Are vitamins and supplements important?

by Diane Hoffmann,Nutritional Consultant

From the Health, Nutrition and Fitness Webinar I offer to clients:
Picking up from my blog of yesterday, I take an excerpt from the webinar/seminar mentioned on Health, Nutrition and Fitness. It’s about supplements.

Some folks think that eating well will provide all the nutrients their body needs. However, there are a lot of reasons why this is not necessarily so.

First of all, most people do NOT each well even though they think they are. I’m always amazed when I give the task of writing down “everything” a client eats for one week, how far they are from the target.

From that list they return to me, I make a complete analysis of the good and bad of their food eating habits and the nutrients they deliver or don’t deliver, accordingly.

In every case, they are far from the ideal health sustainability of their food intake nutrient supply.

My next blog is going to get into this in more details. But right now is the excerpt from the webinar that give an idea of how important vitamins and supplements are in our daily food intake. This webinar is particularly aimed at Seniors, however it goes for anyone at any age.

Nutritional Supplements:

Let’s take a look at nutritional supplements.

Sound nutrition helps our bodies function well. Much of this can limit or reverse damage resulting from previously poor eating habits.

However, seniors in particular often are nutritionally insufficient in the following areas:

*intake of several nutrients including folate, vitamin C, vitamin E… there could be also a deficiency of vitamin B -- which should be taken in a complex form, by the way, unless your physician tells you otherwise. Always check with your doctor or health professional, especially if you are on any type of medication.

*intake of vegetable and meat groups and dietary variety.

Seniors are often at higher risk of being underweight. The few studies undertaken among frail seniors showed that providing nutritional supplementation – especially a liquid supplement – along with dietary follow-up can result in significant improvement in their nutritional status.

I am particularly reminded of an ad that is running on television about “Boost” liquid meal supplement being recommended as a supplement for seniors. I like the taste and texture of this drink but I find it far too sweet. So we need to be careful about the sugar contents of anything that we see available and advertised – especially if one has diabetes or is sugar intolerant. Always check with a health professional or your local health food store for healthy choices.

As I said earlier, I will write my next blog on further details of this topic and expand on more of the role of vitamins and supplements in our diets.



Health, Nutrition and Fitness...

It's been a while since I wrote on this web site. I've been using another one which I now closed down in order to cut back on expenses. Fortunately this web site was still up and running and I will be resuming activities from here.

Let me start by mentioning my new Webinar/Seminar on Health, Nutrition and Fitness just off the press this week and which you can see on my Seniors web site right here.

I will be writing another blog tomorrow on this topic. So come by again then.

Diane Hoffmann


Wrong Foods Combination

By Diane M. Hoffmann, ph.d./th, c.n.c.

One of the most important systems in our body is the digestive tract. That is where all our food intake is physiologically changed into nourishing and healing fuels and substances that make the zillions of cells work together for good in our fearfully and wonderfully made body. Health, nutrition and easy diet begin with avoiding wrong foods combination.

Wrong food combinations from too much varieties taken at the same time will cause too many different enzymes for effective processing in our digestive system. And if these are from bad foods -- as most of our food intake is --  i.e., junk foods, sugars and processed foods, it will actually NOT  provide enough enzymes for proper digestion. Enzymes are the essential protein molecules that break down the foods into the necessary chemicals for the proper healthy operation of the body system.

Poison to the bloodstream

Wrong foods combination will inhibit digestion and create various degrees of digestive distress from fermentation and putrefaction, to food allergies, foul gas and stools, loose, impacted and pebbly stools and if persistent, even blood in the stools. 

Experts tell us that undigested substances  such as monosaccharides created in the digestive track become poison to the bloodstream.  Alcohol, acetic acid, ptomaines (carbs), leucomaines, hydrogen sulphides become putrefied proteins and poison.  Decomposed foods are created by rancid fats; carbon dioxide, acetic acid, alcohol and fermented carbohydrates (starches and sugars). If this isn’t enough to scare us into changing our bad food habits, nothing will.

Eventually, these dangerous elements cause complicated common place problems such as painful hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, colitis, etc.

To avoid these, there are simple foods combination rules that should be followed:

First, we should eat at separate meals the following items:

acids & starches;
proteins & carbohydrates;
proteins & acids (to avoid putrefaction);
fats & proteins (fats stop gastric juices from performing);
sugars and proteins (sugars digest only in intestines and ferment in the stomach);
starches & sugars (they invite fermentation). 

I bet you’re eating these together in one meal all the time! Well, truly most of us do.

Some examples of acid and alkaline foods are:

Acid: meats, dairy products, fish, grains, wheat, nuts (except almonds and brazil nuts), cheeses, lentils, peanuts... these are high protein foods.

Alkaline: beans and bean sprouts, turnips, carrots, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, watercress, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, millet; apricots, figs, prunes, raisins, dates, grapefruit, peaches, apples, grapes, bananas... in other words vegetables and fruits.

Experts recommend an alkaline-acid food ratio of about four to one, or eighty percent alkaline foods and twenty percent acid foods for a healthy body.

Eat one at a time: concentrated protein.  In other words don’t mix beef and fish, or pork and chicken, (you know the popular "surf and turf"), etc. Have one or the other at a meal.

Eat alone, at least 1/2 hour after a meal: melons (digests only in the intestine); milk; desserts. Desserts have no food value except if they are specifically made of wholesome and nutrients ingredients - like the one on my "Foods to Delight" list of the "21-day Health and Weight Recovery Challenge".

Factors that create bacterial decomposition

Factors to watch for which will create bacterial decomposition of foods during the digestive processes are: overeating (beyond natural enzymic limitations); eating when tired; eating just before heavy or stressful work; eating when too cold or too hot; eating when there is fever or inflammation; eating when in pain, angry, worried, anxious, fearful, etc.

The use of alcohol, vinegar, condiments will retard digestion and cause bacterial activity and decomposition of foods.  Excessive bacterial activities can produce long-term health problems, diarrhea and nutritive losses.

Circumstances that will reduce bacterial decomposition of foods are: choices of alkaline groups of foods as opposed to acid, and a simplicity of foods as opposed to mixture; the removal of factors such as stress and anger.  Taking care that the foods are digested properly in order to avoid rotting in the digestive process and seeing that foods are properly combined will reduce or  eliminate gas, bad breath (caused by gastro-intestinal fermentation and putrefaction), foul stools and gas. Proper food combination will produce a sweet breath, odorless stools and no gas.

Some best and worst combination

The following is a sample list of some of the best and worst food combination:

Good combination are: protein and vegetables; complex starches, legumes, vegetables; oil and leafy greens; oil and acid.

Fair combination are: proteins and acid-fruit; leafy greens and acid-fruit; leafy greens and sub-acid fruit; acid, sub-acid and sweet fruit.

Bad combination: protein and simple starch; oil and simple starch; fruits and complex starch; fruits and vegetables.

It is sad to say, but we will not enjoy perfect digestion and health until we respect our body’s natural enzymic limitations and stop over-eating.  We will have good health when we follow the rules of good foods combination, when we avoid mixtures and varieties of foods, when we resort to simple meals of one type at a time and when we eat with ease and comfort instead of in fast-paced and stressed out situations.

Health, nutrition and easy diet begins with avoiding the wrong foods combination that interfere, obstruct, impede and hinder our digestive system. Before undertaking any major alternative health program and adding supplements to your diet, check any medical matters of concern that you may have within your body with your doctor or health professional who can help to create a beneficial program for your individual need./dmh

 Articles copyright(c)2011 Diane M. Hoffmann. You may reprint this article without any changes, making sure to include the following bio.

Diane M. Hoffmann is a certified nutritional consultant offering a web site on health and nutrition as well as her special 21-day health and weight recovery challenge at .


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Health, Diet and Weight Loss – The 4 Basic Groups of Foods Essential For Life

Health, Diet and Weight Loss – The 4 Basic Groups of Foods Essential For Life

by Diane Hoffmann, Certified Nutritional Consultant

Our foods for life consist of water, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins and fibre. These raw materials essential for basic healthy nutrition, incorporate into our body cells and fluids and become part of these life-sustaining elements.

North Americans have guidelines provided by their national Health Departments, the RDA or the Recommended Daily Allowance guidelines. These guidelines do not seem to be adequate since most people already eat these foods and, apparently, are not getting enough vitamins and minerals to keep the immune system strong and safe from rampant diseases, illnesses and ailments. As our environment increasingly strips our foods of nutrients, we need increasingly more supplements to compensate.

The four groups of products given to us make it easier to understand what family of foods each product belongs to. These seem simple enough to follow, being what most households cover already. Here they are:

1. milk & milk products.
2. breads and cereals.
3. fruits and vegetables.
4. meats and alternatives.

When changing diet pattern, one must learn to use the proper combination of these four groups and watch for allergic reactions in order to adjust to the new way of eating. For example, some people may be allergic to milk. Switching to soya milk may eliminate the problem, but it may also show another reaction to it. In order to reduce fats in their diets, many people have gone to using skim milk or 1-2%. But by taking out the fat, the content of the milk increases in lactose. It may be that if they drank the whole milk, they would not have the same symptoms.

As you can see there can be many varieties and combination of causes to every symptom. One must pay attention to the body response and reaction -- try different products for one or two weeks at a time and make notes. This way one gets to know his/her own body for ultimate individual health maintenance.

In Canada, the Food Guide recommends the number of servings for each age group and gives the nutrients in each of these groups. If you live in a different country, call your local Health Department branch to obtain a current copy of the suggested guidelines and use it as your basic source.

As an example, here is a partial list for adults:

For milk & milk products: recommended: 1 serving = 300 milligrams of calcium. Equivalent to 300 mg of calcium. It can be 1 cup (250 ml) of: skim milk; buttermilk; reconstituted dry skim milk; partially skimmed milk; whole milk; reconstituted evaporated milk; cocoa made with milk; flavored milk; yogurt; 1-1/2 oz (45g) firm cheese.

For bread & cereals: Recommended: 3 to 5 servings. Some of these are: 1 slice enriched or whole grain bread; 1/2 to 1 cup; (125-250 ml) cooked or ready to eat cereal; 1 roll, tea biscuits or bran muffin; 1/2 to 3/4 (125-250 ml) cooked rice, macaroni, spaghetti, noodles; 1/2 hamburger bun. Number and size of serving is a matter of individual choice according to energy needs and personal preference.

Fruits & vegetables: Recommended: 4-5 servings to include at least 2 vegetables, such as 1/2 cup (125 mil) cooked vegetable, fruit or their juices; medium size potato, carrot, green pepper, tomato; medium size peach, apple, orange, banana. Vegetables particularly dark green, yellow and orange are a major source of carotene which converts into Vitamin A in the body.

Meats and alternatives: Recommended: 1 serving = 17 to 22 grams of protein -- 2 servings per day such as 2 to 3 oz (60-90 grams) after cooking of meat, poultry, liver, fish. This is not including skin, bone or fats; 4 tbs peanut butter (60 ml); 1 cup (250 ml) baked beans, cooked dried peas, lentils; 2 oz (60 g) cheese; 2 eggs; 1/4 cup (80 ml) canned tuna or salmon; 1/4 to 1 cup (80-250 ml) nutmeats or seeds; 4 tb (60 ml) vegetable protein pieces.

The recommended grams of protein above may be over the recommendation limits from health experts on proteins from meats. Also for protein sources other than vegetables, fish should be the first and foremost choice, then poultry, then meat, in that order. And vegetables should be lightly cooked or raw.

If you are interested in optimum health, nutrition and easy dieting, getting familiar with these 4 groups of foods and expanding on the varieties and combinations within them will go a long way to reach your desired and permanent well-being./dmh

If you have any questions, please write them in the comments below and I will respond with an article on the subject.

To your health,


Articles copyright(c)2010 Diane M. Hoffmann. You may reprint this article without any changes, making sure to include the following bio:

Diane M. Hoffmann is a certified nutritional consultant and an entrepreneur of offline and online businesses. Diane offers this web site on health and stress management for business people who need to keep healthy and strong in order to run their businesses.