Dairy products are the most common source of calcium, which is essential for building healthy bones and teeth. Milk is also fortified with vitamin D and a great source of energy. In this video, Registered Dietitian Lynn Goldstein explains lactose intolerance and the difference between that and a milk allergy. If you are unable to drink milk, it is still important to get your daily dosage of calcium so talk to your doctor about supplements.
What is soy? Soy is in the legume/bean family and contains 35%-40% protein. It may seem like soy products are everywhere now, and for good reason! While soy is native to Southeast Asia, America now produces half the amount of soy in the world. It is a great substitute for animal proteins and is rich in isoflavones, which can function as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. In addition, they can even kill parasites. Soybeans are thought to be healthy due to their high content of polysaturated fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as their low content of saturated fat. Eating soybeans may lower your risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers, as well as improve bone health and give relief from menopausal symptoms.
Salt is essential for human life. Unfortunately too much salt can raise blood pressure, which can lead to heart failure, stroke and kidney disease. There are 100,000 deaths each year from eating too much salt. Try to limit the amount of salt you consume and if you’re not sure, check the sodium amounts and limit processed foods.
Protein is important and is an essential part of your diet. Not all proteins are the same, however, as some are surrounded by stuff that's bad for you, like saturated fats.
We want protein because it helps the body make and repair cells. Every one of your cells contains proteins and they're a major part of your muscles, bones, skin and hair. Its basic building blocks are called amino acids and there are 20 such basic amino acids. While the body can make most of these 20 amino acids, it can't make 9 of them. These 9 are called essential amino acids and we must get them from the proteins in our diet.
Based on that, there are different types of protein in food that are considered either complete or incomplete. For example, animal proteins generally contain all the essential amino acids, so they're considered complete. On the other hand, proteins from fruits, veggies, grains and nuts are missing at least one essential amino acid, so they are considered incomplete.
It's best to eat a mix of proteins because different sources of protein offer different benefits. When protein is eaten from smart sources and in sensible portions, they're the foundation of a healthy, balanced diet.
In this video, Registered Dietitian Lynn Goldstein further explains what a complete protein is, what food can give us the highest amount of protein and why “All protein diets” are not good for your health.