Sunday, August 30, 2009

Health For All

I just completed my first week of my Dietetic Internship. I will get away from the vitamin/mineral blogs as I write more about what is on my mind and what I'm learning.

I was just reading about health recommendations for both hypertension and lypidemia (risk factors for chronic heart disease). It was simple things like decrease body weight if needed, increase physical activity, stop smoking, only consume moderate alcohol, increase fibre, increase fruits and vegetables, increase dairy, learn stress management techniques, and decrease saturated fat intake. These may not seem simple to you, but they did to me. I mean they aren't drastic changes. Imagine how the population's health would change if we just started exercising and eating more fruits and vegetables. I think people are finally starting to realize that their diet can have a significant impact on their health now and in the long run. So many chronic diseases that people have now can be prevented or managed by taking some simple steps. I think we should all try to eat and live healthfully. Don't just wait until you end up in the hospital and are forced to make changes!

Steph Wheler

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bachelor of Science in Nutrition

I am about to begin the final stage of my education in becoming a RD (registered dietitian). I will take part in a 36 week practicum that covers various aspects of the dietetic profession. It includes work in foodservice management, clinical nutrition, community nutrition, and research and development.

Steph Wheler

Vitamin B3 - Niacin

Vitamin B3 (also known as Niacin) is another water soluble vitamin. It helps transform the food you eat into the energy you need (metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrate). Niacin is important for growth, mental health, healthy skin, normal digestion, the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol, and for increased blood circulation. It is often used to treat mental illness and for the prevention of CHD (coronary heart disease)by reducing blood pressure.

Niacin can be found in meat, liver, poultry, fish, peanuts, beans, yeast, enriched whole grain breads and cereals, and nuts.

The recommendation for Niacin is 6 mg/day for toddlers (1 - 3 years), 8 mg/day for children (4 - 8 years), and 12 mg/day for early adolescents (9 - 13 years). The recommendations increases to 14 mg/day for women (14 - 70+ years) and increases yet again to 18 mg/day for pregnant women and 17 mg/day for lactating women. The RDA for men is 16 mg/day.

Niacin is easy to find in the Western diet because it is added to enrich/fortify whole grain products (as are iron, folate, thiamin, and riboflavin). Mild deficiency symptoms can include aggression, hyperactivity, diarrhea, poor memory, anxiety, depression, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and eczema. More severe deficiency can result in a condition called Pellagra.

Steph Wheler

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Specific Questions ???????

Feel free to post any specific nutrition/diet questions you may have. Questions may also refer to exercise or anything related to healthy living. I would love to help you lead a healthier life!

Steph Wheler

Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin

Vitamin B2 (also known as Riboflavin) is another water soluble vitamin. It is necessary to help your body release energy from food (from protein, fat, and carbohydrates). Riboflavin is also important for the maintenance of healthy hair, skin, and nails, and for good vision (prevention of cataracts).

It can be found in lean beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, liver, legumes, eggs, cheese, milk, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and enriched/fortified whole grain products. Riboflavin is the only B vitamin found in dairy products. It can be easily destroyed by light which is why milk cartons and jugs are opaque.

The recommendation for men (age 14 - 70+) is 1.3 mg/day, for women (age 19 - 70+) it is 1.1 mg/day with an increase to 1.4 mg/day during pregnancy and 1.6 mg/day during lactation. Females age 9 - 13 have a RDA of 0.9 mg/day, while females age 14 - 19 have an RDA of 1.0 mg/day. Recommendations for children are lower at 0.5 mg/day for 1 - 3 years old and 0.6 mg/day for 4 - 8 years old. Deficiency symptoms include itchy sensitive eyes, eczema, mouth ulcers, cold sores, cracked lips, and hair loss.

Steph Wheler

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Vitamin B1 - Thiamin

Vitamin B1 (also know as Thiamin or Thiamine) is a water soluble vitamin. It helps the body metabolize carbohydrates for energy. Thiamin also plays a role in the transmission of electrical signals in nerves and muscles. It has an effect on mood and alertness, and has been called the 'morale vitamin'.

Thiamin can be found in beef, pork, liver, legumes, enriched/fortified or whole grain products, dried peas, wheat germ, and nutritional yeast. The recommendation for Thiamin is 1.2 mg/day for males and 1.1 mg/day for females. Children's requirements are about half at 0.5 mg/day for ages 1-3 and 0.6 mg/day for ages 4-8. Adolescents require 0.9 mg/day (ages 9-13) and pregnant/lactating women have the highest requirement at 1.4 mg/day.

A deficiency of Thiamin can result in beriberi, a nervous system disorder with symptoms that include edema, muscle wasting, depression, tingling, numbness, fatigue, headaches, and loss of appetite.

Due to fortification and enrichment practices, deficiencies are rare in the western world. Fortified foods have thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, and folate added.

Steph Wheler