The Importance of Micronutrients by Mira Calton

Naked Calories BookIt’s time again to make your New Year’s resolutions, and this year if yours has anything to do with losing weight or improving your health–keep reading–because the information we are about to reveal will help you understand the exact reasons why most people are suffering from low energy, out of control food cravings, and sluggish metabolisms. We’ll expose the piece of the puzzle you may have been missing in order to achieve your weight loss goals and be healthy–for life!

First, congratulations on choosing a low carbohydrate diet. This philosophy, which boosts weight loss, and regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels, has you focusing on choosing foods high in fat, moderate in proteins, and lower in carbohydrates. These three macronutrients will supply your calories, and thus your energy while on the program. But, there is another side of the equation that you may not be focusing on–the often overlooked, but equally important micronutrients.

The Micronutrients, or vitamins, minerals, and essential fats, in the foods support and regulate all of the body’s functions. This is to say, that without the micronutrients you could not survive. When the body becomes deficient in even a small amount of micronutrients for a short period of time, conditions such as poor sleep, headaches, or impaired focus may be experienced.

However, when vitamins and minerals become deficient to a greater extent for a longer period of time, then more serious conditions like cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease can occur. In fact, the majority of the devastating lifestyle conditions and diseases experienced today can be traced to micronutrient deficiencies. According to the USDA, more than 93% of Americans are currently suffering from a micronutrient deficiency.

Would you be surprised to learn that an individual’s chance of being overweight or obese is also linked to a lack of vitamins, mineral and essential fats? It’s true, in a landmark study published in Economics and Human Biology researchers found that individuals who were micronutrient deficient had an 80.8% greater chance of being overweight or obese over those that were not deficient. This means that if you are not taking in enough of ALL of the essential micronutrients every day you have an 80.8% greater chance of gaining weight, not losing it – even on your low carbohydrate diet!

Now, while your low carb diet may be doing wonders for your macronutrient profile, how effective do you think it is at reaching sufficiency in your micronutrients? Well, we’re sorry to report… they aren’t so good. Research indicates that the Atkins for Life diet would leave an individual 56% percent deficient at supplying 100% of the recommended daily intake for 27 essential micronutrients. Additionally, a study conducted in Australia found that following the Atkins Diet resulted in significant reductions in intake of vitamin B2, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Naked Calories BookThese essential vitamins and minerals play a huge role in many aspects of weight loss from metabolism to the regulation of fat storage hormones, and the conversion of the foods you eat into usable energy. But, these micronutrients also do something else–they dictate the level of discipline that you will have on your diet. That’s right! Have you ever felt that you just couldn’t stop eating a bag of potato chips or your favorite sweet snack? More likely than not, you have at some point felt a desire for a specific type of food, be it salty or sweet. What you might not have realized is, there is a good chance that the craving was your body’s way of telling you that you were becoming deficient in a micronutrient. The problem was that you and your body weren’t speaking the same language. While you heard a cry for salty fries or a chocolate bar, scientific research out of the Monell Chemical Senses Center has determined that salt and sugar cravings are due to calcium and magnesium deficiencies. We call it the “Crave Cycle.” Crazy right? So now when someone tells you that the intense food cravings that you’re experiencing are just normal and that all you have to do is toughen up and fight the urges, you can tell them that it isn’t about toughening up – its about smartening up and recognizing that deficiencies are at play.

In order to decrease your food cravings, improve metabolism and stabilize blood sugar levels your aim should be to become sufficient in your micronutrients while following the macronutrient ratio of fats, protein and minimal carbs of your low carbohydrate program. To do so, we recommend following the three-step program that we outline in Naked Calories.

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