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
rays from the sun hit the skin, fat in the skin converts sunlight
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
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.
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.
seasoning can be found in the condiment sections of most grocery
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
Barbara Herondorf, L.D.
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