The Hobart

Are You What You Eat?

by Benedict Freudenmann
Are You What You Eat?

You need nutrients to survive. They’re the building blocks of all matter within your body. However no other topic on earth seems to have as much controversy as nutrient intake (your diet). It’s complex, it’s messy and no one seems to have all the answers.

A nutrient deficiency is when the body is lacking in one or a group of nutrients. The major nutrient groups are macronutrients – carbohydrates, fats and protein; and micronutrients – our 13 vitamins, 16 different minerals and over 8000 pholyphenols. We immediately associate deficiencies with our diet and the food we eat, yet what we eat is only a small piece of the puzzle.

You Are What You Eat

What you put in your mouth will affect your nutritional status. If you eat a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and polyphenols, your body has the potential to function optimally. The same applies in reverse. If you feed your body junk, your body only has the potential to become junk. What distinguishes good food from junk is that it’s REAL WHOLE food and not heavily processed!

You Are What You Absorb

The food you eat relies on your digestion to break down and absorb nutrients into your body. Most nutrients are a series of small components chemically bonded together. The bond holding them together must be broken to allow absorption into the body. For this we need a properly functioning digestive system – chewing, stomach acid, bile acid production, enzyme function, motility and even the bacteria living in our gut. It’s possible to experience nutrient deficiencies even if you’re eating the right food.

“What you put in your mouth will affect your nutritional status.”

You Are What You Demand

Your demand for nutrients changes for many reasons, such as age and exercise. Elderly people have higher requirements to maintain vitamin D levels and athletes need more electrolytes to combat dehydration. A bacterial or viral infection will increase your demand on nutrients such as zinc, selenium and vitamin C. Stress is one of the most potent causes of increased nutrient demand. When stressed, you burn through a range of amino acids (proteins), vitamins and minerals. Magnesium and water-soluble vitamins such as B vitamins can be quickly depleted.

You Are What You Metabolise

Your body completes a complex series of chemical reactions which modify and adapt the nutrients to perform specific tasks. If you have a genetic abnormality in your DNA, you might not be able to complete these tasks, leading to pseudo deficiency where your body can’t use what it has. These genetic abnormalities are best investigated with a Nutrigenomic test.

You Are What You Excrete

You eliminate waste via your digestive and urinary systems, through skin and via lungs. When more is going out than coming in we see deficiencies. For example, patients with kidney disease may excrete more potassium, phosphate, calcium and bicarbonate. The most common cause is persistent long-term diarrhea, which leads to a massive loss of nutrients.

Deficiencies can be at the root cause of any disease or condition because they’re required for all biological functions. Even psychological diseases such as depression and anxiety can be caused or worsened by nutrient deficiencies. Due to the complexity of nutrient deficiency, seeking the help of a health professional in the field is always advisable. ■

Benedict is a clinical nutritionist who practices at www.learntonourish.com in Hobart.

Love this

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close
Exploring Tassie These Winter School Holidays
We know that staying indoors with the family isn’t always fun. And while it’s obviously cold outside, you’re only a puffer jacket and beanie away from being comfortable and ready to explore. There’s lots of family fun to be had in all sorts of weird and wonderful places across the state these school holidays.
Sand Surfing on the Peninsula
The half-day walk to Crescent Beach in the Tasman National Park offers so much- including epic sand dunes for surfing and incredible views.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
Magazine
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
January 2022

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!