Monday, October 20, 2014

IRON AND THE ZERO CARB DIET


Today will be a short one.

I recently had a discussion with someone about the best sources of iron in our diet. In fact, it all began when this person told me that “cereals” could provide all the necessary iron in one’s diet. Of course, it can, but only if you eat “iron reinforced cereals”…

I was sort of sad to realize that since our governments suggested (AND OFTEN INSISTED...) cereal companies add “iron supplements” in their products, knowledge in the general population was that cereals is a “natural” source of iron… So, it is not surprising that, nowadays, most nutritionists recommend cereals as part of a balanced diet to reach the daily requirement recommendation of this mineral.

Of course, I could not resist saying that spinach IS ALSO NOT a serious source of iron contrarily to EVERYONE’S belief, as this wrong belief came from a typing mistake made about 50 years ago by a secretary… and it was never corrected by anyone as so many health professionals wanted to believe “plant food sources” have to be better then animal sources. So much for Popeye…

Anyway, let’s make it simple and clear: plant-based iron sources, contain “non heme” iron, which the body absorbs MUCH LESS easily then “heme” iron from animal-based iron sources such as beef, liver, oysters, fish and egg yolks.

This is why the daily requirement of iron for vegetarians has to be nearly 3 times what it is for meat-eaters. Of course, the result being they have to eat everyday an insane amount of carbohydrate and calories, with all the consequences it can create, to reach the recommendated numbers. This is why, in the Zero Carb world, we consider plant material as containing “anti-nutrients”…

Interestingly, if someone wants to improve his plant source absorption of “non heme” iron, the best trick is to consume at the same time animal-based proteins…

Sadly, the statistics are showing more and more people in the general population are walking around with blood anemia simply because they choose to avoid eating meat for “health reasons”. This is what I call “pure ignorance”. But lack of iron do not only causes anemia; iron is also part of many enzymes used in a lot of cell functions, it is necessary for the immune system and so, it keeps the skin, hair and nails healthy.

Just for fun: do you know that you may extract the added iron in “reinforced cereal” so you may really see it is in it? It is easy and often done in school for kids with crushed cereals and a simple magnet...

So continue having your meat and smile.

Denis



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