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Creating and adhering to a nutritional plan could be the single most important thing you do in your life. A nutritional plan does not only mean covering your physical health, but your emotional and spiritual health as well. Surviving well on a healthy nutritious diet will only go so far without the spiritual nutrients of love, happiness, sorrow and pain. You are what you eat , goes a famous saying. If that were truly the case, then a lot of Americans would appear to be unhealthy, chemically treated, commercially raised slabs of animal flesh. While that is not a particularly pleasant thought, it is nonetheless a description of the typical American omnivore who survives on the consumption of Big Mac s and greasy French fries. It is true, and what have the average Americans done about this problem? Asked for seconds and tell themselves that they won t eat much for tomorrow s meal. Most people already know what they should be doing: exercise, eat the correct foods and avoid dangerous substances such as smoking, drugs and other poisons and toxins. Your body needs a high level of anti-oxidants to live a long healthy life in our modern polluted world. If you re healthy and eat a well-balanced diet based on the Food Guide Pyramid, most nutritionist agree that supplements are unnecessary (Sinai). A well balanced diet supplies not only the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) of all the necessary nutrients, but also the important non-nutrients that vitamin pills lack, fiber being one of theses nutrients. Some nutritionist also believe that taking supplements perpetuates bad eating habits by making you think everything will be okay as long as you get your vitamins. But we must be honest with ourselves. Who seriously consumes their daily-allotted nutrients each day out of their meals? I bet your saying to yourself, well sure I do, because I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have a glass of milk and gram crackers for a late night snack. Hey I even get out of my chair at nights to try to find the remote, I m healthy enough. I would be willing to put money on it, that you not reaching your daily benefits, because only 9% of adults eat a balanced diet (Sinai). Many people can t or don t Ching 2 even eat some meals during the day due to their busy schedules. The typical American diet is well below what it should be. A study by the National Food Consumption Survey reported only 3% of the population ate the recommended number of servings from the four food groups. Only 12% consumed all of the RDA for top nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamins A, B, and C. Over 70% of men and over 80% of women failed to get even 2/3 s of the RDA for one or more nutrients (Colgan). Diets in high school students were found to be inadequate as they only consumed 56% of their calories from the Basic Four Food Groups. Foods most frequently eaten are cakes, candy, soda pop, butter, jellies and jams (Colgan). So what are the people to do about this bottomed out problem. Are we supposed to turn into nutrition freaks or do we forget it and live our drained out lives depressed, out of money, over stressed, and tired. While it seems that everyone from grandmothers to our government has good advice about how to eat well, The American Dietetic Association is urging people to take charge of their own nutrition destiny. The ADA shows that when it comes to nutrition, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. Nutrition experts say that achieving good nutrition is like putting together a puzzle; only you know where the pieces fit. So what is good nutrition? We know that you can get a good nutrition from a balanced meal, but also know that most Americans don t get the kind of nutrition that is needed. So should we be heading towards something new like dietary supplements? When it comes to supplements, it s a brand new world out there. In fact, supplement technology has come so far in the past five years that for the first time in the history of nutrition it can honestly be said that a good diet and supplement programs can provide better health gains than a typical body building diet and low dose steroid program of years past (Margen). The big question of course is, are dietary supplements and multivitamins necessary? There are many debates over the advantages and benefits of taking vitamin and mineral supplements. The fact is Ching 3 that we do not, or often cannot, get all the nutrients we need from what were eating. The nutrient content of any given food can vary greatly depending on soil conditions while growing, transportation and storage environments, decrease due to aging and loss attributed to cooking. Furthermore, many people just do not eat enough fruits and vegetates required for a nutritionally balanced diet. For many years the medical establishment has maintained that healthy adults have no need for vitamins in amounts higher than the RDA. The RDA figures are the amounts required to avoid disease associated with dietary deficiencies. Though currently, the RDA is changing their standards. There has been much more scientific evidence recently that supplementation can be beneficial for your health and fitness. While you should try to eat a variety of foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, it is not always possible. Regular supplementation maybe the best way to insure your body gets the nutrition it needs. Studies provide strong evidence that heart disease and colon cancer are associated with folic acid deficit. Eating plenty of broccoli and oranges would help supply higher levels, but average intake gives you only about half the optimum level (Sinai). People who aren t getting enough in their food should take a supplement. That s true for other vitamins as well; especially vitamin B6 and vitamin E. Studies show that people have a 40% lower risk of heat disease when taking vitamin E supplements. That s a greater benefit than you get from fat-reducing drugs, which cost about $1500 a year versus $10 to $20 for vitamin E. It makes sense for most people to take a multivitamin that contains vitamins E, B-complex, A and C. Women should choose a multivitamin/multimineral supplement that adds iron, if they are of childbearing age. Supplements can be useful to individuals, consumers and to the U.S. population as part of an overall strategy to optimize nutrition intake. All people whose diets fail to provide target amounts of nutrients might reasonably choose to improve dietary habits and use supplements in an effort to meet nutritional goals. Ching 4 Many nutritional experts agree that unless you re consistently eating a good diet, it s probably a good idea to take supplements. David Benton, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Walees, Swansea, says the first signs of nutritional deficiencies show up not as physical signs but as declining mental performances. To prove his hypothesis, Benton gave a group of healthy college students a daily high-potency multivitamin supplement containing three times the Daily Value of most vitamins. After a year, the students thinking processes were measurably sharper and their moods better than a comparable group of students given a placebo. Dietary supplements have been around for a long time. While there has not been a demand for them until the 90 s there has been one supplement that has been around since 1832. The supplement is called Creatine. Creatine is found in the body of humans, lean red meat and fish. You right now have creatine in your body, around 100 to 115 grams of creatine stored. Creatine synthesized by the liver, the kidney, and the pancreas form three amino acids - argenine, glycine and methionine (Margen). From the liver and kidneys, 95% of it goes to the muscles and forms Creatine Phosphate, which boosts the body s manufacture of the energy in the skeletal system, while the other 5% is scattered through out the body. The human body gets most of the creatine it needs for maintaining its bodily functions from food or dietary supplements. Red meat is the best food source of creatine, however there is only about 5 grams per 2 pounds of meat. Scientist says that a person uses up to two gram of Creatine per day. Therefore, to notice any positive effects from creatine, you need to supplement. Creatine (scientifically known as creatine monohydrate) increases the availability of instant energy. It increases muscle strength, improves endurance and delays fatigue, as well as taking off fat and replacing it with muscle. Creatine will force a more fluids into the muscles, giving a goo

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