In this health video you will learn how what you eat really effects your body.
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Raena Morgan: Doctor Ferguson, you’ve talked a lot about making dietary changes. What role does nutrition play? Dr. Todd Ferguson: Nutrition plays a large role. You can imagine like a car, the fuel you put in a car is important. And the type of fuel you put in will change the effectiveness of the car. Well, we’re the same way. Our body has certain essential elements that it requires to function optimally, and we have to get those through our food. Our food is our fuel. You’ve heard the concept, “you are what you eat.” There really is something to that. When you look at the cells in the human body, the outside of the cell is fat and the fat that is in that outside of the cell is directly affected by the fat we eat. And the foods we eat…say it’s a cow…the fat in the cow is directly affected by what the cow eats. So you can actually change health measures by changing what you eat. By, say, swapping out the kinds of fat you eat. If you eat more arachidonic acid for example. It’s a fatty acid that’s found in land animal meats, eggs, dairy products. That arachidonic acid is part of the biochemical inflammatory pathway in our body. And the amount of arachidonic acid in our cell membrane is directly influenced by the amount we eat. So if you say eat a cow that’s grass-fed, versus a cow that’s corn-fed, it may have different amounts of arachidonic acid. The same goes for omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids. All these types of fat are found in food and the fats in our cell membranes then are affected by how much we eat of those foods. Raena Morgan: So if you have an inflammation problem and you’re eating a lot of meat, you might want to take her off on that. Dr. Todd Ferguson: At least change maybe the types of meats they’re eating. Turkey has less fat in it than beef. Bison has a lot less fat in it than beef as well. Organic meats usually have a better fat profile than non-organic meats. The goal is to provide yourself with the essential elements to function optimally. In general, for most people, I recommend a whole-foods diet. In other words, less processing. When you process foods it zaps a lot of the nutrients in the food and the more whole a food is, the less it spikes your blood sugar, the more fiber it provides, which helps with bowel regularity, as well as satiety, being full, with that food. But it also…whole-foods provide more nutritional value. In fact, organic food provides more nutritional value than non-organic. So organics isn’t just a choice of I want to promote farmers doing things more sustainably, it also affects health. Many studies have shown organic foods are much higher in nutritional value and much lower in chemicals liked pesticides and heavy metals. Eating organic foods can give you more nutritional value for the food you eat. Some foods are more effective than other foods as far as commercially-grown. Some foods have more pesticides than other foods. There are ways of figuring out which foods are higher and lower. In general, a whole-foods diet is good because you need the nutrition to run your body optimally. The nutrition you eat also affects your mood. There are several studies looking at school lunchrooms, looking at prisons. And they change the types of food they eat and see what happens. And in these schools and in these prisons, the foods they eat…when they change it to a more whole- food and incorporate some more organic foods and make it healthier food, behavior gets better. They have less incidents of behavior issues in the schools and the prisons. I’ve seen this lot with my patients with depression and anxiety that when I make some food changes, recommendations for them, that it really affects, not only their moods, but their energy. So that’s another thing people complain about…fatigue. The food choices you make affect fatigue. If you’re eating a lot of foods, lets say, that are really high in sugar, well sugar has the effect of for one, deplet