Good Nutrition from the Sun?

In spite of all the negative things we hear, there's also a positive side of the sun! It's not often mentioned, but the sun provides us with good nutrition! We know that too much sun can cause skin cancer in some people, but exposure to the sun also provides us with the "sunshine vitamin" or Vitamin D.

When ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin, fat in the skin converts sunlight to Vitamin D3. Once in the blood, Vitamin D3 goes through a series of processes, first to the liver and then to the kidneys where it's finally changed to the active form of Vitamin D used in the body.

The major role of Vitamin D is to enhance absorption of calcium and aid in bone formation. A deficiency results in a disease called Rickets which can affect all bones in the body causing deformities in the teeth, ribs, skull, and bones in the legs (bowed legs). When these deformities occur in children, they are permanent. Prior to the early 1900's, the cause of these deformities was not known, but we did know that people who lived in cities filled with smog and children who wore an excess of clothing developed the disease.

We now know that protection from sunlight comes from window glass, clouds, smog, clothing, and a skin pigment called melanin - and of course, suntan lotion. Dark skinned persons have more pigment in their skin which provides more protection against the rays of the sun, however, they are more vulnerable to a deficiency of Vitamin D.

How much time should you spend in the sun to get a healthy dose of Vitamin D? Approximately 20 minutes per week should be adequate, but you don't have to journey to the beach to do so. Outdoor activities like yard work, bike riding, or jogging will help to ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of sunshine. In colder climates, you'll need a little more exposure, and in warmer climates a little less. As you get older, your skin loses some of its ability to convert sunshine to Vitamin D, so elderly people will need slightly more time in the sun.

When it comes to good nutrition from the sun, you might say if a little is good, a lot is not better. The sun in small amounts is nutritious and contributes positively toward your good health, but if you're at risk for skin cancer, you might want to take Vitamin D supplements rather than indulging in more sunshine.

Note: Other sources of Vitamin D can be found in food we eat like eggs, fish oil, fortified soy, cow's milk, and salmon. Beware of a popular fad diet, the Macrobiotic Diet, which is deficient in Vitamin D and may cause Rickets.


from Barbara's Kitchen

Pasta with Lemon Pepper Seasoning

If you love pasta dishes but don't want the added calories from high fat sauces, try sprinkling a little bit of Lemon-Pepper seasoning on your pasta for a refreshing taste of lemon and pepper.

Did your doctor advise you to cut down on fat and cholesterol? Then you'll want to try this tasty seasoning that provides no fat and no cholesterol. Forget the cheese sauce - forget the gravy - forget the margarine! After the first bite, you'll forget you don't have a rich topping on your pasta. For a zestier taste, add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon.

On the CarboH diet plan, you're encouraged to include products made from grain (complex carbohydrates) in your daily diet. Grains, like corn, wheat, barley, and oats, are low in calories, packed with nutrients, and naturally contain no cholesterol.

Lemon-Pepper seasoning can be found in the condiment sections of most grocery stores.

Where do you get your nutrition information? Most states now have licensure laws for Dietitians and Nutritionists. Be sure your nutrition advisor is "Licensed" by the State as a Licensed Dietitian (LD) or Licensed Nutritionist (LN), or in states that don't have licensure laws, a Registered Dietitian.



CarboH, Inc.
Barbara Herondorf, L.D.