With the spreading of MRSA and other superbugs throughout our health care faculties and now even into our local communities, it has never been more important for all of us to try and maintain a good, healthy diet to give our bodies the building blocks it needs to keep our immune defenses strong.
But here we are once again with the an agency of our government charged with providing all of us with valid, complete, carefully considered guidelines, failing completely to do their job.
The USDA just recently released an updated policy manual for Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This is a manual which included dietary recommendations that is supposed to help people to better maintain their ideal weight and improve their nutrition level through good nutrients.
And while it is more comprehensive than the previous versions, there are still some very important essentials that it fails to cover adequately or at all.
Most who have looked at nutrition even a little, understand the flaws in the USDA’s Food Pyramid and now their new dietary guidelines are following in the same half-way reporting using their completely outdated nutritional views. A lot of their fault lies in the absurdly low U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamins and minerals.
The odd fact if that in their own guide on page 112 they admit that "in certain cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful in providing one or more nutrients that otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts." Well hurray for them at least for sort-of recognizing the major problem we have in today’s food supply.
But it really goes so much further than that because most fresh produce is deficient in both vitamins and minerals because of how it is grown and harvested and transported to our store to be taken home for the evening meal. On top of that any prepared or processed foods further reduce any available nutrients as much is lost in the manufacturing of the items.
Even granting that the new USDA guidelines might be what you what to aim for, even they might be difficult to get to with much of today’s poor quality foods we consume. The only way we can reasonably find what we need is to supplement our intake daily.
While the USDA did acknowledge this some, they also fail to differentiate between the nutrient types and even suggesting that "fortified foods" can help everyone get the needed level of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, that could not be farther from the truth.
Most fortified foods are nothing more than highly refined (read less nutritious) foods which have had synthetic vitamins and raw minerals added back to them. Both of which do very little good in our bodies as our bodies do not recognize them as anything useful.
Our bodies understand naturally plant produced vitamins but just pass through synthetic ones. The same with minerals that are added to food as these are usually raw ones that have not be processed by the plant and placed into a form that the body can use.
Without this chemical processing by the food plant, that mineral is no more than eating a handful of dirt – does not taste good and does little for us nutritionally.
On the other hand, organically grown whole foods actually contain bio-available vitamins, minerals and enzymes that work synergistically with one another and our body knows what to do with these as we have evolved along with the plants to be able to consume them in their natural form.
Also, the USDA report fails completely to address many of the important nutrients that research has demonstrated make a tremendous difference in our daily and long-term health. Nutrients such as magnesium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, copper and zinc, to name only a few.
And because of our farming practices, our soil depletion, processing, refining and long distance transportation to our store, sufficient levels of vitamins and minerals are no longer found even in fresh produce. We can not just consume only the fresh and processed foods and not have to take additional supplementation to get the required levels that really are what we need to maintain our health.
The USDA uses the RDA as the basis of all its recommendations, but consistently ignores the very large amount of data indicating that much higher levels of all the nutrients are needed to maintain our health properly.
Until such time as the USDA actually comes into the 21st century and begins to look at the available data instead of ignoring it, then we will have to be much more pro-active concerning our health.
Read and learn about nutrition, ask your local grocer where their produce comes from, support any local farmers you have and encourage them to use organic practices, supplement with all the needed vitamins and minerals and be sure you include in your supplementation items that boost and work with your immune system. That we all can do while we work to change the farming industry back to a more sustainable method. In the meantime, we can let that industry know that we want a change and that we will be voting with our wallets to support those that do head in that direction.