Nutrient deficiencies exist extensively among many members of the U.S. population. Rich, poor, well, or sick—92 percent of the population is suffering from at least one mineral or vitamin deficiency based on the Dietary Reference Intakes. The entire country is overfed and undernourished. Even if you consume a “perfect” diet, the odds are, something is missing.
The numbers don’t lie. According the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):
It is a well-known fact that processed junk and fast foods have become staples in the American diet. Fresh, nutrient-rich foods are often considered taxing on time and finances, deeming these food choices a luxury rather than the standard at dinner tables throughout the country. Along side of the fast food eruption, the soil of farmland all across the globe is deficient in micronutrients. So really, even if processed junk food and fast food were not a part of the food supply, deficiencies would still be rampant, as soil quality is diminishing at a rapid rate and reducing the nutrient value of produce. Sick, mineral depleted soil grows mineral depleted foods. The animals that we eat are being fed these micronutrient depleted vegetables and wheat. This means that the meat you buy is also far lower in health producing micronutrients than ever before. The bottom line is: “Sick soils mean sick plants, sick animals, and sick people.”
"Hidden Hunger" is a term that was brought about to describe the serious hunger our bodies have for the much needed vitamins and minerals the we are NOT getting. It's not just about third world countries that are starving for lack of food. Our own country is starving for real nutrients in this over processed country we live in. The worst part about all of this, is it effects the children the most! Kids today are not being raised on produce from the back yard or local farmers markets. They aren't eating meat from healthy sources. Fast food and processed freezer meals are feeding our kiddos in this nation. Yes, we are all crazy busy with non-stop activities for our families, but that does not mean they can only crap food. When you start to look a little deeper into the dangers facing our children from a lack of nutrition, you may want to take the time to figure out a little pre-meal-planning for the week. Is it really too much to ask of you to wake up 10 minutes early to put actual meat from a good butcher shop or local farmer into the crockpot? Is it really that hard to was a few fruits and veggies each day for healthy snacks? If you plan ahead, you can make larger quantities of food and have left overs for half of the week. Left overs that are versatile and able to be made into wraps or sandwiches. The meals that you spend a little more time on make a huge difference in the health of your children. Below are examples of common deficiencies in children and the effects they have to their mental and physical development.
I realize that it might not be easier and you are likely to get push back from your child that is used to sugar laden processed food, but keep in mind that you love them and are responsible for their health. They are not mature enough to make good health conscious decisions every day, nor should they have that pressure. There are simple things to change first, for example; instead if a sugary soda or fruit juice, pass them an apple or other high fiber piece of fruit and a bottle of water. Instead of a candy bar, how about a cheese stick? The statistic below are scary, but preventable especially in our own country.
Now going back for a moment, lets look at Macronutrients and Micronutrients. We looked at Macros and few weeks ago to really analyze our dietary intake. As mentioned, it's a GREAT beginning step toward grasping your nutritional needs in regards to calories from Fats, Carbohydrates, and Proteins. Counting Macros helps us know where our caloric intake stands, and gives us the knowledge to make adjustments to our diet to hit our personal goals. Micros on the other hand are not as easy, but honestly more important. As your goals for a healthier lifestyle become more advanced and you are successfully living a healthier lifestyle, it's time to look into your micros. These are the vitamin and mineral levels within your body. The only way to know for certain what your levels are is through a blood test. An local family doctor or laboratory can do a simple blood test for you that will show you your deficiencies if you have any. Many premier athletes have blood tests regularly. When you study your results, eating becomes more centered around your bodies needs nutritionally, and not just for energy (macros). Counting macros is not something you really think about as much because by this time you have a great idea of how much of each macro you are roughly consuming. More thought goes into eating for your micros. The best part about formulating your diet for micros is you are naturally going to eat whole nutritious foods....why?!?!?!?! Because you are not going to increase your low vitamin B12 levels from a snickers bar every day. You may be striving to eat more green leafy veggies for folate, vitamin K, vitamin E, Vitamin K, iron, or magnesium. Perhaps your vitamin C is low and you need more bright colored fruits and veggies. These are just quick examples, there are many charts out there to help you. Side note: please stay away from the "fortified" foods. Much of the nutritional value in "fortified" foods are lost in processing.
Below I'm going to share with you some common charts. For the next few weeks, I would like to get more in depth with each vitamin and mineral, it's purpose, and how to get more of it in a healthy way.
The most common Deficiencies
Typical deficiencies found within these health conditions
Nutrient deficiencies cause by common drugs
Take the next step toward your health and have a blood analysis done. There is truly no harm that can come from a simple blood test, only knowledge to gain.
Dr. MJ Wegmann,