Table of Contents
What are healthy foods – really?
Simply put, healthy foods are only healthy if they provide the specific nutrients you need (due to your current nutrient deficiencies) and not the specific nutrients you don’t need (due to your current nutrient excesses).
Therefore, your healthy foods will increase your nutrient deficiencies and at the same time, not increase your nutrient excesses. Keep in mind, just because a food or herb is “deemed” healthy (i.e., organic, hormone free, etc.), it does not mean it is healthy for you.
In addition, by consuming your healthiest foods that help rebalance your nutrient excesses and deficiencies, you also increase the efficiency of your body’s detoxification processes of all toxins.
Remember, you are a unique individual with unique nutritional needs that must be addressed on an individual basis!
As a quick note to begin, over fifty years ago, the late Dr. Roger J. Williams, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry at the University of Texas and a long list of collaborators spent many years investigating and documenting the variability and individuality at the physiological and biochemical levels. Dr. Williams revealed this in-depth research in his excellent book Biochemical Individuality, 1956, available through Keats Publishing, Inc.
In summary, Dr. Williams’ research revealed each family member (including identical twins!) living in the same household and environment has their own unique nutritional needs!
‘To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.’
~ Francois de la Rochefoucauld, French author & moralist (1613 – 1680)
How do we help determine YOUR healthy foods?
Your healthiest foods, specific to your diverse nutrient needs, are based on specific criteria that include:
- Specific Dynamic Action (SDA)
- Naturally Occurring Substances
- Nutrient Dominance
Let’s investigate these criteria a bit further for a better understanding.
What is the Specific Dynamic Action (SDA) of healthy foods?
The Specific Dynamic Action (SDA) of a food, commonly referred to as the Thermic Effect (TE) or Diet-induced Thermogenesis (DIT), is associated with its direct effect on your metabolism. This simply means each particular food will help speed up your metabolism to a greater or lesser degree.
High quality proteins, such as those found in animal sources, tend to speed up your metabolism to a greater degree. On the other hand, fats and oils tend to increase your metabolism to a much lesser degree. For example, the SDA classifications are:
- Fats and oils only stimulate your metabolic rate about 4-15 percent
- Carbohydrates 4-30 percent
- A large meal of protein 30-70 percent
Let’s explore the SDA a bit further to see how it affects your metabolism.
The SDA of healthy foods for a slow metabolism
Based on your specific mineral pattern, your healthy food recommendations would include a variety of sources of “high-quality proteins” and complex carbohydrates that speed up your metabolism to a greater degree in both intensity and duration.
From a metabolic point, these foods contain higher levels of stimulating nutrients that include minerals, vitamins, and amino acids such as lean beef, eggs, broiled fish, turkey, green beans, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and so on.
At the same time, your recommendations may also include several “healthy foods” containing higher levels of sedative nutrients such as avocadoes, almonds, cheese, milk, yogurt, Mackerel, peanuts, duck, walnuts, pork, etc. to avoid at this time.
The SDA of healthy foods for a fast metabolism
Here again, healthy food recommendations are derived from your specific mineral pattern and includes nutrient interrelationships between minerals, vitamins, fats, and amino acids. Addressing a fast metabolism uses the same principles as a slow metabolism. However, in this instance we would increase the foods known to increase your metabolism to a lesser degree. These foods help slow down your metabolism while still providing needed caloric intake.
As such, healthy foods for a fast metabolism would include foods higher in fats and oils as well as foods with a dominance of sedative nutrients.
As you can see in this short example, many “healthy foods” may not be healthy for you!
What are Naturally Occurring Substances within healthy foods?
Many healthy foods contain Naturally Occurring Substances that can enhance, reduce, or even eliminate intestinal absorption of specific nutrients. This is important if we are trying to raise or lower specific nutrients that are excessive or increase deficient nutrients.
For example, if your calcium level was excessive, your healthy foods may include foods that are high in phytic acids (e.g. pinto, kidney, and navy beans, peanuts, bran, etc.). Phytic acid is a naturally occurring substance that binds with calcium in the digestive tract and inhibits or even prevents calcium from being absorbed. However, phytic acids also bind with iron and zinc so your current levels of these minerals must be considered in the food (or dietary supplement) recommendations.
As another example, your hair analysis may reveal your thyroid is sluggish. In this instance, we may recommend you eliminate healthy foods (e.g. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, etc.) that are goitrogenic (interfere with iodine metabolism – promote goiter) or contribute to hypothyroidism (i.e. interfere with the thyroid function and hormones) for a couple months.
As you can see, the foods listed in the examples are certainly regarded as “healthy foods”; however, you can also see they might not be healthy for you.
Why is Nutrient Dominance important for healthy foods?
Nutrient dominance of each food is an important for selecting your most healthy foods because most foods contain a wide variety of nutrients. Next, knowing the nutrient dominance of all nutrients (e.g., amino acids, minerals, vitamins, etc.) in each food, it is essential to factor the complexity of Nutrient Interrelationships.
By knowing which nutrients you need to increase and decrease, you can consume the proper healthy foods with the correct dominance of the nutrient(s) you need.
For example, let’s say the results of your analysis reveals an excess of calcium and magnesium and a deficiency of potassium. In this instance, you want to raise your potassium level and at the same time, not increase your calcium and magnesium levels. We could recommend numerous foods with a dominance of potassium over calcium and magnesium that include; lean beef, tomatoes, ham, chicken, rye bread, celery, cucumber, and many others. Yes, bananas are included in the list.
The point is that you could include a variety of healthy foods in your diet as opposed to only one (a banana) to address specific nutrient imbalances. In addition, we could include a variety of the foods high in phytic acids that naturally interfere with the absorption of calcium and magnesium as well.
Knowing the nutrient dominance of each food provides a variety of foods you can consume as an important component of your healthy eating plan required to address your specific nutrient imbalances.
How do I KNOW which nutrients I need?
Without actually knowing which specific nutrients you need, how is it possible to choose any healthy food? We can help!
Our hair analysis is a simple tool that can help you eliminate the guesswork for your healthiest foods. Our hair analysis provides two important components that help determine your most healthy foods that include:
- Know your mineral levels: your body cannot “make” (synthesize) minerals – they must be consumed in your diet. This is one reason they are essential in the diet.
- Know your toxic element levels: toxic elements interfere with essential nutrients – they can even replace nutritional minerals in the cells and metabolic pathways!
This information, revealed by your laboratory analysis and combined with all the above criteria, helps provide your healthy food recommendations. Keep in mind, due to nutrient interrelationships, minerals do not work alone. They are important for the proper metabolic functioning of amino acids, vitamins, and fatty acids.
P.S. Your healthy foods recommendations do change!
On your initial analysis, you will find a list of foods recommended to increase and avoid. The avoid list will always contain unhealthy foods such as cakes, candy, sugar, alcohol, and so on. However, you may find many “healthy foods” you enjoy or even your most favorite food(s) on your “Foods to Avoid” list.
These are temporary recommendations based on the results of your current analysis. It is important to know your food recommendations, both to increase and avoid, will change based on changes that happened in your biochemistry. These changes are revealed in subsequent analyses.
This simply means that, if you are serious about your health, you may need too temporarily eliminate a few of your favorite healthy foods in an effort to balance your nutritional status (biochemistry).
Additional information you may find interesting:
- Why should Toxic Elements concern you?
- What are the most “powerful” Antioxidants?
- Am I malnourished?
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The content and laboratory services provided on this site are for educational and informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease.
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REFERENCES – Healthy Foods
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[Specific dynamic action of food in obese patients]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3035802
Effect of spiced food on metabolic rate. This increase in metabolic rate was originally called ‘specific dynamic action’ (SDA) and is now widely referred to as the thermic effect (TE) of food or diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) (Rothwell & Stock, 1981). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3957721
The metabolism of “surplus” amino acids. The higher diet-induced thermogenesis from protein than from carbohydrate or fat has generally been assumed to be due to increased protein synthesis, which is ATP expensive. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23107522
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Influence of a low- and a high-oxalate vegetarian diet on intestinal oxalate absorption and urinary excretion. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17609696
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Effects of dietary fiber and phytic acid on mineral availability. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1657026
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Dietary fiber intake increases the risk of zinc deficiency in healthy and diabetic women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22528778
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The effects of high potassium consumption on bone mineral density in a prospective cohort study of elderly postmenopausal women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18575949
Magnesium intake, bone mineral density, and fractures: results from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24500155
Trace elements and bone health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23509220
Essential Nutrients for Bone Health and a Review of their Availability in the Average North American Diet. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22523525
The role of nutrients in bone health, from A to Z. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17092827
[Diet, nutrition and bone health]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16080661