Suddenly I find myself in a great position as a father. Our oldest has successfully become a registered dietician and she is now feeding me information on dietary issues that she encounters on a regular basis, which makes the challenge crystal clear.
I have been saying, but apparently I need to start shouting, there is no doubt about why chronic illness continues to grow; we do not get the right information to consumers. We have a nation that is overweight and nutritionally deficient all at the same time. The basic building blocks of nutrition are not understood, and even the dietary guidelines committee, that is about to release its latest recommendations, openly stated, “We will not look at rigorous science.” What?
While I have and will continue to spend time exposing the missing components of healthy living, today the micro-ingredient that gets my goat is iron. Iron is one of the key ingredients to a strong immune system. I think most people know that iron deficiency is a common problem in the United States but let's just take a quick look at the list of top eight symptoms:
1. Unusual tiredness;
3. Shortness of breath;
4. Headaches, dizziness;
5. Heart palpitations;
6. Dry or damaged hair;
7. Swelling or soreness of tongue or mouth; and
8. Restless legs.
Point blank: Iron is necessary to carry healthy blood throughout the body. Of course the blue pill industry probably doesn’t like the fact that the most recent scientific research into proper blood flow showed that adequate dietary iron greatly increased sexual satisfaction. In fact, the entire demand for pills to help with sexual health would disappear if people ate the right foods that are high in available heme-iron and nitrates.
This leads me to the real burr under my saddle in the discussion. If you go searching for foods high in iron, whole muscle cuts of beef are not high on the list. For the record, clams are off the chart to the tune of 24 milligrams of iron per 3-ounce serving. Now after that you will find a little iron in fortified cereals. Therein lies the problem. In 1988, I met a nutritionist in the pig feed business named Fred Madsen who was speaking all over the country to folks about vitamin E. He would constantly tell farmers that it doesn’t matter how much E is in the feed but what matters is how much E is available to the pig.
It doesn’t matter how much iron is in your cereal if it is not heme-iron that is available to the human body because it just goes in the waste (literally). Heme-iron is the discussion and beef is the best source of available iron (again right behind clams) that you can find. Beef—unless you are eating the liver, which has double—delivers 2.5 milligrams per 3-ounce serving.
I think part of the discussion we fail to share often enough is about food accessibility and price in regard to nutrient density. Beef prices are out of whack as are all things in 2020 are but in the years leading up to this, the dietetics community has not really focused on feeding people like we feed pigs (based on available nutrients). We need to source the most available nutrients at the lowest purchase price based on nutrient density. Year in and year out milk, meat and eggs, because of their nutrient density, are absolutely the least cost sources for available nutrition the human body can access. While the portion cost may seem a little higher, you simply get way more bang for your buck in terms of all the vital nutrients that you get in each serving, making it a smarter, healthier choice.
While it is true that we have extended the life of the human body in the past 50 years. I would ask all of us to take a serious, hard-core look at the quality of life that currently exists for many who are battling diabetes, obesity, heart problems, Alzheimer’s disease and the list goes on. Honestly, what I see is not what I want to be a part of in terms of growing old. The science is clear that through a healthy diet, we can avoid all of the chronic diseases that are currently running rampant in this country but our federal government, influenced by overeducated morons, won’t let us.
Actually the best response to anyone who disagrees with this philosophy is exactly what our daughter tells her clients when they want to argue with her dietary suggestions, “And how is that working for you?” Our current dietary guidelines are not working for the good of the American people and it could be such an easy fix. We just need to get the blood flowing right to all areas of the body, including our brains.
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at email@example.com.