Interesting (Nutrition) Tid-bits 3.

Dear Aunt K, I hope you are doing better. Love Becca.

- When we eat fat, proteins, and carbohydrates. Specific chemicals are sent to the brain to tell it that it has enough of these macronutrients and the chemical signals tell the brain when the stomach is "full". Synthetic chemicals, however, that were created dieting (e.g. artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose), artificial fats (orlistat, olestra)), don't cause these signals to be sent to the brain, so the brain thinks the body is still hungry and needs more fat, carbohydrates, etc, causing our body to crave certain foods and/or continue to feel hungry despite eating.

- Dehydration is a serious concern for athletes and for those who eat a lot of protein. Protein is high in nitrogen and nitrogen requires extra water to help it be excreted from the body through urine. For instance, 100 Calories of carbohydrates requires 50 grams of water to help their excretion, while 100 Calories of protein require 350 grams of water.

- Contrary to popular belief, osteoporosis is not caused by a deficiency in dietary calcium, but is caused by a diet high in acid-forming proteins. Acid-forming proteins (such as animal proteins) cause calcium to leech out of bones. Why? Acidic proteins generating more acidic ash in the body, putting it in a state of metabolic acidosis. As the body wants to maintain balance (i.e. homeostasis), it tries to balance the excess acid with more base. Calcium stored in our bones is basic. Buffering against the excess ingested acid is done at the expense of bones, pulling basic minerals out of bone to neutralize the acids.

- Serotonin in converted into melatonin in our eyes during periods darkness. Melatonin helps with sleep. This is why we sleep best at nighttime and have a harder time falling asleep in broad daylight.

- More about melatonin... high melatonin levels are associated with lower risks of breast cancer. As such, it has been found that nurses who work night shifts have higher incidences of breast cancer (they have low melatonin levels because their eyes aren't exposed to darkness). On the other hand, blind women have highest melatonin levels and the lowest risk of breast cancer because their eyes are always in darkness.

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