Basic Nutrition: Fact or Faux

Basic Nutrition Webinar Slides from April 26, 2015

This week Dr. Oz was under attack in the media for promoting false or unproven health claims. Ever since his show came on the air, I have had mixed feelings about him and his show. Dr. Oz promotes supplements and diets that in my education are based on false claims. It is confusing to me because he is a respected Columbia professor and medical doctor, so why is he promoting sensationalist health claims and miracle cures like a traveling salesman. These types of claims prey on people’s fears, fears of disease and death, and in my opinion have no integrity.

The hallmarks of a healthy diet that have been proven over and over again, are:

  • Varied, whole foods diet from a rainbow of colors
  • Stress Management
  • Adequate Sleep
  • Connection with Nature
  • Connection with Community
  • Daily Physical Activity

* adapted from Blue Zones: live longer

Whole Foods Diet

Basic Nutrition: Micro- and Macro-Nutrients

Whole foods from a variety of sources in the least processed form possible. This is the hallmark of a healthy diet that will deliver all of the micro- and macro- nutrients you need for a healthy, happy body and mind. With a whole foods diet along with lifestyle that meets the other five hallmarks of a healthy lifestyle, you will experience:

  • Healthy weight
  • Stable Energy
  • Sense of Well-being


macronutrient 2

The macronutrients, protein, carbohydrate and fat are the components the body needs most for daily activities. One is not more important than another and should be a part of each meal.

Island Farm Project farmers market
Island Farm Project farmers market


Carbohydrates are the fuel for the body. The fuel that the brain and muscles prefer.

Carbohydrate rich foods are:

  • Whole-grains* and processed grains
  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, and corn*
  • Beans
  • Sugar and sugar containing foods, including honey, maple syrup, and agave
  • Foods made from flour including wheat, brown rice, and sorghum
  • Vegetables and fruit*
  • Dairy products*

*healthiest carbohydrate sources



Protein helps to keep you satiated throughout the day, it provides essential enzymes and provides the building blocks for body function and form.

Protein rich foods are:

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Milk and cheese
  • Beans
  • Some grains: Quinoa and teff are grains high in protein. Other grains provide a small amount of protein.



Fat is important for:

  • Absorption of fat soluble vitamins- A, D, E, & K
  • Major component of cell walls
  • Steady energy source
  • Necessary component of essential hormones
  • Important to brain structure and function
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) omega-3 and omega-6
  • Signaling agent in cells
  • Supports emotional and mental health

Hormone disrupters and environmental toxins are found in the fat of commercially raised animals, choose pasture raised, free-range animal fat products.

  • Pasture raised butter
  • Pasture raised lard

Vegetable fats are great and should be in the least processed form possible. These oils are mechanically processed instead of chemically.

  • Extra Virgin coconut oil
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Sesame oil

Cold water fish

Unsalted raw nuts



You are an individual!

Energy needs are individualized based on your own unique body and activity level. Portions will need to be customized to you. In general each meal should consist of 20-30% protein, 10-20% fat and 40-60% carbohydrate. Foods in the least processed form possible, from a variety of sources and in a rainbow of colors. Contact us to set up a diet assessment to see if your meeting your needs.

micronutrient foods

Each meal:

  • Half of your plate vegetables
  • 2-3 oz. protein
  • 1 serving fat
  • ½ cup carbohydrate or 1 slice whole grain bread

When you meet your macronutrient needs from a variety of healthy, whole-foods your vitamin and mineral (micronutrients) needs will also be met. When these needs are met, your sense of well-being both mentally and physically is elevated.



Micronutrients are the essential vitamins and minerals needed for the chemical reactions in the body. For instance vitamin C is an essential to the formation of collagen, the most important protein in connective tissue (holds cells together), if vitamin C is not available, collagen will not form and body form and function fails.

There are essential (need to be ingested, cannot be made by the body) fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. The fat soluble vitamins need fat for absorption into the body and transport to cells. The water soluble vitamins are more easily digested and assimilated. Fat soluble vitamins can be stored by the body, whereas water soluble vitamins will be excreted after a certain level.

Essential Fat-Soluble Vitamins: 

  • Vitamin A: bright, green leafy vegetables, orange vegetables, fortified milk, beef liver
  • Vitamin D: sunshine, egg yolk, fortified milk and butter, fatty fish, beef liver
  • Vitamin E: vegetable oils (corn, soy, wheat germ)
  • Vitamin K: green leafy vegetables, milk, eggs, liver

Essential Water-Soluble Vitamins:

  • B-Vitamins: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Biotin, Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12
    • Balanced diet will meet your B Vitamin needs
    • Meat: thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12
    • Dairy: riboflavin and B12
    • Fruits and Vegetables: folate
    • Whole-grains: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin
  • Vitamin C: green, red, orange, fruits and vegetables

Essential Major and Trace Minerals:

  • Major Minerals:
    • Sodium: processed foods, table salt
    • Chloride: table salt, soy sauce
    • Potassium: all whole foods
    • Calcium: dairy, fish with bones, tofu, greens
    • Phosphorus: all animal sources
    • Magnesium: all plant sources
    • Sulfur: protein containing foods (animal and plant sources)
  • Trace Minerals:
    • Iron: meat, eggs, legumes, dried fruits, cooking in cast-iron, greens when eaten with vitamin C
    • Zinc: protein containing foods (animal and plant sources)
    • Iodine: iodized salt, seafood, bread, dairy, plants and animals raised in iodine rich soils
    • Selenium: seafood, meat, grain
    • Copper: meat, drinking water
    • Manganese: widely distributed in foods
    • Fluoride: fluoridated drinking water, tea, seafood
    • Chromium: whole foods
    • Molybdenum: legumes, cereals, organ meats

As you can see all of your needs can be met by eating whole foods from a variety of sources, a rainbow of colors, and in the least processed forms. In this way you can meet your basic needs so as not to be deficient.

But what about optimal health, when do you need to take a supplement, when do the health claims make sense.

Valid reasons for taking a supplement:

  • Scientifically proven, substantiated claims- not unsupported ‘miracle’ cures
  • Nutrient deficiencies
    • ie. Vitamin D in New England
  • Pregnant or women who want to become pregnant
  • Newborn to 2 y.o. and picky eaters
  • Elderly
  • People on very restricted diets
  • Recovering from injury
  • Medications that interfere with nutrients
  • People who are unable to meet their needs through diet for any reason

Invalid reasons for taking supplements:

  • Need Energy: unless you are low in B Vitamins
  • Cope with stress
  • Build muscle faster or increase athletic ability
  • Cure or prevent self-diagnosed diseases
  • Cure the common cold

Navigating the world of nutrition, the media, health claims is a confusing business. Contact me today to set up an assessment of your diet to see if you need to make dietary changes to meet your needs. Tara Hire: 207-594-0707

For easy, economical, nutritious recipes visit Healthy Recipes.