Friday, December 2, 2011

Food For Thought - Nutrition

I haven't blogged in a very long time but I really wanted to share an assignment I had to do for my nutrition class this week. I recieved some great feedback from my instructor and other students and as I thought through it all I really was impressed that I'd come up with some of this information. We were given a situation for James who was having health issues and his doctor had explained that he need to make changes in his diet. He met with a nutritionist but is reluctent to make necessary changes. Here are my thoughts and research.

To begin with, if James has health issues for which his doctor is recommending some changes in his diet it would be best to strongly look at ways to follow that advice. His doctor most likely knows more about his body on the inside than James does himself so those are things to accept and follow. Just because he needs to cut saturated fat and cholesterol doesn’t mean all will be tasteless. In fact more and more chef’s and individuals are learning about the world of spices for adding flavor and taste without adding fat and cholesterol. Also just because these things need to be lowered doesn’t mean he can NEVER have them in his diet. He just needs to learn new ways of eating the recommended ways and having full flavored meals too.

The fats he would need to avoid are things like shortening, stick margarine, heavy sauces and gravy, mayonnaise and even limiting chocolate. He can use other things such as canola oils, nuts (oils can be made from these as well), low-fat or nonfat dressings and mayonnaise, and it’s very important to stay away from a lot of convenience foods like lunch meats and grab and go foods. You should choose proteins such as chicken, fish and lean meats. “If you eat raw meat, limit to no more than three servings per week and choose loin or round cuts” (University of California San Fransisco Medical Center, 2011). You don’t have to completely do away with what you like it just needs to be limited.

In looking at high protein low carb diets we find some advantages but many risks as well that could make someone with health conditions have more problems. For example, by restricting carbohydrates drastically to a mere fraction of that found in the typical American diet, the body goes into a different metabolic state called ketosis, whereby it burns its own fat for fuel” (Gelfand, 2010). This state, also helps a person to not feel as hungry and thus eat less. However, it can cause other serious health conditions such as kidney failure, heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke and even cancer among other things. Everything should be considered when making changes in ones’ diet and consulting with a doctor.

I do not believe both diets help him achieve his goals for lowering cholesterol and weight loss. I still believe after everything I’ve read that a healthy diet is one that changes some things you eat but doesn’t force you to only eat certain things. There are too many more risks that out weight any advantages with the high protein, low carb diets. The quality of fat content would refer to the type of fat used and how it can affect things such as cholesterol and blood pressure.

The Atkins diet would be most like the high protein diets and the cons that go with it totally blow away any pros in my opinion. I know that has been a popular diet choice for many people but having read up on it and knowing a few people who have used it and had adverse outcomes leads me to believe it is not a great choice. There are many other diets out there that have pros and cons as well. I do not like diets that force you to eat what they prepare for you or what you pay for and have shipped to you. Why can’t a diet teach you how to eat properly and prepare your own meals? That’s the type that would be best something that allows you to eat things you like and teaches you how to prepare them in healthy ways.

The media has played a roll in dietary habits of people which is ridiculous. It’s as if people can’t think for themselves and make correct choices. Many days you will hear about foods that should not be in our diets and stories in the news or in papers about these things. Even our own government is trying to get in the picture. It is all craziness and if we don’t take control of ourselves and our children who knows what might be next. We are in charge of our lives and how we live them but we need to be responsible as well. Don’t blame others for why we eat things we do and don’t look to others to make those decisions for us either.

Drummond, K., & Brefere, L. (2010). Nutrition for Foodservice and Culinary Professionals (7th ed.). Hobboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Gelfand, M. J. (2010, March 5). High Protein, Low Carb Diets. Retrieved from Web MD:
University of California San Fransisco Medical Center. (2011, August 17). Guidelines for a Low Cholesterol, Low Saturated Fat Diet. Retrieved from