You Are What You Eat
Does body shape, metabolism, or blood type determine what kind of diet works best?
In a word: yes. Body shape groups into three main categories, which may overlap:
• Ectomorphs are slim like endurance athletes. They need a high carbohydrate
intake with moderate protein and low-fat content.
• Mesomorphs have medium body structure with more muscle mass and less body fat. This body type is found in explosive athletes; nutritional requirements are about 40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat.
• Endomorphs are bigger and have larger bone structure and larger amounts of fat. Since this body type converts carbs to fat very easily, their diet should be about 25 percent carbs, 35 percent protein and 40 percent fat.
Body metabolism is usually faster in people who have more muscle like men and younger people. Muscle and metabolism decrease with age. Diseases which cause lower metabolism, such as Cushing’s syndrome and hypothyroidism, can contribute to weight gain but aren’t common.
Recommended diets for various blood types exist (check www.webmd). Many factors determine weight – all part of our genetic makeup--including our gut biome. However, the bottom line: If you take in fewer calories and burn more by exercising, you are likely to lose weight.
Harold L. Kent, MD, Bariatric & General Surgery, is owner of Georgia Coast Surgical & Med Spa; 3226-F Hampton Avenue, Brunswick. 912-264-9724. Dr. Kent is Board-Certified with the American Board of Surgery. Georgiacoastsurgical.com, Facebook: Georgia Coast Surgical & Med Spa
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Hippocrates, 460 B.C.
They say foods such as blueberries and kale are “superfoods.” Do superfoods really exist and what makes them so super?
High nutritional content is why you hear and see the label “super food.” Super foods are high in vitamins or minerals, and phytonutrient compounds meet the body’s basic needs to survive and also help support a body with disease to get healthy again.
Blueberries: Packed with antioxidants, especially Vitamin C and potassium, the benefits of eating blueberries are fighting cancer, boosting brain health and promoting heart health to name a few. (Because of their Vitamin-K content, it would be best to check with your doctor first, if you are on blood thinners.)
Kale: Kale is another super food. Contained in one cup, kale has your daily value of Vitamins A, C, K, as well as manganese, potassium and copper. The compounds lutein and zeaxanthin in kale may help with macular degeneration or cataracts. Kale also has omega-3 with insoluble fiber, which are both good for help with cholesterol.
In today’s American diet, do we get needed nutrients or should we take supplements?
Harvard Health Newsletter states: ‘The typical American Diet is poor nutrient processed foods, refined grains, added sugars and too loaded with fats.’ This can all be linked to inflammation and chronic diseases.
Additionally, as a person ages, the ability to absorb nutrients from food decreases, and people tend to eat less with age, so it is important to choose wisely.
Even with a healthy well-balanced diet, you may fall short of needed nutrients:
• Supplements are designed to help make up, supply and add to what you are missing in your eating.
• Take a good look at your diet and compare it to a vitamin and mineral chart, or better yet, go and talk to someone in the field of supplements.
• Disease in the body is another reason to look at your nutrition intake, lifestyle and nutrient needs.
• If you are tired all the time, you need to take a good look at your diet.
Is there such a thing as brain foods? What are they and how do they work?
Brain foods are important because as real food, they supply a beneficial fat or nutrient we don’t get in the basic American diet of processed food.
The brain is about 60 percent fatty tissue, so “good fats” are recommended such as:
• Fatty fish, especially cold-water fish with an oily smell, are of great benefit to the brain. They contain Omega-3 oil, which in turn helps with focus and memory at any age. Salmon tops the list, along with trout, sardines and other cold-water fish.
• Avocados are brain food because of the good fat found in them. They can boost memory and concentration.
• Blueberries have a nickname in the wellness industry—brain-berries. They protect the brain from degeneration and help it deal with stress.
• Red Beets boost blood flow to the brain. Their biggest purpose is helping to keep the brain filled with oxygen.
• Broccoli has a high level of a B vitamin, Choline, which is great for memory.
• And, your morning cup of coffee is also a proven brain benefit for alertness and mood, but, not too many cups!
Thom Davis is a certified nutritionist and manager of Feelin’ Great Wellness Center, 718 Mall Blvd., Brunswick, outside Glynn Place Mall; Open daily; 912.265-1552.