Often when we guide patients in creating their weight loss plans, we confront the same reality over and over: What we need to eat, for our health, harshly contradicts the foods commonly eaten. Western diets tend to be high in items like red meat, sugar, starches, and saturated fat, with much of our food coming from processed, packaged items. Consequently, most of us are not consuming enough nutrient-dense foods that actually support our health. In particular, you’re probably missing out on the following nutrients…
Potassium. Potassium helps your body to balance blood pressure and electrolyte levels, promotes heart health, and is good for your muscles. You won’t find much potassium in a vending machine, but you can boost your levels by eating more potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, white beans, and milk.
Calcium. You probably already know that calcium promotes strong teeth and bones, but it’s also important to your heart function and nervous system. It even helps your blood to clot. So, remember to include dairy in your diet, or dark leafy greens if you prefer.
Vitamin D. Vitamin D benefits your bones, muscles, and immune system. Luckily, we can create some of our own vitamin D when we’re exposed to sunlight, so here in California we probably don’t see as much vitamin D deficiency as they do in, say, Minnesota in the wintertime. But it’s still a good idea to pay attention to this important nutrient. You can find it in fortified milk or cereals, in eggs, and in oily fish like salmon.
Fiber. Fiber aids digestion, protecting you from various types of cancer, and it’s integral to any weight loss diet. Plus, fiber helps to control blood cholesterol and maintain your blood sugar levels. We really can’t over-emphasize the importance of dietary fiber. Include plenty of whole grains, beans, lentils, and fruits like apples in your diet, to ensure that you’re getting enough fiber.
Remember that we’re always here for you if you have questions about your eating plan, or need help creating a weight loss diet. Just give us a call, and we’ll assist you in putting together a plan to promote better health, lose weight, or meet any other goals you might have.