Are You Getting Enough Iron in Your Diet

Are You Getting Enough Iron in Your Diet

Iron deficiency is most commonly associated with women it is a health issue that also affect men.  Not getting enough iron in your diet leads to anemia, the good news is that it is completely curable.  Low iron levels come from a poor diet or the body’s inability to absorb it from the food that you eat.  When you become anemic you have fewer red blood cells than a healthy person.  Red blood cells are what carry oxygen around your body.

Signs of Anemia

The symptoms of anemia will vary depending on the severity, moderate anemia comes with very few signs.  However you should watch out for brittle nails, soreness of the tongue, frequent canker sores around your mouth and if you have any unusual cravings for things like ice.  Here are some of the more common signs of anemia in men.

Treating Iron Deficiency

Treating iron deficiency will depend on how severe your condition is.  Ideally anemia is treated so that you have enough red blood cells and hemoglobin in your body.  Here is how you can treat anemia.

  • Change Your Diet: This is the easiest and quickest way of treating anemia.  Start with eating more red meat, if you follow a vegan diet then you want to consume more spinach, peas and lentils.
  • Supplements: If your iron deficiency is more severe and diet isn’t enough it may be combined with supplements.  When you start taking iron supplements you are also going to have to take Vitamin C at the same time.  Vitamin C is necessary for you to absorb iron supplements.
  • Transfusions: This is used when the disease is severe and you require regular blood transfusions. You are given an IV line and that is how the transfusion is done.  Most often this is used when someone who is also iron deficient and at risk of a heart attack.
  • Iron Fusions: This is another treatment for severe cases of anemia, usually when the body is unable to absorb iron from food or supplements.  The iron is administered directly into your bloodstream.

How Much Iron Do You Need

The levels of iron you need will differ between men and women, with women needing more.  For adult men under 50 you need to get at least 8mg of iron every day.  Women will need more than twice that amount at 18mg per day.  Iron is crucial to your overall health it helps your blood oxygenate your muscles so make sure that it is a regular part of your diet.

4 Tips for Eliminating Sugar from Your Diet

4 Tips for Eliminating Sugar from Your Diet

Cutting the sugar from your diet may be the single most important change you can do to improve your health.  Sugar is everywhere and Americans consume far too much of it.  The increasing amount of sugar in our diets has led to rising cases of obesity and type 2 diabetes.  If you want to live a healthier life then sugar needs to go.  Here are 4 tips for eliminating sugar from your diet.

  1. Give up the Sweet Drinks

Plenty of people are willing to give up donuts but completely unwilling to give up Coke or think Diet Coke doesn’t do them any harm.  That is not the case at all.  Another common problem is thinking that fruit juices are good for you when they contain almost as much sugar as soda does.  We have been conditioned since childhood to think that juice is part of a healthy breakfast.  The latest craze are energy drinks and sports beverages, both of which contain extremely high amounts of sugar.  If you aren’t eating sugar don’t drink it either.

  1. Cut Back on the Fruit

This is a bit controversial because while fresh fruit has plenty of nutrients it also has fructose.  You have to balance the good with the bad.  Limit your fruit to one serving per day and choose less sugary options like berries rather than sweet fruits like pineapple.  Fruit is another way of satisfying a sweet tooth so be careful that you aren’t overdoing it.  Try different snacks like nuts or vegetables with healthy dips like hummus or guacamole.

  1. Stop Drinking Low Fat Milk

The dairy industry has been advertising for years on how “milk, does a body good” and it does, just not the kind they are advertising.  While 2% milk does have less fat it has far more lactose, which millions of people cannot digest anyway.  One glass of milk has almost 3 teaspoons of sugar.  If you don’t drink dairy and opt for milk substitutes like soy milk, those are every bit as bad.  If you are a coffee drinker then use real cream, just skip the sugar.

  1. Soy is Not Your Friend

There is a lot of mixed science on whether or not soy is good for you, soy producers claim that soy is good for you but scientists from Harvard University disagree.  Soy also contains phytoestrogens and antinutrients that can interfere with the metabolism of iodine.  The phytoestrogens in soy can also interfere with the production of testosterone in men.  While soy doesn’t have anything to do with sugar beyond the fact that you will find it in many sugary foods and it doesn’t serve your nutritional needs.