Mexican Baked Tilapia from Chowhound

Nutrition 101

This is a lecture I gave at one of my Healthy Cooking meetup groups in 2016.  Sorry it’s somewhat of a work in progress but will polish it up soon!

Agenda

Nutrition Defined
Basic Nutrients
Digestion
Calories
Nature’s Intention

Nutrition Defined

What Most of us Learned in School
From Merriam Webster:
the act or process of nourishing or being nourished; specifically :  the sum of the processes by which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances

The Scientific Definition

Scientific = Biochemical
Reductionist
Introducing Dr. T. Colin Campbell…

Warning: This is a somewhat unpopular criticism of the way nutrition is supported by our government and medical establishment at large.

Excerpt from his 2013 book “Whole, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition”:
“I remember sums from grade school math. We added two numbers and got a third. The third, which we called the sum, was nothing more or less than what you got by adding the first two numbers. That’s the very soul of reductionism. Remember, the sum total can be completely known if you know each individual part.”

Dr. Campbell goes on to explain his theory that nutritional science, and to a greater extent, the food industry as a whole, relies on reductionism to further their argument that processed food is fine because the individual components are “the same” as what you’d find in natural whole foods.

Did you know?

Traditional medical doctors have little to no training in nutrition. It is not part of the curriculum. Here’s an excerpt from an article in a dietician’s publication from January of 2016:

It’s no secret the nutrition education many medical students receive today leaves much to be desired. The Institute of Medicine and the Association of American Medical Colleges currently recommend medical students receive 25 hours of dedicated nutrition education over a four-year span. Whether that’s sufficient is an argument unto itself, but many colleges aren’t even meeting that goal.

Basic Nutrients

Macronutrients

Carbohydrates * See next slide
Proteins * Meat, (some) vegetables, dairy, eggs, beans
Fats * Harder to digest but important for “internal lubrication”

* Good source of energy

* Some essential fats must be eaten (body can’t produce)

* Trans fats are the only fats you should not eat

* Fat does not make you fat.

Water * Our bodies need constant replenishment

* Best detoxifier

* Best a.m. kickstart

Carbohyrates

Compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen called sugars (saccharides)
Simple vs. Complex
* Simple sugar molecules form chains to create complex carbohydrates (starch)
* Enzymes break the chains down to simple sugars for the body to absorb.
Comes mostly from plants.
* But also milk, which is difficult to digest and can cause problems.
Americans eat far too few carbohydrates.
* Mostly empty calories
* 70-80% “good” carbohydrates is recommended by many whole food nutrition experts
* USDA Recommends 45-65%

A Lesson in Nutrition from Dr. McDougall

Micronutrients

Essential vitamins
Plant foods

Minerals
Also essential
Better from food than supplements

Digestion

How Digestion Works

The digestive system breaks down macronutrients into molecular components such as amino acids, fatty acids and glucose.

These then absorbed through the walls of the digestive tract, and the circulatory system disseminates them throughout the body.

<insert image from slide 14>

Fiber

Fiber is an even LONGER chain of complex carbs. So long that it can’t all be digested, and much of it passes through your system undigested.
Eating high-fiber foods is hugely beneficial …
* Maintains bowel health
* Controls blood sugar
* Reduces bad cholesterol
* Lower risk of heart disease or stroke
* Aids weight loss (feel full longer)
* Helps remove toxins and unwanted fungus
* Reduces risk of diverticulitis and hemorrhoids

Sources of Fiber

Beans, peas, lentils
Whole grains
Green veggies (celery, broccoli, green beans)
Fruit
Starchy vegetables (potatoes, parsnips, etc)

Gut Health

Sequence is important
Probiotics
Avoiding inflammatory foods
Gluten, sugar, dairy

Calories

Calories are Your Energy

All food has calories
Your body transforms the calories from food into heat energy
The heat energy is then used by your body to run its various systems
You only need to consume enough food to “run” your body.

How Calories are Stored

FIFO vs LIFO?

<insert image from slide 20>

Excellent description at www.weightlossforall.com/energy-stores-lose-weight.htm

Quality is Everything

Calories in – calories out… NOT!
Choose the natural (whole) version
* A little bit of honey instead of Splenda
* Eat an apple instead of drinking apple juice
* Fresh veggies, not frozen or canned
Counting calories doesn’t work
* Weight-watchers model

Nature’s Intention

Good and Bad “Diets”

Fad diets are temporary and never work.
Some come close
* Paleo (sort of)
* Weight Watchers

Bad diets
* Low carb
* Low fat
* Any that support processed food

The Best Diet

A good diet is a permanent lifestyle choice
Based on whole foods
Organic, natural ingredients
As close to natural state as possible
Mostly plants, whole grains, good fats, lean protein
Use “gentle” cooking techniques (e.g. light sauté vs deep fry)

The Simplest Diet in the World

Excerpt from The Great Cholesterol Myth
Chapter 13, 22:16

References

Slides – <put on slide share>

Recommended Books and Films
Whole, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, by T. Colin Campbell, PhD
The Great Cholesterol Myth, by Jonny Bowden PhD & Stephen Sinatra MD
In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan (Book and Film)
Forks Over Knives (Film)

Praise for T. Colin Campbell
Excerpt from Amazon review of The Low-Carb Fraud (Dr. Campbell’s latest book)
“…Eating his recommended way, I have gone from 235 pounds on a 5 ft 1 in frame to 121 pounds. I had been testing prediabetic for years and now my blood sugar and other values are completely normal. I stride around like a teenager whereas before I had x-ray verified need for replacement of both hips, both knees, and both ankles. I had severe osteoarthritis such that each step was very painful. I now work all day on my feet and have no pain at all…”

Mexican Baked Tilapia from Chowhound

Easy No-Cook Oatmeal

Serves: 1
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Also called “muesli” in many parts of Europe, you don’t need to soak this no-cook oatmeal overnight. A good one-hour soak in the morning will do the trick. Make it while you’re waiting for your coffee and by the time you get out of the shower it’ll be ready to go.

Ingredients

1/3 C gluten free oats
1 T chia seeds
1/2 C coconut water
2 T plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 small banana
1/4 C small frozen sweet fruit such as raspberries or blueberries
1 T chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Soak chia seeds in coconut water for a few minutes until the mixture begins to gel. (This step is optional but I find it works better for the short soak version.)
  2. Add oats and yogurt and stir well.
  3. Chop banana and put on top. Don’t stir.
  4. Add frozen fruit, then sprinkle with nuts. Don’t stir.
  5. Place in the frig for an hour (less is OK but an hour or so is best).
  6. Mix and eat!

Tips and Time Savers

  • If you don’t like it cold, stick it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then restir. It will be nice and warm.
  • It’s fine to not soak the chia seeds first, but you will get a slightly different texture.
  • Yes, you can make these the night before if that works better for you. Many people (including myself) prefer the shorter soak time because of the taste and texture of the slightly firmer oat.
  • You can omit the yogurt (oh but why?!) and use a nut milk instead.

Notes

No need to add any kind of sweetener. The frozen fruit will make it plenty sweet enough.

Nutrition

Coming soon!

Photos

Photo of no-cook oatmeal