Taking a summer class isn’t exactly a fun way to spend your vacation. But I did the dirty work for you, and left you with just the good ole facts. Consider this a fast-paced way to take Cornell’s entry-level Nutrition 1150 without worrying about your GPA. Credit to Professor Levitsky, who changed the way I eat in less than a month.
1. You are about 70% water.
2. If you didn’t have a lining of mucus in your stomach, the enzymes in your body would actually eat your organs.
3. Eat slowly. The faster you eat, the less time your body has to line its stomach with mucus, which can cause ulcers.
4. As a baby you can taste sweetness, sourness, and bitterness, but you have to learn to taste salt.
5. You can lose 10 pounds a year from chewing gum… But only if you chew gum every single hour of every single day.
6. Your small intestines are 20-25 feet long, and close to 2,400 square feet of surface area.
7. Gluten is a lot more than just wheat.
If you are going along with the trend, you need to watch out for barley, rye, malt, and certain oats, too.
8. When you go to the bathroom, half of your number 2’s weight is bacteria coming from your gut.
9. Electrolytes are basically salts, such as potassium and sodium.
10. You need something called Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, which is found primarily in milk and dairy products.
If you don’t have enough, your tongue gets red and inflamed (called glossitis).
11. If you don’t have enough Vitamin B1, you develop a disease called Beriberi, which literally means “I can’t, I can’t.” Or 21st century version, “I can’t even”.
Beriberi causes edema, muscle pain, memory loss, psychotic symptoms, and cankles.
12. White rice is brown rice, just stripped of an outer layer that is high in vitamin B1 – choose brown rice.
13. Once you hit your teenage years, your arteries start to become clouded and show streaks of fat.
14. Not all fat is bad: saturated fats are what you want to avoid – think beef, pork, dairy – but unsaturated fats, like olive oil, are okay.
15. “I can’t believe it’s not butter” or other margarines are not better for you than butter.
Margarine is an unsaturated fat forced with hydrogen ions, which in turn creates transaturated fat, which acts the exact same way as saturated.
16. Drink alcohol.
Not a bottle of wine, but take a shot of tequila, or anything equivalent to 1-oz. every day. This can lower your build up of fats and clots.
17. Corn is America’s top export and can be found (in some form) in 25% of all grocery store items.
18. Due to the pollution in water, even the fish that you consume contain traces of toxic heavy metals.
19. The “pinch” test isn’t accurate.
Using skin calipers or pinching your stomach to indicate how much fat you have only works if you are between the ages of 20-50 and have more than 40% body fat.
20. The average weight gain in the US is about ½ pound, or 1,750 calories, per year.
21. During the holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the average caloric intake increases by about 1,200 calories.
But, right after the holidays, you go back to consuming your normal amount of calories, and therefore end up losing more weight because your body expenditure increased. However, you’ll even out to your original weight.
22. If neither of your parents are overweight, there is still a 33% chance that you might be. If one parent is overweight, your chance of being obese is 60%. If both parents are, you have an 80% chance.
23. Stop blaming your parents for your “big bones.”
Obesity and weight is also dependent on your environment. Half of your weight is attributed to your food choices. You are born with a weight range, which is determined by genetics, but where you end up in the range is up to you.
24. Domino’s pizza is about 50% fat.
25. You eat more when your food is separated, which is known as discrete foods. Instead, eat composite dishes, which are plates like stir-fries and stews.
26. Watching 5 or more hours of television a day has a correlation of a 45% increase of obesity.
27. On average, when you get married, you gain weight. Keep dating to stay skinny.
28. On average, overweight males are more apple-shaped (android), and gain weight in their belly. Oppositely, overweight women are more pear-shaped (gynoid), and gain weight in their hips, ass, and thighs.
29. If you’re an exercise fanatic, you should be on a high carbohydrate diet (think: carbo loading), and a low fat diet to have optimal performance.
30. Anemia is a disease caused by iron deficiencies. While it is very dangerous, it also makes you resistant to malaria.
31. You lose about 10 cups of water a day, but you also take in about 8 cups of water through food.
32. Bottled water is not healthier than tap water. America has the highest quality tap water in the world, with fluoride added to it to prevent tooth decay.
33. You only need about 5% of your calories from protein.
34. We produce more food than necessary for every human being on earth, yet malnourishment is still prevalent all over the world. For more information, visit World Hunger Programme.
35. Creating bottle formula was a huge step in liberating women, but it isn’t quiet as good for children.
36. Breast feeding makes a happy baby.
Formula lacks many of the growth hormones that breast milk contains, which helps children develop bacteria in their gut so they can handle the intake of nutrients. Formula also lacks bactericides, many antibodies, and anti-inflammatory factors that breast milk has, which all help the child’s immune system and digestive system, easing discomfort.
37. Children that are bottle fed are more likely to be overweight than those that breast feed. This is because when bottle feeding, the child doesn’t have to “work” to get the milk, and doesn’t stop when he’s full, but when the bottle is empty.
38. Breastfeeding creates a bond between mother and child.
Now that it’s legal to breast feed in work places, ditch the bottle. You’re all your baby needs and #freethenipple.
39. It’s been disproved that eating breakfast makes kids smarter, but it has been proved that eating breakfast is correlated to school attendance.
40. It has been proven that there’s a strong relationship between meat consumption and cancer.
It’s also been proven that prostate, colon, and breast cancer are all related to a high fat diet, and even a high protein diet.
41. Clive McKay, a Cornell professor, proved that if you cut a rat’s diet in half they live twice as long.
42. There’s new evidence that coffee beans can lower the risk of certain cancers.
43. Charcoal grilling and deep-frying increase your risk of cancer. When you combine fat and protein with very high temperatures for extended amounts of time, they produce certain carcinogens and hydrocarbons (like PAH and HCA).
44. Your mama’s chicken soup may have been the cure after all.
Drinking soup when you have a cold helps because the hot liquid and water vapor is constantly flowing upward, causing you to inhale it. This helps relieve the constriction of the nasal and bronchus passages.
45. Chicken soup is literally medicine. Many farms put penicillin in their chicken’s feed so, in turn, you get a dose of antibiotics.
46. Acne is not related to diet.
There is literally no evidence that food directly causes pimples. Acne usually only comes out between the ages of 12-25 as a result of hormones.
47. Americans drink the most milk, yet we have one the highest rate of osteoporosis, whereas Africa has the lowest of both.
This is because the more protein you eat, the greater amount of calcium you lose from your milk. When you eat protein, it makes your blood more acidic. In order to buffer it, you draw out calcium bicarbonate from your bone. This results in bone weakness, which raises your risk for osteoporosis. Got milk? Not anymore. Ditch the meat.
48. To maintain bone calcium, you need to exercise.
Even walking increases the absorption of calcium from the blood because you compress your bones with each step.
49. You need vitamin D to help regulate the uptake of calcium. It can be found in fortified milk, mushrooms, catfish, and the sun.
50. In order to produce one pound of meat, you need 5,200 galloons of water and 30 pounds of feed.
51. Bottom line: eat meat in moderation.
52. The Food Pyramid is a lie.
You know the pyramid and the 4 food groups we all grew up with? Guess who created it? The Dairy Council. Hmm, and they suggest that you eat 2-4 servings of dairy and protein at every meal. Conflict of interest, don’t you think?
53. Your plate should consist of mostly vegetables and whole grains. You should always be having some fruit, and only a little bit of protein. Drink lots of water, and have dairy products sparingly. Constrict your calories, lower your fat intake, up your fruits and vegetables, relax, be happy, and live a long healthy life.
And there you go – your nutrition class guide 101.