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Food Choices: How Do You Know What’s Best For You?

How a 24 hour urinalysis can make the difference

Over the last few decades an ongoing debate continues in the world of nutrition. Just what forms a healthy diet remains in question. How does one decide what is optimal for one person and equally good for another? Is it a high fat-protein/low carbohydrate diet like the Atkins or Zone diet? What about the high-complex carbohydrate/low fat diet pushed by the American Heart Association and other medical associations? Should you follow the “Eat Right for Your Type” based on your blood type or become a vegetarian? Do you eat only raw foods or are there foods that, when not cooked, create health problems? Is it possible to drink too much water and not get enough salt contrary to what the media says?

The inherent problem is that no two persons are alike. Shakespeare put it superbly when he said, “One man’s meat is another’s poison.” What may be good for you is not necessarily good for me. These questions must be answered with careful observations, tests and clinical evaluations. The fundamental question to all of this is, “But can you digest it?” Digestion simply means being able to take something large, for example the size of your house and breaking it down into something the size of a grain of sand to get into the cell for nourishment. If you cannot digest even the best organic food, how good is it then?

Digestion begins in the mouth with enzymes secreted into saliva. After swallowing, enzymes continue to partially digest food in the upper part of the stomach. Ideally, up to 85% of the entire meal (fats, protein and carbohydrates) should be digested within the stomach, leaving only 15-20% of the work left for the pancreas to finish. This does not happen for the majority. Over-consumption of cooked food overwhelms and stress the digestive organs; stomach, liver, pancreas and intestine. This is responsible for our current health crisis of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and other disease.

We all have dietary stress factors – foods that literally stress the body. This creates exactly the same chemistry that losing your job, getting into a fender bender and finding the electricity turned off in your house all in one day would produce. Exactly the same! It is a hidden form of stress that we can do something about. Modifying diet for excessive carbohydrates, fats or proteins and supplying the proper enzymes, this type of stress is reduced and gradually eliminated over time.

This brings us back to the original question: How does one know what to eat? How can one measure adequate nutritional intake? A 24-hour urinalysis can be performed to verify what foods are properly digested and those that are not. The test reveals what a person is incapable of digesting and assimilating as fats, carbohydrates, or protein. It establishes fat, carbohydrate or protein intolerance, and more importantly what specific enzyme deficiencies exist. Supplying the body with proper enzymes guarantees nutrients will be utilized for growth, hormone production and tissue repair.

There is a stigma to salting food. Some say we get what we need through vegetables and fruit. The fact is, without the correct amount of salt (notably sea salt), protein digestion is compromised. Hydrochloric acid is produced in the stomach from hydrogen and chloride. Hydrogen is abundant in the air we breathe. Chlorides, on the other hand, are dependent upon consumption of salt (sodium chloride). The urinalysis reveals how much salt is ingested. Many people do not get enough salt or drink too much water (diluting electrolytes) because of the association of high blood pressure and salt. Nonetheless, recent studies show this relationship to be marginal at best. Correcting salt intake increases hydrochloric acid production improving protein digestion. Improved protein digestion positively impacts total health.

There is misinformation about the acidity/alkalinity issue so popular in alternative health care. Many claim you should alkalize the body by eating an abundance of fruit and vegetables. While more people should consume these foods, the reasons behind it are not well understood. The 24-hour urine catch provides the most accurate picture of the acid/alkaline issue and what the body must do to maintain this delicate biochemical balance. A random catch of urine collected after a meal is always alkaline. Were you to use only this sample for analysis, it might be misread as evidence of something other than it is. The body is constantly monitoring the chemistry of the blood for changes. Even the slightest degree of change throws the body into a cascade of events to return itself to relative balance. This being so, why would anyone try to continually alkalize the body without first knowing if they are too acid or alkaline?

Information from a urinalysis resolves the question of what is an optimal diet for each individual. By using urine, you will know what food works best for you and how to modify dietary stress. Some may find an Atkins/Zone-like diet enhances their well-being, while others a high-complex carbohydrate diet, low protein diet. The determining factors are based on underlying food intolerances and dietary stress factors revealed through an analysis. Over time dietary stress is corrected with enzymes. Managing dietary stress increases the speed and efficiency at which the body heals. Urine is a window for how well the body manages daily challenges of stress. It is where one should look to first in restoring and maintaining radiant health.

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