Originally published November 19 2008
Nutritionist Jonny Bowden (Part III): Food Supplements and Combinations that Make Sense
by Kevin Gianni
(NaturalNews) This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeRoundtable.com. In this excerpt, Jonny Bowden shares on the most important supplements and food combining ideas that make sense as well as those that just don't hold up.
Renegade Roundtable with Jonny Bowden, a board certified nutrition specialist and nationally known expert on weight loss and nutrition. He is the author of Living the Low Carb Life: Choosing the Diet that's Right for You, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprisingly Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why and The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprisingly Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why.
Kevin: There are so many supplements today to choose from. The costs can be high and I don't know if they work. If you're on a budget, what are the bare-bones supplements that you think that people should really be concerned about or should be using?
Jonny: If I had to pick one, if you put a gun to my head and I had to pick one supplement that would have the broadest-based shotgun approach to health that does the most things for the most people and that most people are lacking in it would have to be fish oil.
Even a multiple vitamin, a lot of people on this call are eating really great. They're eating a lot of raw foods. They're getting enzymes and they're eating yogurt or other naturally fermented foods and they're getting some probiotics. Let's assume they're getting a ton of vitamins from their vegetables and fruits, although most people are lacking in some of them, but if you could only take one the omega threes just have the widest range of health benefits and are most needed by most people. So that would be my number one with a bullet.
There are others down the list. Certainly, multivitamins, magnesium. Probiotics are a good one. Digestive enzymes. There are a lot of different things and then of course, you get into the different health conditions and the different things and different challenges that different people have. If there are some heart issues or anything to do with -- if anybody's on a staten medication to lower cholesterol and that's a whole other discussion, but if you are on one of there's not even a doubt, you should be on co- enzyme Q10 supplementation. Absolutely 100% and if your doctor tells you otherwise change doctors. Staten drugs seriously deplete co-enzyme Q10. It's a vital nutrient for the heart. If you're on a Staten medication co-enzyme Q10 is at the top of the list.
For energy depletion there's all sorts of different things. If people have blood sugar issues and I talk about all of this in The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth. Different natural prescriptions for supporting your health with different kinds of conditions and not necessarily curing a condition, but supporting your health and maybe being able to reduce medication or maybe being able to put something into remission or reduce the number of outbreaks of asthma attacks or acne or any of these different things. That can be helped by different dietary supplement strategies, but again, go back to what is the one thing that people on a budget, one thing that they can take. That said, I would have to say fish oil.
Kevin: Any specific supplements for women?
Jonny: Well, certainly fish oil again, because that's something both sexes need. If someone is pregnant, I think that's number one with a bullet, because the developing fetus again, the brain is 60% by weight fat and most of that fat is DHA. So again, this is vitally important. I think folic acid is particularly important. It's important for men and for women. I'm not one of those people who think that there's a vast difference in what men and women need. There are some things like iron that men just shouldn't be taking, but folic acid, if you're of pregnancy age or whether you're intending to get pregnant or not of pregnancy age you should be taking folic acid absolutely every day. If you drink, you should be taking folic acid every day. So this is another supplement that just has wonderful benefits in a myriad of ways, but certainly any one of pregnancy age should be taking that.
Then beyond that I think calcium, magnesium. I think we been oversold about how much calcium we need to take. I think that's a whole different discussion, but I don't think we need nearly as much calcium as we've been told. What we need to do is stop eating things that remove calcium from our system and then we wouldn't need to take so much of it.
I'm more concerned that people aren't getting enough magnesium. I think vitamin D is going to be the unsung nutrient hero of this decade. We're just now seeing how low the recommendation has been compared to the value that this vitamin has and how much of the vitamin D deficiency epidemic we have in this country and how vitally important that is for health on many different levels. It has anti-cancer activity.
I was just interviewing for my radio show yesterday, the author of the book called The Blue Zones, which is what he did for National Geographic Explorer and he found four areas in the world: Sardinia, Okinawa, a remote peninsula in Costa Rica and the Loma Linda area of California, where the Seventh-day Adventists live. He found these four areas in the world that they called the blue zones, where people live to be a hundred they live in fantastic health. They have energy. There are people that are over a hundred years old that are tilling the fields. These pockets of long-lived healthy existence and they went and he investigated to see with the people might have in common. All of them live in sunny climates. All of them were getting a lot of vitamin D. Now there are a lot of things that they have in common, as well; very high plant-based diets, for example, a lot of activity and a lot of connections to other people. All of that stuff, but one of the central things was the vitamin D connection. So I think that's a vitamin that almost everyone can benefit from, from taking more. We don't nearly enough with that. We get this ridiculous low RDA of 400 IUs a day is waste. It's laughably low. That would be another one that we could benefit by.
Kevin: Why did you say men shouldn't be taking iron supplements?
Jonny: Because we have no way of getting rid of iron. Menstruating women have a monthly cycle in which they lose blood and therefore, can get rid of some of the iron that accumulates in their bodies. Iron is very toxic to the body when it accumulates. So if you're menstruating you have a way of getting rid of it. If you're not menstruating, if you're a postmenopausal woman or a man you shouldn't be taking iron, because it gets into the system and it absolutely can oxidize. It can be a component of -- there's just a lot of connections to heart disease and all kinds of other things. You don't want accumulated iron in the body. So I would say that for any man, a multivitamin without iron and for any postmenopausal woman a multivitamin without iron.
Kevin: That's great advice. There's so much confusion on combining foods. You can't eat this with that. You can't have this with something else. What are your thoughts on food combining and what works for you?
Jonny: Well, there's two concepts of food combining. The way I think you're talking about is a kind of 1850s naturopathic theory that I hate to say it and I hope I don't insult anyone who follows this, but it's kind of been discredited. The idea of these charts that you see in health food stores that say don't eat this with that or don't eat this food with this class. It hasn't kept up with the science of the way we digest food.
So I think that that sense of food combining doesn't make a lot of sense to me. That said, there are some people who are again, honoring the fact that people are unique and that their biochemistry is unique and that everybody responds differently to things. There is a subset of the population whose digestion is very sensitive and who have different kinds of transit time. Things stay in their system different lengths of time and some foods they're sensitive to and some aren't. They just have sensitive stomachs and these people may benefit by experimenting with not eating certain things in combination or eating things are easily digested at one meal and maybe not eating certain kinds of combinations of others, but in general the whole food combining theory is not one that I basically subscribed to it all.
The second way you talk about food combining that does make sense though is in terms of modifying blood sugar and insulin levels. Now, in that sense, if you eat a potato by itself it's going to raise your blood sugar very quickly, very high and has a very high glycemic load. If you put some butter on it or you eat it with some olive oil or you mix and match some proteins with or some fats with that, you get a very different hormonal response. Your blood sugar goes up at a different rate. The glycemic load is different.
The insulin reaction is different. So in the sense of trying to modify, because I think the
blood sugar and insulin are very big players, both in weight, certainly in weight loss, but I
think in health in general. So we want to always try to keep our blood sugar like kind of
a lake on a summer day. Just a little bit of waves that goes up a little bit and goes down
a little bit. What we don't want his blood sugar waves that look like hurricanes in the
Atlantic Ocean during hurricane Katrina. That's what we don't want. That's what the
way we eat tends to produce and that produces fluctuations in blood sugar, cravings,
overeating, binging, mood changes, irritability and weight gain.
So to the extent that we can control that and we can control that by combining foods, by not eating -- the joke is put olive oil on your cornflakes. Of course, I don't think cornflakes are a great food to begin with, but the point is you need to mix and match some fats with the carbs or some protein with the carbs in that kind of sense of combining in order to modify that blood sugar and insulin response. So that kind of combining I'm a big fan of. The food combining that comes from the old naturopathic traditions of the 1850s with the charts in the health food store, not so much.
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About the authorKevin Gianni is a health advocate, author and speaker. He has helped thousands of people in over 85 countries learn how to take control of their health--and keep it. To view his popular internet TV Show "The Renegade Health Show" (and get a free gift!) with commentary on natural health issues, vegan and raw food diets, holistic nutrition and more click here.
His book, "The Busy Person's Fitness Solution," is a step-by-step guide to optimum health for the time and energy-strapped. To find out more about abundance, optimum health and self motivation click here... or you're interested in the vegan and raw food diet and cutting edge holistic nutrition click here. For access to free interviews, downloads and a complete bodyweight exercise archive visit www.LiveAwesome.com.
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