy comes from the breaking of chemical bonds from organic compounds (Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins). Since there is a degree of inefficiency inherent in all processes, the amount of energy obtained by the body is lower than the amount present in the food consumed. This means there are losses associated with digestion, metabolism and thermogenesis.

All energy produced by the body is produced at the cellular level. The vast majority of that energy is in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). It is estimated that the body’s cells produce approximately the body’s weight in ATP each day.

There are only two primary mechanisms that the cell uses to produce energy in the form of ATP:

1. Glycolysis: is Anaerobic metabolism which accounts for 5-10% of body total energy production

2. Oxidative Metabolism: is Aerobic metabolism which accounts for 90-95% of body total energy production. 

Respiration refers to the exchange of gases. Organism obtains O2 (oxygen) from the environment and releases CO2 (carbon dioxide). so Cellular respiration would be aerobic transfer of energy from food molecules by cells; it is aerobic because oxygen is utilized to convert the food energy into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), usable form of energy in body.

Glucose is the most common form of food molecules, by adding a molecule of glucose to Six(6) molecules of oxygen the result will be 6 molecules of carbon dioxide, 6 molecules of water, and approximately 36 molecules of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) : 

C6 H12 O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O + 36 ATPs 

The bond energy from the reactants (glucose and oxygen) is converted to the chemical bonds of ATP which the body is able to use as a direct energy source to carry out metabolic processes. The typical cell is able to harvest and convert approximately 40% of glucose’s energy in ATP molecules, The other approximately 60% is converted to heat.

Since the cell cannot use the energy of glucose directly, it must be converted into a form it can utilize. the concept and analogy is very similar with processing the gasoline in the internal combustion engine. The engine is unable to utilize gasoline directly as a fuel. Instead it must mix it with oxygen and ignite it with a spark to create an explosion. The energy that makes the car move comes from the pressure created by this exploding gas/air mixture.

Most Important Nutritions :

1) Oxygen :

In fact, oxygen is the most important nutrient that our bodies require for basic function and survival. Most people fail to breathe completely and efficiently, both of which are vital to maximize blood oxygenation. One of the significant reasons that Exercise is so good for us is due to its ability to increase both the depth and frequency of breathing, as well as tissue oxygen levels (due to increased blood supply). Good nutrition (especially adequate levels of iron, vitamins B12 and folic acid, together with optimum levels of unprocessed omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids) is essential for blood to be able to properly transport oxygen to the tissues.


One of the most important things to understand about cancer is that there is only one primary mechanism that has ever been proven to cause cancer, only one primary event that triggers a normal human cell to turn cancerous. That event is oxygen deprivation !

“Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal cells by a fermentation of sugar.” –Dr. Otto H. Warburg

understand the importance of proper breathing and oxygen delivery to all the tissues of the body is an extremely important, Proper breathing is key to effective exercise, peak performance and optimum health.

2) Water :

After oxygen, water is the next most important nutrient for our bodies and cells. Our bodies are composed of 60-80% water. Research demonstrates that an infant is around 80% water vs. approximately 50-60% water for a senior citizen. Water covers 70% of the planet but as with so many things in life, we take it for granted. Here is a breakdown of some important statistics regarding water in our body:

  • The Brain is 95% Water

  • Blood is 82% Water

  • The Lungs are 90% Water

  • Muscles are 70+% Water • Bones are 25% Water

  • Fat is 20% Water

  • Just 2% Drop in our body’s water level triggers signs of dehydration, Fatigue, Fuzzy short-term memory, Trouble with basic math, Difficulty focusing, Definite reduction in physical performance

  • 4-5% Reduction can result in a 20-30% decrease in work and exercise performance.

  • 10% Reduction will produce significant health risks.

  • The body cannot survive longer than 3-7 days without water. 


Some Functions of Water in the Body:

1. Water serves as the primary component of all Cells, Tissues, Organs

2. Water serves as the primary transport media for all substances that move around the body (via the blood).

3. Water plays vital roles in the maintenance of:

  • pH balance

  • Body temperature

  • Metabolism

  • Respiration

  • Circulation

  • Excretion

  • Neurological functions

4. Serves as a lubricant.

5. Forms the fluids that surround the joints.

6. Serves as the base for saliva.


Consumption of adequate water is associated with a reduction of various diseases and conditions

Studies show that consumption of at least 8 glasses of water per day is associated with:

  • 45% reduction in the incidence of colon cancer.

  • 50% reduction in the incidence of bladder cancer.

  • 79% reduction in the incidence of breast cancer.


Being properly hydrated makes exercising much easier and more enjoyable. Increasing lean body mass (muscle in particular) is vital to the longterm success of any exercise program.

Muscle is over 70% water, so it is extremely important to make sure your muscles are properly hydrated. Water is absolutely necessary when you are adding lean body mass (muscle).


Dehydration slows down the fatburning activity of muscles and fat cells. Water is essential to maintain proper muscle tone and lubricate the joints thereby helping to reduce muscle fatigue and joint soreness during and after exercise.


Exercising burns calories and stimulates fat breakdown, both of these create toxic by-products. Water is essential to the process of flushing them out of your body through the kidneys.


Contrary to popular opinion, drinking adequate to optimum amounts of water will actually help decrease any tendency to retain fluids. Water is nature’s best diuretic. 

Do not rely on thirst to tell you when to drink. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already moderately dehydrated.


Tips To Ensure You Maintain Proper Hydration:

  • Drink water aggressively and religiously.

  • Carry water wherever you go whenever possible.

  • Drink when you wake up.

  • Drink throughout the day.

  • Drink extra water before, during and after exercise.

  • Drink before meals.

Based on a great deal of study in the field of nutrition and digestive physiology, it is best to limit water and liquid intake during meals to no more than about 6-8 ounces. The reason for this is that the stomach needs to produce sufficient acid to initiate the digestion of larger proteins as well as for the absorption of various minerals. If too much liquid is consumed, the stomach will not produce enough acid to do its job and in turn compromises the entire digestive process. It is fine and perhaps desirable to drink a glass or two of water prior to a meal but once you start eating, water intake is best when limited.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Inadequate Hydration or Dehydration?


At approximately 1-2% loss of optimum body water the following may appear:

  • Constipation 

  • Fatigue or Weakness (physical or  mental) 

  • Fluid retention 

  • Thirst 

  • Hunger

  • Loss of appetite 

  • Skin flushing

  • Dry Skin

  • Dark colored urine

  • Dry mouth

  • Chills

  • Head rushes or light-headedness particularly upon standing up

  • Elevated cholesterol may simply be a sign of dehydration as well


At approximately a 5% loss of optimum body water, the following are typical:

  • Increased heart rate

  • Increased respiration

  • Decreased sweating

  • Decreased urination

  • Increased body temperature

  • Extreme fatigue 

  • Muscle cramps 

  • Headaches

  • Nausea


Tingling of the limbs At a 10% loss of body water the following are typical:

(Note, at this level, it becomes a medical emergency. If allowed to progress much beyond this, it can prove fatal.)

  • Muscle spasms

  • Vomiting

  • Racing pulse

  • Shriveled skin

  • Dim vision

  • Painful urination

  • Confusion

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Seizures

  • Chest and abdominal pain

  • Circulatory insufficiency

  • Kidney failure

  • Unconsciousness


These are the most common signs and symptoms of dehydration but they will vary greatly from person to person. Additionally, since so many people are chronically dehydrated, and have been so for most of their lives, many of these signs and symptoms may not show up at all.

Rehydration :

In oral rehydration therapy, electrolyte drinks containing sodium and potassium salts replenish the body’s water and electrolyte levels after dehydration caused by exercise, excessive drinking, diaphoresis (excessive sweating), diarrhea, vomiting, intoxication, or starvation. Athletes exercising in extreme conditions (for three or more hours continuously such as a marathon or triathlon) who do not consume electrolytes risk dehydration (or hyponatremia which is low blood sodium levels).

Common electrolytes that are measured by doctors with blood testing include sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate. The functions and normal range values for these electrolytes are described below :



Sodium is the major positive ion (cation) in fluid outside of cells. The chemical notation for sodium is Na+. When combined with chloride, the resulting substance is table salt (sodium chloride). Excess sodium (such as that obtained from dietary sources) is excreted in the urine. Sodium regulates the total amount of water in the body and the transmission of sodium into and out of individual cells. It also plays a role in critical body functions. Many processes in the body, especially in the brain, nervous system, and muscles require electrical signals for communication. The movement of sodium is critical in generation of these electrical signals. Too much or too little sodium therefore, can cause cells to malfunction, and extremes in the blood sodium levels (too much or too little) can be fatal.

  • Increased sodium (hypernatremia) in the blood occurs whenever there is excess sodium in relation to water. There are numerous causes of hypernatremia. These may include kidney disease, too little water intake, and loss of water due to diarrhea and/or vomiting.

  • A decreased concentration of sodium (hyponatremia) occurs whenever there is a relative increase in the amount of body water relative to sodium. This happens with some diseases of the liver and kidney, in patients with congestive heart failure, in burn victims, and in numerous other conditions.

    A Normal blood sodium level is 135 - 145 milli-Equivalents/litter (mEq/L), or in international units, 135 - 145 millimoles/litter (mmol/L).


Potassium is the major positive ion (cation) found inside of cells. The Chapteremical notation for potassium is K+. The proper level of potassium is essential for normal cell function. Among the many functions of potassium in the body are regulation of the heartbeat and the function of the muscles. A seriously abnormal increase in potassium (hyperkalemia) or decrease in potassium (hypokalemia) can profoundly affect the nervous system and increases the chance of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), which, when extreme, can be fatal.

  • Increased potassium is known as hyperkalemia. Potassium is normally excreted by the kidneys, so disorders that decrease the function of the kidneys can result in hyperkalemia. Certain medications may also predispose an individual to hyperkalemia.

  • Hypokalemia, or decreased potassium, can arise due to kidney diseases, excessive loss due to heavy sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea, eating disorders, certain medications, and other causes. The normal blood potassium level is 3.5 - 5.0 milliEquivalents/liter (mEq/L), or in international units, 3.5 - 5.0 millimoles/liter (mmol/L).



Chloride is the major anion (negatively charged ion) found in the fluid outside of cells and in the blood. An anion is the negatively charged part of certain substances such as table salt (sodium chloride or NaCl) when dissolved in liquid. Sea water has almost the same concentration of chloride ions as human body fluids. Chloride also plays a role in helping the body maintain a normal balance of fluids.

The balance of chloride ions (Cl) is closely regulated by the body. Significant increases or decreases in chloride can have dangerous or even fatal consequences.

  • Increased Chloride (hyper Chapterloremia): Elevations in chloride may be seen in diarrhea, certain kidney diseases, and sometimes in overactivity of the parathyroid glands.

  • Decreased Chloride (hypo Chapterloremia): Chloride is normally lost in the urine, sweat, and stomach secretions. Excessive loss can occurfrom heavy sweating, vomiting, and adrenal gland and kidney disease. The normal serum range for chloride is 98 - 108 mmol/L.



The bicarbonate ion acts as a buffer to maintain the normal levels of acidity (pH) in blood and other fluids in the body. Bicarbonate levels are measured to monitor the acidity of the blood and body fluids. The acidity is affected by foods or medications that we ingest and the function of the kidneys and lungs. The chemical notation for bicarbonate on most lab reports is HCO or represented as the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2). The normal serum range for bicarbonate is 22-30 mmol/L. The bicarbonate test is usually performed along with tests for other blood electrolytes. Disruptions in the normal bicarbonate level may be due to diseases that interfere with respiratory function, kidney diseases, metabolic conditions, or other causes.

The Effects of Alcohol, Caffeine and Sugar:

Consuming alcohol, caffeinated, and/or high sugar beverages can all have adverse effects on hydration status. Of the three categories, alcohol is considered the worst due to its significant dehydrating effects. The liver is the organ charged with “detoxifying” alcohol. Alcohol is actually “eliminated” from the body by the kidneys. Any toxin that is eliminated by the kidneys is done so along with a significant amount of water, hence the dehydration.


The degree of dehydration caused by caffeinated beverages varies widely depending on how much caffeine is consumed as well as a person’s tolerance or sensitivity. Many exercise enthusiasts consume caffeine prior to events as an aid to performance and fat-burning, since caffeine has been shown to facilitate both. For that reason, high amounts of caffeine are banned in many amateur athletic competitions. Caffeine will be discussed in more detail later, but in terms of its effects on hydration, it is difficult to set any hard and fast rules about it. In general, it is recommended that it be kept to a moderate amount if used at all.


Sugary beverages are poor ways to hydrate or rehydrate. The high amounts of sugar force the body to deal with the sugar spikes which take precedence over absorbing the water. So, in addition to them being potentially harmful from a hydration / dehydration perspective, they also wreak havoc with overall homeostasis by disrupting the body’s blood sugar levels and its regulation. All in all, they pose a significant risk to one’s overall health, weight, blood sugar, hydration, and performance.

Food: Source of Nutrients that Must Be Ingested:

Food has a greater influence over health and homeostasis than virtually any other factor (for most people). Of all the factors and stressors out there, food is the most significant and important in terms of its potential to either support or upset homeostasis, at least for most people. After all, everyone has to eat and typically does several times a day. Unfortunately, many food and beverage choices upset homeostasis. Most of these “problem foods” are those that have been highly processed or synthetically modified rather than supplied as nature intended.

Emphasize Foods that support Health and Homeostasis tend to be:

  • Whole

  • Natural

  • Raw and/or minimally cooked

  • Processed foods that are properly combined in the right ratios of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats

  • All foods contain macronutrients. most processed and refined foods have been stripped of many of their naturally occurring micronutrients and auxiliary substances, as well as having their macronutrients altered and/or damaged. Cooking is itself a form of processing that destroys and alters nutrients. The closer you stay to consuming foods that are fresh, whole, unprocessed, clean, raw or lightly cooked, and as close to the way they occur naturally, the better.

  • Generally foods that fit the above description will support balanced homeostasis and therefore optimum health.

The major type of foods that upset homeostasis are high-glycemic index foods or foods that cause a significant spike in blood sugar levels and therefore, a pronounced insulin response. Virtually all refined sweeteners do this with the exception of the Sugar, Alcohols, Monk fruit / Lo Han Guo, and Stevia. Any of the refined sugars will cause significant spikes in blood sugar which in turn triggers a whole body upset in homeostasis that typically lasts several hours. Refined grains are the other major category of foods that can have a similar effect in many, if not most people. There is a wide variation in this response and many people can handle and benefit from minimally-processed grains. Become aware of and avoid foods that upset health and homeostasis. The most common offending foods are those with a high glycemic index (meaning that they cause a rapid, significant rise in blood sugar levels). All foods containing refined or processed sugars and/or highly processed grains are also very common culprits.


Here is a list of the most likely foods to upset health and homeostasis:

  • Refined sugars

  • Highly refined grains

  • Various baked goods that combine both refined grains and sugars

    (bread, pastries, donuts, cakes, pies, etc.)

  • Soft drinks

  • Coffee

  • Other foods and beverages containing caffeine

  • Sweetened fruit juices or other sugar-laden beverages

  • Beverages and foods containing artificial sweeteners

  • A wide array of snack foods (potato chips, pretzels, corn chips)

  • Most fast foods (due to the additives and or processing) such as

    french fries, milk shakes, and fried chicken

  • Candy

  • General junk foods


Consuming these foods is like “smacking homeostasis on the side of the head with a hammer.” Foods such as these lead to upset homeostasis as well as nutrient deficiencies and imbalances. They delay healing, weaken the immune system, increase inflammation and pain, and also contribute to most, if not all types of chronic disease. Then, of course, there is the more straight-forward function of food, to supply nutrients (both macro and micro) needed for optimum function and survival. So, as the above explains, there’s more to food than supplying nutrients, although that is clearly its primary function. Food can also either support or upset overall body homeostasis. This is an extremely important concept to understand.


Become Aware of Food Composition (what the foods you eat are composed of). Food is composed of dozens of essential substances that are necessary for health and homeostasis:

  • Macronutrients: substances that occur in relatively larger amounts and are used by the body both for energy production and as building blocks to make new cells and other vital substances. The three primary macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fats.


  • Micronutrients: substances that occur in relatively small amounts and are necessary for thousands of different electro-chemical reactions. These are primarily considered to be vitamins and minerals.


  • Auxiliary-substances: additional substances have recently been shown to have significant health benefits, yet they do not completely fit the definitions of vitamins and minerals. Examples include:

        - Phytochemicals

        - Enzymes

        - Essential fatty acids

        - Fiber

        - Probiotics


All of these are vitally important in terms of their impact on health and disease.


Carbohydrates are one of, if not the top, source for that energy. Fats are the other primary source, although protein can also be used. Under various conditions, the body will use more carbohydrates (in the form of glucose and glycogen) for fuel than fatty acids, whereas under other conditions, it will use more fatty acids. Additionally, some tissues tend to prefer one fuel source to another. Good examples are the brain and RBCs (red blood cells) which respectively prefer and need glucose. When glucose is not available, the brain is able to shift to using ketones which are a breakdown product of fat metabolism. Red blood cells, on the other hand, cannot metabolize ketones since they lack mitochondria. They are therefore totally dependent on glucose. Under conditions of carbohydrate starvation, muscle is broken down to make a limited amount of glucose via the gluconeogenic pathway (glucose generation).


Generally speaking, carbohydrates are looked upon as the body’s primary energy source when they are available in sufficient amounts. Part of this has to do with economics. In general, carbohydrates are cheaper than proteins (which can also be used for fuel) and fats. Since food supply is limited for large segments of the world’s population, it is important to emphasize the most efficient sources of nutrients when dealing with the general population.

Fats: Understanding the Role of Fat in Diet and Health:

It is only in the past few years that their value, particularly as EFAs (essential fatty acids), they have begun to be vindicated. It was very easy for people to make a connection between ingesting fats and being fat. Since being fat is bad or undesirable, people thought that eating fat was also bad or undesirable. Ultimately, when you really begin to understand fats, you realize that as with carbohydrates, they have an important positive role in our diet and health. They can also have a significant negative impact, it depends on many factors that we will discuss below. For simplicity we will use the term fat(s) here on out but please remember that lipid(s) or oil(s) can be used interchangeably.


Before going further an important distinction needs to be made. There’s a difference between fats and fatty acids. For the most part, when discussing fats, what is being referred to are food based fats rather than fatty acids. Fatty acids, which have gotten a great deal of positive press over the past several years, are a major component of fats, yet the terms are not completely interchangeable. Fats are a larger category that covers a very diverse group of substances, whereas fatty acids are a component of food fats with varying properties.

Fat in the Diet; All Fats are Not the Same:


The Good Fats

  • Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Nuts including peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios are high in MUFAs. Avocado, canola and olive oils are also high in MUFAs. MUFAs have also been found to help in weight loss, particularly body fat (I do not recommend Canola oil).

  • Polyunsaturated fats also lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Seafood like salmon and fish oil, as well as corn, soy, safflower and sunflower oils are high in polyunsaturated fats. Omega 3 fatty acids belong to this group. (I do not recommend corn or soy oils as these crops are all genetically modified. Safflower and sunflower oils may not be the best ways to get your polyunsaturated fatty acids either).


The Bad Fats

  • Saturated fats (Although I’ve listed them here, this is simply not true. That is to say, saturated fats are not necessarily bad for you. It is, however, the generally accepted “conventional wisdom” regarding this type of fats. I’ve included it here because you will likely run into this belief over and over. It will take many years before the textbooks and experts agree that this is erroneous).

    Saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). *Once again, this is not necessarily true at all but it is taken as gospel by the vast majority of so-called “nutrition experts.” Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such

    as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Some plant foods are also high in saturated fats such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.

  • Trans fats were invented when scientists began to “hydrogenate” liquid oils so that they could hold up better in food production processes and provide a better shelf life. As a result of hydrogenation, trans fatty acids are formed. Trans fatty acids are found in many commercially packaged foods, commercially fried food such as french fries from most fast food chains, other packaged snacks (such as microwave popcorn) as well as in vegetable shortening and hard stick margarine​.



Although one of the three macronutrients, few topics in nutrition generate more interest and controversy than protein. There are detractors and advocates for low protein, animal protein, and plant based proteins. Somehow, the experts (or so-called “self-appointed” experts) never seem to tire of talking about protein. When it comes to fitness, athletic performance, weight management, overall health-enhancement, disease reduction, and optimizing longevity there are so many differing opinions that it’s no wonder the public (and most health professionals) are confused.

Protein is involved in almost every structural and functional component of the body. The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 gm / kg for sedentary adults with research indicating that between 1.2–1.7 gm (150-213% of recommended dietary allowance) is more appropriate for athletes.


Additionally, several other variables affect the amount of protein needed:


The type of exercise (interestingly, endurance athletes may actually need more than strength athletes due to a greater breakdown of the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), a greater need for substrates involved in gluconeogenesis, an increased need for enzymes to perform glycogenolysis and glycogenesis, and an increased need for alanine for conversion to glucose)

  • The availability of carbohydrates: Adequate carbohydrate availability spares protein from being used for energy and likely improves utilization via the carbs triggering insulin release.

  • The training state: Endurance training increases the requirement for protein to make more myoglobin (an oxygen carrier in muscle), aerobic enzymes in mitochondria, and red blood cell formation.

  • For strength training, there is a need for increased protein for muscle fiber (hypertrophy).

  • Gender: Women excrete less nitrogen after endurance exercise and oxidize less leucine than men; this in turn may lead to a 10-20% reduced protein need in the exercising female than an exercising male.

  • Energy balance: If an athlete is consuming a good diet with adequate energy intake to maintain their weight, then they are likely getting sufficient protein. However, if their sport or personal preference dictates that they lean-out while maintaining or adding muscle, they are likely to be restricting total calories (energy intake). In such cases, they will likely need to emphasize increased protein intake.

  • Age: Kids and adolescents have higher protein requirements than adults due to the additional protein required for growth. Studies regarding recommendations are lacking, however, aging, on the other hand, is associated with loss of skeletal muscle (sarcopenia) and studies suggest that the 0.8 gm / kg / day may not be sufficient to prevent this. A combination of increased protein and resistance training has been shown to halt and reverse this process.

Quality protein is vital to health and healing. Consume adequate amounts of good quality protein for your size and activity level every day. considered 50% of the dietary protein consumed each day goes into making enzymes. They are also used to make Neurotransmitters, DNA, and RNA.

In addition to providing essential building blocks for your body to use in repairing damaged tissues and building new tissues, protein serves many other functions. One of the most critical functions it serves, in relation to overall metabolic functional efficiency and homeostasis, has to do with its beneficial or balancing effects on blood sugar levels and insulin release. To maximize the overall beneficial effects of protein on metabolism, it is best to consume some multiple times throughout the day. Since the number of meals that a person consumes in a given day will vary from person to person, and based upon the number of meals typically consumed.




Vitamins are simply organic (carbon-containing) substances that are essential to the normal health of an organism that the body cannot make (either at all or in sufficient quantities) therefore that they must be consumed regularly. Failure to ingest, absorb, or assimilate sufficient amounts of vitamins is associated with a specific malfunction in one or more metabolic pathways leading to the development of one or more symptoms and or disease states. The vitamin may ultimately be transformed prior to its use in metabolism, or it may occur in several different forms, the primary criteria however, is that the body is not able to make sufficient amounts of the substance without ingesting it.


The main categorization system for vitamins has to do with whether they are fat or water soluble. The fat soluble vitamins are found in the fats or oils of foods and require bile for absorption. Once absorbed, they are stored in the liver and fatty tissues until the body needs them. Since the fat-soluble vitamins are able to be stored in reasonable amounts, they do not necessarily have to be eaten every day. On the other hand, if you take in too much of them either acutely or over an extended period of time, toxicity could result. The most cited examples are of early arctic explorers who shot and ate polar bears (including their livers) and died as a result of acute vitamin A toxicity. 


Major essensial Minerals that considered as essential nutritions listed by following : 

  • Calcium : 99% is in the bones and teeth many forms w/ huge range of bioavail. Citrate malate, gluconate, citrate, fulvate, chelates, ascorbs pref

  • Chloride 

  • Magnesium : Highest concerns in most metab act tiss (brain, Ht, liver, kidney)

  • Phosphorus : Approx 88% is in bones

  • Potassium

  • Sodium

  • Sulfate / Sulfur

  • Chromium

  • Fluoride

  • Germanium

  • Iron

  • Zinc

  • Silicon


Life Would Not Be Possible Without Enzymes and that they are miraculous substances, The simple definition of enzymes is that they are proteins that catalyze (speed up) chemical reactions. Virtually all biological processes require enzymes to happen fast enough to be useful. What good is a chemical reaction that takes 1,000 years to occur when the finished product is needed now? Although many chemical reactions can occur with time and the right conditions (high heat for example) very few would take place at 98.2 degrees F (the actual temperature of the human body, 98.6 has been erroneously promoted as normal for over a hundred years due to a conversion error) without enzymes to catalyze them. For most enzymes, the reactions they catalyze are sped up millions of times. Over 4,000 enzymatically catalyzed chemical reactions have been cataloged to occur in the human body.


Enzymes are complex protein structures composed of thousands (if not tens or hundreds of thousands of amino acids) combined with co-factors /co-enzymes. Earlier we imagined amino acids to be the basic building blocks of proteins and proteins to form the vast majority of the structural components of the cells (and hence the entire organism). The proteins are also the workers in our imaginary factory, so think of enzymes as the scaffolding and machinery the workers use to carry out the work of manufacturing whatever it is they are producing. They range from simple table saws to complex robotic welding machines.

Enzymes are strongly influenced by temperature, moisture, and pH. In most cases, they are totally dependent on the proper co-enzyme being available. The role food enzymes play in digestion is vital role in the normal, optimum digestive process. There are 3 Main Categories of Enzymes When it Comes to Health and Nutrition :

1. Metabolic Enzymes: These consist of over 4,000 different enzymes that have been cataloged so far. These are involved in carrying out virtually all of the chemical reactions that take place in our bodies. Metabolic enzymes literally run our bodies. They are everywhere and every body function depends on them.

2. Digestive Enzymes: These are really a type of metabolic enzyme. Unlike most metabolic enzymes, however, rather than working at the cellular and sub-cellular levels, these work at the organ level. Digestive enzymes are made in fairly large amounts primarily by the pancreas (although the salivary glands, stomach, and small intestine also make significant amounts). These enzymes are secreted in response to the ingestion of food and their role is to assist in the

digestion of the food. Notice “assist” rather than simply “digest.” Digestive enzymes are not designed to do the entire job of digesting a complex meal although they can handle doing so, at least for a while.


3. Food Enzymes: These are metabolic enzymes that belong to the organism you are eating. All animals and plants (fruits, vegetables, algae, etc.) also contain metabolic enzymes. If they didn’t, they simply couldn’t exist. Once those substances are caught and killed or harvested for food, those metabolic enzymes are still there. If those foods are consumed (with minimal heating or processing) the organism’s metabolic enzymes become our food enzymes. Although their original role was to serve the organism they were a part of, now their role is to help us digest that organism. That’s why I said that our digestive enzymes were never intended to do the entire digestive job. You see, we as a species, and every organism that has ever existed on this planet, evolved eating enzyme rich foods (prey, plants, or microbes). So, our bodies have evolved under conditions where all foods contained additional enzymes that aided our digestion of those foods.

Enzymes, as even the most cursory research will teach you, are heat and condition sensitive. Anything over about 120 degrees F for over approximately 15 minutes will destroy them. If we destroy the enzymes that naturally occur in our foods, it makes our bodies work significantly harder to digest those foods. Even with our advanced knowledge, we can destroy these necessary parts of our diets.


Today, many of our health problems are a result of the way we prepare foods. We cook or process virtually everything to the point that they are devoid of enzymes. By forcing our bodies to work about two times harder to digest every meal, we over-burden our bodies’ enzyme producing abilities. Every food in nature is raw and unprocessed. Every raw, unprocessed food contains food enzymes.

  • We and every organism on the planet evolved eating raw foods. Cooking and processing are relatively recent practices from an evolutionary perspective.

  • Food enzymes assist the body in digesting the food consumed when they are present. Studies have shown this effect to be quite significant accounting for between 60-80% of the digestive work for carbohydrates, 30-50% for proteins, and 10-30% for fats.

  • The digestion of food requires a great deal of energy. Some estimates indicate that up to 80% of the body’s basal energy is expended in the process of digestion. Up to 50% of ingested proteins are used to make metabolic enzymes. Digestive enzymes account for a major portion of this.

  • Overall, the body has to work about twice as hard to digest a food that is devoid of food enzymes as it does to digest a food that contains them.

  • Eating cooked and processed foods (or failing to replace the food enzymes) is one of the biggest dietary blunders of all time.

Essential Fatty Acids:
As mentioned, these were originally designated as vitamins (vitaminF) but were later grouped under fats in a newly created category (EFAs).


In spite of ample sources of fat in most diets, EFA deficiencies and imbalances are extremely common and widespread. Perhaps the main cause involves the high percentage of cooked and overly-processed and/ or refined foods and oils we tend to consume. Some consider high rate of depression to be one of the major results of these deficiencies and imbalances. Of course, it likely also plays a significant role in inflammatory problems, heart and vascular problems, neurological problems, and more.

One of the most important concepts in regard to fats will become clearer when you review how they are digested and absorbed. They take a different route than proteins and carbohydrates by being absorbed into the lymphatic system and dumped directly into the blood stream, rather than first going to the liver (with the exceptions of short and medium chain fatty acids). What this means is that fats (at least the LCFAs that make up 98+% of most diets) are not completely broken down and rebuilt by the liver as is the case with proteins and carbohydrates (they are broken down into amino acids and monosaccharides respectively). Most fats are absorbed virtually intact. Therefore, the fats a person eats, are the fats that become incorporated into their body’s cells. If they consume lots of“bad fats”(hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, rancid, and/ or trans fats), those are what the body will be forced to use. Even if they eat some “good fats” the bad fats will essentially overpower their potential to do good work as there will be a natural competition based on the volume of each. In most diets, the bad fats dramatically outweigh the good ones.


What makes EFAs (essential fatty acids) essential is that the human body cannot synthesize them, thus they must be consumed through the diet. There are two major families of EFAs: omega 3s and omega 6s. Omega 9s are also necessary but not considered essential because the body is able to manufacture a limited supply of them provided the other EFAs are available. The number (3, 6, or 9) refers to the position of the first double bond, counting from the terminal methyl group on the molecule. Omega 3 fatty acids are derived from Linolenic Acid, Omega 6s from Linoleic Acid, and Omega 9s from Oleic Acid.


EFAs have many diverse functions. They play roles in the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. The cells need EFAs to manufacture and repair cell membranes which is crucial for cells to obtain optimum nutrition and excrete waste products.


A primary function of EFAs involves the production of prostaglandins which regulate such functions as heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting, fertility, conception, as well as playing a huge role in immune function by regulating inflammation and encouraging the body to fight infection. EFAs are also essential for proper growth in children, especially neural development and the maturation of the sensory system. The fetus (and baby) also requires an adequate supply of EFAs which relies on the Mother’s dietary intake (which is too often less than optimal).

To summarize, vitamins and minerals play a huge role in energy balance although they do not provide any energy themselves. When you understand metabolic reactions and nutrient bio-availability, together with the body’s very limited ability to store most nutrients.

ADDITIONAL Important Concepts:

Homeostasis, Metabolic Balance and Health

Cortisol, Blood Sugar, Insulin and Glucagon Connection:

A person’s health is dependent upon proper metabolic balance or homeostasis more than any other factor. Many varied stressors have the capacity to upset the proper balance required for health and dietary stressors are the most common source of upset for most people. Dietary stressors may cause upset homeostasis/metabolic balance through numerous mechanisms but the most fundamental mechanism, based upon present understanding, involves blood sugar and its regulation. The following explanation will help in understanding this important process.

Blood sugar is affected and/or regulated via several key mechanisms. When we eat foods and drink beverages which may contain any of dozens of different, diverse substances, our blood sugar is typically affected based upon our body’s reaction to one or more of those substances. Each of us is biochemically unique, thus a given substance may affect one person’s blood sugar quite differently than another’s. Therefore, there are no “absolute / in stone rules” on this. There are, however, several “almost absolutes.” We will go into more detail regarding the “almost absolutes” shortly but first more on the regulatory system.


Our bodies need a strong and steady supply of nutrients to the cells for proper energy production and regulation of the thousands of vital metabolic processes. Most cells are able to utilize carbohydrates and/or fat for energy production although certain types of cells prefer one or the other. Some cells have the ability to breakdown protein to make blood sugar in times of need. But in general, the body definitely prefers either carbohydrates in the form of glucose (which may come from glycogen a form of stored glucose) or fats for its normal energy needs. They are by far the easiest fuels to utilize. In fact, research indicates that using protein for energy very likely is done only when absolutely necessary, as it incurs an actual net loss of energy due to the complexity of the conversions required.


In general, the body tries to maintain blood sugar levels within fairly tight limits. When blood sugar is too low, the cells that prefer it for energy (like red blood cells and brain cells), do not work as well. When blood sugar is too high, several detrimental effects take place. There is a shift of fluid and various minerals from inside the cells to outside the cells leading to significant disruption of cellular functions. Another result is the formation of AGE’s (Advanced Glycosylation End-products) that damage a wide array of cells and tissues.


The two main hormones that the body uses to keep blood sugar tightly regulated are Insulin and Glucagon. When blood sugar goes up, the pancreas secretes insulin, the insulin signals the cells to take sugar inside, thereby reducing the amount in the blood stream. When blood sugar gets too low the pancreas releases a different hormone called glucagon that mobilizes the body’s stores of glucose (glycogen) thereby increasing blood sugar levels.


Another key hormone that also serves to increase blood sugar is cortisol. This effect is part of the vital “fight or flight /stress response” that is essential to our survival. Whenever we are faced with a significant “threat” to our survival, our sympathetic nervous system (part of our autonomic or “automatic” nervous system that regulates many key bodily processes) becomes activated leading to activation of the “fight or flight” stress response. The idea is that, if our life is “threatened,” and we are forced to flight or flee for our lives, our best chance for survival demands an up-regulation of various bodily processes, Included in this response are :

  • Increased blood sugar to provide energy to fight or flee

  • Shift of blood flow from any non-essential processes such as digestion to the muscles

  • Increased vigilance / alertness

  • Increased visual acuity

  • Increased focused attention, among other things that will enhance

    our survival chances


All of this is great if the “threat” is in fact real and actually requires us to fight or flee. Obviously, in earlier eras, such threats to survival were much more common than they are today. Today, the vast majority of threats or stressors do not require us to fight or flee. In these cases, many of the physiological changes that prepared us to fight or flee have a detrimental effect. Increased blood sugar levels, along with the subsequent struggle by the body to rebalance itself, becomes a major source of metabolic disruption.


Once this key component of metabolic balance or homeostasis is upset it leads to a “domino effect” in terms of altering other key factors necessary foroptimumhealthandfunction. Under“normal”or“optimum”dietary conditions, blood sugar levels seldom if ever rise to a level sufficient to trigger any more than a slight pulsatile insulin release. The current dietary practices of most people, however, lead to numerous significant blood sugar spikes each day. This in turn, leads to multiple large releases of insulin and numerous negative effects associated with this.

Insulin has many additional functional effects in the body beyond simply signaling cells to let glucose enter. Some even consider insulin to be “the master hormone in human metabolism.” It also plays a role in:

  • Blood pressure regulation

  • Cholesterol and triglyceride production

  • Fat storage

  • Enzyme activity

  • Regulation of inflammation

Elevated insulin leads to metabolic havoc leading to elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin resistance, obesity, and ultimately diabetes due to reduced insulin sensitivity. All of these and more result from poor lifestyle and dietary choices that contribute to chronically elevated insulin levels.


A properly balanced diet and exercise program is the only effective means of gaining proper regulatory control over insulin, period. Low fat, high-complex carbohydrate diets, beta-blockers, and some diuretic medications (the very things typically used to treat blood pressure and heart problems) actually make matters worse by causing the body to produce even more insulin.

Here’s a not so uncommon scenario:

  • A person gains weight (a full 68% of Americans are either overweight or obese), this often leads to elevated blood pressure. When they go to their doctor for a routine visit, their pressure is found to be elevated and they are prescribed a mild diuretic and a low salt diet (rather than more appropriate nutrition and exercise counseling).

  • The person returns with a moderate improvement in blood pressure but now there’s a slight elevation in cholesterol (not unusual since the diuretic reduced blood volume, thereby increasing the concentration of all solutes to a degree).

  • They are then either put on a low-fat diet and/ or prescribed cholesterol lowering medications (a statin). After a month or more, the person returns no lighter, with little to moderate change in cholesterol, but now also has elevated triglycerides and/ or blood sugar as well. As you can imagine, things continue to get worse and more medications are tried (when all the person needed was the proper nutrition and exercise program).

  • The progression and downward spiral in health occur because all of these disorders are related through a single disturbance (blood sugar spikes and excess insulin release) which is actually being aggravated by the treatments.


Sadly, such a scenario is much more the rule than the exception to the rule. These disorders occur so commonly in our society that we’ve become numb to the staggering toll they take:

  • Heart disease,

  • High blood pressure 

  • Diabetes


These kill twice as many people every year as were killed in both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam combined. How do we know that these disorders are actually caused by diet and not by some other factor or combination of factors? Just as with most aspects of medicine, some degree of uncertainly persists, at least among “medical experts.” For those of us who are willing to look objectively at the data (including historical, current epidemiological, and direct experimental) and apply common sense, there’s really very little doubt about the underlying cause; “poor lifestyle choices and inappropriate treatment approaches.”


The bottom line is this: Metabolism is extremely complex, there are thousands of biochemical reactions that must take place at precise times and there are many interdependent factors that affect the efficiency of these reactions.

NUTRITIONAL Supplements:

Food, and the nutrients it provides, are essential to life, period. If the food does not provide everything we need for life, health, or optimum functioning, do you think one should supplement that food? It’s obviously a rhetorical question, of course we should. The real issues are much more involved, they involve what to supplement, who to believe, how much to supplement and more. Let’s take a look at some of these issues and see if we can make some sense of it.


When you think about it, virtually everyone living in modern society and eating any amount of fortified foods is already supplementing to some degree. Flour is fortified, bread is fortified, milk is fortified, even salt is fortified. Of course, one of the reasons many of these foods are fortified is because the farming and processing techniques used strips them of many of their naturally-occurring nutrients. But they are still fortified and/or supplemented just the same. Regardless of the reason, it is generally quite well accepted that a certain amount of supplementation and/or fortification makes sense.


  1. Protein: If you aren’t getting enough quality protein in your regular diet, take a protein supplement. See the above guidelines regarding the amount and modify it based upon your activity level and goals.

  2. Fiber: Add enough so that your bowels are functioning properly (ideally you should have one bowel movement per day for each meal regularly consumed per day).

  3. Essential Fatty Acids: Cooking and processing severely damages EFAs (most people need to get some high quality sources of EFAs from supplemental sources.

  4. Food Enzymes: Since most people eat the vast majority of their foods cooked, it can make a world of difference to them if they would take some food enzymes along with each meal of cooked and processed foods.

  5. A quality multivitamin and mineral supplement: Since foods are primarily grown on nutrient depleted soils (and the animals who are fed on these are likewise deficient) consuming those foods and relying on them to provide the nutrients expected often proves futile. Only about 10% of the MVMs (multivitamin and mineral supplements) on the market are of high quality so do your homework. We plan to provide a list of recommended products down the road.

  6. Additional Vitamin C, Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium, Iodine, Vitamin D3, and K2: These tend to be needed in higher amounts that are included in even the best MVMs for several reasons. It is often not cost-effective to put higher amounts of these substances into products for mass market consumption when most consumers have no idea how much they really need.

  7. Beneficial Micro-Organisms / Healthy Bacteria: Just in case I neglected to say this elsewhere, there are an estimated 10 times the number of bacterial cells living in the average person’s large intestine than there are human cells making up their entire bodies! Over 400 species of beneficial bacteria have been identified. They perform many positive health functions for our bodies and they are transient.This means that they need to be replenished regularly. Part of their role involves which of our genes are turned on or are silent. One of the main roles of fiber is to provide fuel / nutrition to these microbes.

  8. Additional Anti-oxidants: Vitamins A, C, E; Minerals: Mg, Se, Zn; Phytonutrients, etc.

  9. Adaptogens: These are substances that have non-specific, multiple beneficial effects on multiple body organs and systems. They, by definition, boost one’s response to handling stress, trauma, fatigue, etc., generally by enhancing the organism’s ability to maintain or regain homeostasis.


These are primarily herbs that have been categorized as adaptogens based upon hundreds, or in most cases, thousands, of years of use. Some of the better known and studied include:

• Ginseng
• Maca
• Rhodiola
• Shwagandha

• Cordyceps • Reishi
• Noni


There are many different foods that have been categorized as superfoods over the years and a simple search will identify quite of few of them. There are actually two different categories of these. One refers to actual whole foods while the other refers to various foods / food-based substances that have especially high amounts of one or more beneficial substances. Perhaps a better way to categorize them is as “commonly available and/or everyday Superfoods” vs. “more concentrated and rarer superfoods.” Examples of more common Superfood foods include:

  • Blueberries

  • Broccoli

  • Beans

  • Oats

  • Oranges

  • Pumpkin

  • Red Wine

  • Salmon

  • Soy

  • Spinach

  • Tea

  • Tomatoes

  • Walnuts

  • Yogurt

  • Flax

  • Garlic, Onions

  • Mushrooms (Reishi, Shitaki)

  • Certain seed/ nuts

  • Hot Peppers

  • Dark Chocolate • Apples

  • Olive Oil

  • Goji Berries

  • Grapes

  • Pomegranate

  • Jujube Fruit

  • Sea Buckthorn

  • Raspberries/ Blackberries

  • Coconut

The list of potential benefits can be huge, while the list of potential risks is fairly small. The biggest risks, in my opinion, are: possibly wasting your money on a poor quality product or one that is misguided or poorly designed; expecting a benefit yet not getting one thereby instilling a false sense of security which might lead to a certain degree of complacency.


The bottom line, do your own homework or consult someone whose opinion you value and trust. I’d rather waste a little money than miss out on the potential benefits awaiting the “scientific consensus.” Scientific consensus is extremely rare and even slower than molasses, plus, it provides no guarantee of ultimate correctness. History is full of erroneous “scientific consensuses” that were later completely disproven.

Food Allergies and Sensitivities:

Be aware of potential food allergies and sensitivities, Most people are aware of the concept of food allergies and may know someone with them. In the case of classical, immediate on-set food allergies, the response can be quite severe if not deadly. Such people must be very careful to avoid the offending foods at all costs. Failure to do so could lead to an anaphylactic reaction that may include constriction of their airways and a dramatic fall in blood pressure leading to death if not treated aggressively. Another type of sensitivity or reaction to food that is much more common, and thankfully much less severe, is referred to as a “food sensitivity.” Food sensitivities create reactions by slower, much subtler pathways, yet still have a very significant negative impact on a person’s health over time.


It is possible and fairly common for people to develop “sensitivities or intolerances” to many otherwise healthy foods. If you overuse, crave, or feel significantly better or worse after consuming a certain food, you have likely developed “a sensitivity” to it. Although “food sensitivities” are not allergies in the classically defined sense, they can wreak havoc with your entire metabolism, and they most certainly do upset homeostasis and compromise health. Major culprits include:

  • Gluten grains (especially wheat)

  • Processed grains in general

  • Breads

  • Pasta

  • Citrus

  • Nutrition Coach Foundations 3rd Ed. © 2014

  • Dairy

  • Chocolate

  • Coffee

  • Certain alcohols



Excitotoxins are chemicals that are added to various foods to enhance flavor. A great deal of research over the past 10+ years indicates that these substances enhance flavor by stimulating neurons (nerve cells). Unfortunately, this research also indicates that the stimulation is so strong that these excitotoxins literally stimulate the neurons to death. The most notable and common excitotoxins are monosodium glutamate and artificial sweeteners.


One of the biggest problems with excitotoxins is that they are not labeled as such and tend to be hidden under a variety of different names, the following is a partial list. Anything with aspartame; L-Cysteine; MSG / monosodium glutamate. The following food additives always contain MSG yet it will not be listed; hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, plant protein extracts, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, yeast extract, textured protein, autolyzed yeast, and hydrolyzed oat flour. The following additives frequently contain MSG: malt extract, malt flavoring bouillon, broth, stock, flavoring, natural flavoring, natural beef or chicken flavoring, seasoning, and spices. The following additives may contain MSG or excitotoxins: carrageenan, enzymes, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate and whey protein concentrate.


The bottom line is that it is best to avoid these foods whenever possible. If you have a neurological disease of any kind, you should be very strict about avoiding all potential sources of excitotoxins.


Everyone knows that alcohol has a dark side, it can be addictive, it can damage the liver, and it can kill you and others when people drive under the influence of it. Most have also heard that alcohol has some beneficial effects. Every large scale study reported to date indicates that moderate alcohol consumption is healthier than total abstinence. Why? No one knows for sure. Rather than go into any lengthy speculation, let’s simply acknowledge that alcohol in moderation appears to be fine and potentially beneficial from an optimum health and longevity perspective. Now, from a weight loss and optimum physical performance perspective, that’s an entirely different matter. It is best to completely avoid alcohol while actively trying to lose weight. If, however, a person has a great deal of weight to lose and or there is a special occasion, etc., it may be quite reasonable to have brief “cheat” sessions where a moderate amount of alcohol can be consumed.


Coffee and Tea:

Coffee and tea, as with alcohol, are a part of many cultures. There are some potentially harmful things associated with both of them including addiction, and there are some potentially beneficial things associated with them. For our purposes here, let’s simply say that coffee and tea are permissible in moderation (up to two cups of coffee per day and 4 cups of tea as an arbitrary limit).

If, on the other hand, you are attempting to use them for the potential increased fatty acid mobilization effects associated with caffeine, then you may need to restrict their intake a bit more. Apparently, their ability to mobilize fats, thereby increasing their breakdown during exercise, is blunted when caffeine is consumed too frequently.


Meat and Animal Products:

This is another controversial area with those who are adamant on both sides. Many people espouse vegetarianism for nutritional / health reasons, some for ethical reasons and some for environmental reasons. Those who are promeat, tend to be so for two or three primary reasons: taste and believed health benefits. There are many points that I feel have merit on both sides. However, in the final analysis, I believe that the decision regarding eating meat is a personal one that each person must make for themselves.

From a nutritional / health perspective, a person does not have to eat meat in order to be healthy, however a meat eating person can also be healthy. The same can be said for vegetarians.


Diet / Food Choices and Eating Principles / Guidelines:


There are 3 primary macronutrients in foods: Proteins, carbohydrates and fats.


Proteins contain amino acids that are the basic building blocks of your body’s cells as well as many of the vital biochemicals used by and made by your cells. Proteins are composed of the elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, and/or sulfur. The best sources are generally considered to be beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and legumes like black beans and lentils. Protein builds up, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body. Your muscles, your organs, and your immune system are made up mostly of protein. While proteins are also used to make lots of specialized molecules such as hemoglobin, it can also be used as fuel.


Carbohydrates contain glucose / sugar that your body uses primarily as an energy or fuel source. They are composed of the elements: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Certain sugars serve other functions including roles in the immune system, reproduction, blood clotting, intercellular communication, and overall development. Carbohydrates are found in many foods including: veggies, fruits, grains, and beans.

Fats / Lipids:

Fats / lipids are a varied group of organic compounds that are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They can be solid or liquid depending on their makeup and temperature. They are the most concentrated source of energy in foods providing 9 calories per gram of fat (carbohydrates and proteins provide 4 calories per gram).

All fats are combinations of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Contrary to what many believe, fats are absolutely essential for the proper functioning of the body (the right fats that is). Fats provide essential fatty acids, which are not made by the body and must be obtained from food. The essential fatty acids are linoleic and linolenic acid. They are important for controlling inflammation, blood clotting, brain development, and as an energy source. Many substances, including vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble, making fat vital for their absorption and utilization in the body. Fats occur naturally in many protein foods as well as various oils.

Other micronutrients:

There are also several categories of micronutrients that occur in foods, they are: enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants.

  • Enzymes are actually complex proteins that perform thousands of vital, specialized functions at the subcellular level; they are completely destroyed by cooking and most processing.

  • Vitamins are a variety of substances that are “vital” to various bodily functions including playing key roles in various enzymatically controlled biochemical reactions.

  • Minerals are a variety of substances that play both structural and enzyme-regulating roles in the body.

  • Phytonutrients are a wide variety of substances that play various important roles in keeping the body healthy and preventing disease.

  • Antioxidants are substances that help to mitigate the harmful effects of metabolizing oxygen (they quench free-radicals) which is essential for energy production / utilization at the cellular level as well as hundreds of other health sustaining functions.

Understanding Food Categories / Categorization Systems:

There are many different ways to categorize foods and various rationales for the different systems. Which system you choose is far less important than simply getting an understanding of the key distinctions.


A catch all category that includes many of the edible parts of plants, like stems, roots, flowers, and leaves. We don’t usually consider the fruits of a plant to be vegetables, except for fruits that aren’t very sweet. Tomatoes, squash, peppers, eggplants, and beans, for example, are all fruits, but we usually refer to them as vegetables. This huge / catch-all category can be broken down into sub-categories that include:

  • Roots (large number with wildly varying characteristics; radishes are pungent, carrots sweet, beets earthy; and parsnips, turnips, and rutabagas, have more subtle flavors.)

  • Tubers (including potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams and many others)

  • Stalk vegetables (many such as asparagus, fennels, celery, etc.)

  • Onions (including green onions, leeks, dry onions and shallots)

  • Garlic, ginger and other rhizomes; cabbages, salad greens

        (includes over 2 dozen varieties of green / red leafy greens that are best eaten raw)

  • Cooking greens (includes over 3 dozen leafy greens that are best eaten cooked)

  • Inflorescences/ cruciferous (include broccoli, cauliflower and artichokes)

  • Snap beans, edible pods, fresh pods, fresh beans, mushrooms, fruit vegetables (include tomatoes, eggplants, winter squash, summer squash, Asian squash, cucumbers, sweet peppers, fresh chilies, dried chilies, olives, avocados and tomatillos)

  • Sea vegetables (includes approximately 2 dozen different plants that grow in the world’s oceans, these are highly nutritious, with about 40 times the mineral content of land-grown plants, unfortunately sea vegetables have not caught on very well outside of Asia)

  • Sprouts and other vegetables

The above system is clearly overly complex for most people, a simpler and very useful approach is to simply categorize veggies as follows:

  • Leafy Greens

  • Green, Red or Purple

  • White and Yellow, Red and Orange

  • Sea Vegetables

  • Cruciferous

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