Nutrition To Age Well

May 13, 2023

What should you eat to maintain your muscles, bones, memory, cardiovascular health, skin and hair, and your energy? What are anti-aging foods? What are the foods you should avoid? The way we eat throughout our lifetime impacts how fast and the way we age. No matter how old you are, you can start making changes to your nutrition and lifestyle choices now that will help you live a life of vitality.

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MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. If you are an older adult or have parents that are senior citizens, I encourage you to settle back for the next hour, put the breakfast dishes aside, get a cup of coffee, maybe a cup of tea, because we are going to discuss the best nutrition for aging well. And we'll also discuss what should you eat to maintain your muscles and your bones and your memory, your cardiovascular health, your skin and hair, and your energy? I mean, that's good for all of us, right? So using anti-aging foods is key and that's what we're going to be talking about this morning.

TERESA: Yeah. And of course, we want to throw in some foods that maybe you should avoid, foods that age you.

MELANIE: That could happen.

TERESA: If you are thinking sugar ages me, well, you're correct. I think a realistic approach for sugar is to maybe limit the amount of sugar and desserts that you eat, but you know, it's okay to have a treat once in a while. And when we say once in a while, well, that can mean a different thing to different people.

MELANIE: Not after every meal.

TERESA: Not after every meal. Once in a while could mean once a week. It could mean once a month. It could mean, you know, it could mean all kinds of things. So for me, I think what it means is to have, well quality treats, first of all, made with good ingredients like real fats like butter, not vegetable oil.

MELANIE: Good point.

TERESA: Real sugar or maple syrup, but not high fructose corn syrup. And, you know, maybe just sticking to a smaller portion that satisfies you so you're not feeling deprived and frustrated.

MELANIE: That deprivation brain can really get in people's way. So you you have to say, all right, I'm going to have this, but if I have this, I'm going to treat my body well.


MELANIE: With what you're saying with the quality ingredients. I love that.

TERESA: Yeah. And with like what you're saying with deprivation, I think sometimes people rebel then if you say you can't have it, well then that's all that they want.

MELANIE: Well, they're going to eat the whole, the whole bag of Oreos in two days.

TERESA: Right? 

MELANIE: And we've all been there.

TERESA: Yes, we have. And really what we, what we want to focus on is these quality ingredients because they are more likely to satisfy those taste buds so that you are happy with less. Poor quality processed foods leave your taste buds just wanting more. There's really not a satisfaction point there.

MELANIE: In the moment, there may be, but you know, the body really is a smart device.

TERESA: It sure is.

MELANIE: And so today we want to concentrate on the foods that contain the anti-aging nutrients your body and your brain need. It's a fact that the way we eat throughout our lifetime impacts how fast and the way we age.

TERESA: Yeah. And I think that, you know, you mentioned, you know, if you're older, you know, pull up a chair and, and listen, listen in.


TERESA: But really our anti-aging plan, it should really start in our twenties and thirties. And most certainly by our forties and fifties, we should be thinking about how we're going to feed our body, how we're going to treat our body in order that we age well. How do we, what kind of grandma do you want to be?

MELANIE: That's a really good point. And it's not even even thinking about what kind of grandma you want to be, but I, I feel like people in their twenties and thirties and forties, they're, they're much more interested in how they're going to age than I certainly was. The information age is really helping. And so I think it's really important to people. I know my daughters who are twenties and they're definitely interested in what they're eating and how it makes their bodies feel. That was not me at that age.

TERESA: No, I don't think I was as much either. 

Real, high nutrient food is critical for good health as we age

MELANIE: So let's take a minute and look at the science of aging. Many research studies report a diet of real food full of key nutrients is critical for good health as we age. But before we get into the anti-aging diet, let's introduce ourselves. I'm Melanie Beasley. I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And I've been a dietitian for over 30 years working with a variety of clients in many different cities and hospitals. I've learned a lot along the road. Working for Nutritional Weight and Wellness, I feel like I've learned the most in my entire career. And I don't get paid to say that. Maybe I should revisit that.

TERESA: Yes. Well, I think it's just a constant learning environment.

Lab markers to keep in optimal ranges

MELANIE: It is. And that's what I love. But frankly, my personal goal is also to age well. I want to maintain strong bones and I want to have smooth, glowy skin. And I want, I want to maintain a normal blood pressure and cholesterol, and I want to offset disease by maintaining a normal blood sugar. And keeping my A1C, my A1C. I try to keep it 5.2, 5.3, in that range. No prediabetes. Having prediabetes or diabetes is the number one factor for accelerating aging. Isn't that interesting?

So we want to, we want to take control of our body and the research supports the understanding that it is necessary to keep your A1C at 5.6 or lower. So listeners, when you get off listening to the this radio show, go into your MyChart and see what was my A1C, because that's, and how is it trending from my last physical? That's really good information. And we recommend having your fasting glucose and A1C taken maybe every six months if possible. And I want to talk about why it is important to know your numbers and your own lab results; really important.

TERESA: It is important because when we have those higher glucose, levels, the tiny nerves and blood vessels in our feet, ears, eyes, and throughout our nervous system, they, well, they can become damaged. Think about that for a minute; damaging those nerves. Do you have tingling in your feet or in your hands? That could be a sign of damage from eating excess sugar, carbohydrates. In our eyes, high blood sugar damages the blood vessels, which can then swell and then leak, causing blurry vision. Or just stopping adequate blood flow to the eyes or to those wherever those tiny blood vessels are.

So it's very important that we keep our blood sugar managed. Sugar and processed carbs are not friends to your nerves. So in knowing that and all the other negative facts that come with eating sugar, I try to limit my sugar intake. So I save sugary treats for special occasions because sugar actually for me feels very addicting. So when I have it, all I really do is want to have more and more. Even if it is good quality, it can, it can really feel addicting for me. So I'm particular of when I'm going to have that. Maybe I'll save it for special occasions, like for my kids' birthdays or something along that line.

MELANIE: Oh, sure.

TERESA: Now, like I said, then try to keep the ingredients quality, making sure the occasion is worth it. So that's, I mean, and for me, limiting sugar, when we were talking about before, what is a good limit? Is it once a week? Is it once a month? For me, it's really only a handful of times a year.

MELANIE: Yeah. It is for me too. When, as soon as I, if I have sugar, sure it tastes delicious. I mean, sugar tastes delicious.


MELANIE: Let's be, let's be serious. It's very addicting. But the next day, even for two or three days, my knees hurt. And I can feel the bottoms of my feet when I get out of bed in the morning. That is not really comfortable. I just, I want to be comfortable and I know if I'm hurting, that's inflammation. I know that there's inflammation, it's damaging. I don't want a knee replacement. I don't want, you know, I don't want that damage.

TERESA: Yeah. None of us do. So, I mean, we just really, if, if, I think we all need to be careful with the amount of sugar and processed carbohydrates we’re eating. I guess with that said, I should introduce myself. That's where we were going with this. My name is Teresa Wagner. I am also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And as I had mentioned, I do have kids at home that I am trying to teach how to eat to be healthy and hopefully live disease-free lives. And I do this by my own example. Kids are more interested in what we do than what we say. Right? We learn that.

MELANIE: Yes. And we learn that. Yeah.

TERESA: I also teach them by providing well-balanced meals so that they learn without a lecture what a healthy meal should look like. But of course, I can't always keep this nutrition knowledge all to myself. So I do give them advice once in a while. I don't know how much they appreciate it, but I think someday they will. So going back to what you said earlier, Mel, about the fact that the way we eat impacts the way we age, for me and for you too, I think the purpose is not to try to live forever, which is obviously impossible. It's more about the quality of our years.

MELANIE: We want to be comfortable as we age.

TERESA: Yeah, absolutely. So it's not necessarily increasing how long we're going to live, although it could. It's more about increasing how well we live within the years that we have. So having a great quality of life throughout our senior years, independent, active, social, I mean, that's what we're…

MELANIE: Pain free.

TERESA: Yes. That's what we're going for.

MELANIE: Pain free, comfortable, be able to see, be able to move. You know, I think it's really important, you know, I heard it said before that people want to move long and strong and then go down quick in the end.


MELANIE: Not suffer. You know, not have a suffering existence until they end. But it's ready, it's about time for our first break already.

TERESA: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. On Monday May 1st, Mel had the pleasure of joining Lori and Julia on their afternoon radio show to talk about menopause and the symptoms many women have during perimenopause and menopause. As you can imagine, it was a fun, lively discussion.

MELANIE: Oh, they’re fantastic.

A few tips on reducing menopausal symptoms

TERESA: …with those ladies. You can listen to that interview by going to mytalk Under the shows tab, just click on Lori and Julia, then you scroll down to the Monday May 1st show to find Mel's interview. They were not afraid to talk about their personal symptoms of hot flashes, lack of sleep and irritability. We'll talk about some of those solutions to those, those particular symptoms when we come back from break.


MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. As Teresa had discussed, Lori and Julia have had had during menopause, was Julia shared how irritable she was and wanted to know what she could do. And so I had mentioned, I had asked Julia about sleep and explained that as hormones shift, women often have trouble staying asleep. Would you agree with that, Teresa?

TERESA: Oh goodness. Yes.

MELANIE: And it is, it is so maddening for so many women and they wake up frequently or can't get back to sleep. Well, lack of quality sleep often leads to irritability the next day. You just can't be your best self. So what can help? Eliminate the sugar and take 300 to 400 milligrams of a chelated Magnesium Glycinate before bed. It can be magic.

TERESA: Yeah. It's very helpful.

MELANIE: Yeah. So when we were talking, I loved what you were saying about your kids. I always heard it, I always heard this analogy, which I loved, which is bankers back in the day were only showed real currency. They were never showed counterfeit because the philosophy was, if you only handled real currency when counterfeit came along, you would know.

And I love that. And so I use that approach with nutrition that if you are only eating real food for a period of time, suddenly your palate changes. And when you get the counterfeit foods: high fructose corn syrup and so forth, it just doesn't taste as good. And your body goes on alert to say, what is this, what is this chemical? And so that's, that's the goal, is to get our, our taste back to loving real food. And it happens organically if you just give yourself time and then you crave the real stuff instead of the counterfeit.

TERESA: Yeah. And, and the real stuff actually tastes good. Right? Whereas, a lot of times people are saying, well, it just doesn't taste as good as the other foods. But once you get away from it or get away from the counterfeit foods, like you said, yeah, our palate changes and it, and it does.

What are some aging habits?

MELANIE: It recognizes, you know, our bodies really do recognize what's good for us if we just give it a chance. And we have to give it a chance. So if I asked you right now, listeners, what would you say what is one of the most aging habits you can have? If you said smoking, you'd win the jackpot. Yes, of course; smoking, we know that it leads to wrinkles and damaged lungs, heart disease, cancer, neurological problems. And I grew up in a smoking household and it is, is difficult.

And in addition, excess alcohol ages both your body and your brain. Dr. Daniel Amen, a well-known author and a psychiatrist, and he wrote the book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life; says that, “Alcohol is not a healthy food.” And he goes on to recommend no alcohol at all. And so that is maybe a little strict, but it is a good habit if you want to maintain good memory and great looking skin and healthy brain.

TERESA: It's interesting. I follow him on Instagram and he just had a, had a post that he had put out where he said he thinks that in 10 years that we will look at drinking the same way we look at smoking.

MELANIE: Interesting.

TERESA: I don't know if I, I don't know about that. I feel like people have been drinking for a very long time. But that would be an interesting switch in society in general if that were the case. But he is very strongly against drinking alcohol. That's for sure.

MELANIE: Well, for memory, you know, we know it affects memory and, and brain is his game.

TERESA: Yes. Yes. Well, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, starting in 2030, when all the baby boomers will be older, older than 65, older Americans will make up 21% of the population. This will be up 15% since 2019. And if projections are true, by 2060, nearly one in four Americans will be 65 years of age or older. That's a lot of older adults. And at that in 2060, I will be a part of that group if I’m, if I'm still here.

Sarcopenia (muscle loss): common health problem in older adults

One of the main health problems in older adults is a condition called sarcopenia, which means muscle loss.

MELANIE: Oh, I'm glad you're talking about this.

Sufficient protein intake is important to maintain muscle mass

TERESA: What causes sarcopenia or muscle loss? Actually, there are many reasons and factors, but not eating enough protein is one of the main factors that we have control over. So Mel, how much protein do you recommend to maintain muscle mass?

MELANIE: You are putting me on that spot, Teresa. Well, it is the same amount of protein that is recommended to maintain strong bones. Your muscles, your energy, your brain, these all need at least a hundred grams of protein daily. So how much is that in ounces? That's 14 to 15 ounces of, I want to say animal protein daily to maintain good muscle mass, good bones, good moods and memory. I personally aim for about 130 grams of protein per day. So I'm, I'm pushing that limit to 15, 16 ounces a day, which is not easy. You have to focus.


MELANIE: …to get that in. But I know the science and I can't un, I can't un-remember that. So I have to, to maintain bones is, you know, keeping healthy bones is one of my passions. And so if you know, listeners, if you're, if you're looking at your muscle and you're like, where did it go? This is something you have control over is what you're eating.

TERESA: Yeah. And what you are doing, actually, is really in line with a book that I'm reading. I'm reading the book: it's called Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity. It's by Dr. Peter Attia. And this book just came out just a few months ago. So it's, it's hot off the press.

MELANIE: You are cutting edge.

TERESA: But he also says most people don't eat enough protein. And for him, protein consumption is the longevity variable. He's become more increasingly concerned about with his own patients. And he says that the more he does research on this topic, the more he finds that the, the RDA, so what the government recommendations for how much protein we should be eating, is not sufficient to build and maintain muscle mass as we age. So in his practice, he recommends that, that his patients consume about one gram of protein per pound. And this is per ideal body weight.

MELANIE: Ideal body weight.

TERESA: Per ideal body weight, which is almost double what the RDA recommends for people.

MELANIE: The RDA is always the minimum to prevent malnutrition.

TERESA: Right.

MELANIE: That's not what, our goal, we don't want to be malnourished. We want to thrive.

TERESA: Exactly. We want to be optimal. Yes. Eating enough protein daily to maintain a strong body and brain is a very different idea for some people, especially, you know, in the past women were told to eat less protein because it contained fat. And the old belief was that fat made you fat. And so a way to cut that out was to cut down on the protein. But we now know that's not true. But I still have clients who come into me and maybe they only have an egg for breakfast, a couple of ounces of cottage cheese for lunch, and maybe a small piece of fish or chicken for dinner.

MELANIE: Or that that sprinkling on the salad.


MELANIE: And you feel like I got my protein.

TERESA: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And often that, that amount is only really adding up to about seven ounces or I don't know, that maybe that's about 50 grams. And if we're thinking, you know, if your ideal body weight is more around 130, 150, that's a third, a half to a third of what your body actually needs. So this puts them at risk for osteoporosis, for loss of muscle mass. They may even look fragile. It's the opposite of what we want. Right? We want to look strong and resilient.

MELANIE: Yeah. And I, many of the time, I think you see it too, in clinic where if I get someone eating more protein, their bones do improve. You know, we do some other things too of course, but we can’t not grow bone and muscle if we don’t give it what it needs.


Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Listeners, Teresa and I could talk passionately about protein all day, and apparently we are just going to talk right over the commercials, so we're going to bring it back; reign it in here, right Teresa?

TERESA: We are. And you know, one thing I just wanted to mention is that before we were talking about Mel being on the Lori and Julia show and some of the some of the symptoms of menopause that can be, well, frankly, quite life disrupting, even though we can have a lot of humor about it. It does, it can be really disruptive to life. And if you are struggling with menopausal symptoms, I encourage you to check out our online course series, the Menopause Solution Seminar. It is six one-hour classes that you can take at your own pace. So if sleep is an issue, we have solutions for you. If hot flashes are an issue, we have solutions. So you can sign up for that class or even just look into it for more information on our website, And you can decide if the Menopause Solution seminar is the solution for you.

Sign Up for Menopause Solutions – Online

MELANIE: Yeah, I love that. It was really fun to do. Well before we went to break, we were talking passionately about protein and I'm not done yet. I have more words to say. So we were talking about how you can almost see a deficiency in some of our clients when they come in.


MELANIE: If you've been doing it long enough, you can tell. You can look in their faces and, and look at their symptoms. And it, it can be really, really a difficult way to feel. And I encourage clients to have not just two eggs for breakfast, but two eggs and then a couple ounces of a turkey patty for breakfast. I like four to five ounces of a chicken breast for lunch; four to five ounces of steak or a piece of salmon for dinner. So listeners, I challenge you to weigh some of your cooked meat and see how are you doing? How much are you actually consuming? Because when you add up the ounces of protein, that comes to about 12 ounces. I usually suggest adding a protein shake with a scoop of whey or Paleo Protein plus one scoop of collagen powder.

What are more benefits of consuming adequate protein intake?

And that can add, you know, the equivalent of about another four to five ounces of protein. And that makes four, four ounces of breakfast, four ounces at lunch, four ounces at dinner, and then three ounces for a snack. And you're there. You're at 14 to 15 ounces total. And what I love about this is that you don't have room to think about grabbing the food that has no nutrient value at all. And if that sounds like a lot, just try it for three weeks and then let us know how you feel. Ask yourself, do I feel stronger? Do I, do I, does my skin look glowy and, and firmed out and do I, is my brain functioning? Is the brain fog gone and more energy, faster metabolism? I'm, I'm going on and on again. But it's a bonus that your cravings go away on top of it.

TERESA: Yes. I I mean, and energy is one of those things that I think that I hear first from people that they really notice the increase in energy. It's so important to have muscles as you age. It may surprise you that when you lack good muscle mass, you are at a higher risk of falling because well, you're just weaker. Exercising and lifting weights can play a role in increased muscle mass, but exercising and lifting weights only builds muscles when you have sufficient protein. You can't build a brick wall without the bricks.

MELANIE: Yeah. Exactly.

TERESA: And protein is the building blocks of our muscles. And so we have to have protein in our diet. Studies show that older adults who eat low levels of protein lose muscle mass and are more prone to having significant loss in bone density, particularly in their spine and hips. According to a research study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adults who added 20 grams of whey protein to their diet had accelerated healing to their bone fractures. And it helped to prevent osteoporosis fractures.

Actually dairy protein, which that's what whey is, dairy protein contains all nine essential amino acids. While most plant-based proteins are considered incomplete, because they do not contain all of those essential amino acids. So using protein powders, like Mel was mentioning, can be an easy way to increase protein in the diet. And both of both whey or a beef based protein powder contain all those essential amino acids.

MELANIE: So if, if you are having trouble eating enough protein, think of protein's role in your health. Protein does make up about 20% of your body. And it helps your body function so that you can, you know, dance, run, play, play pickleball and, and go on trips. And just your quality of life is improved. Bone really is primarily made up of protein. So think about that as we age.

Protein is really necessary for your immune system and for good hair and skin. Who doesn't want that? It's also necessary for good wound healing. So if you're going through surgery, think about that.

Vitamin D: important nutrient to maintain good health

And what are some important nutrients to maintain good health as we get older. We, we certainly need an adequate level of vitamin D. We encourage clients to ask for their vitamin D level to be tested once a year if possible. Twice is even better. Again, that level should be at 50 or above. Most adults need to supplement with several thousand IUs of vitamin D daily. Certainly if they live in, you know, in the north like we do to maintain that adequate level.

TERESA: Yeah. And this is actually, if you haven't had your vitamin D tested, this is the perfect time of year to get it tested because we're coming, it's, it's been about as long as it'll be without getting any vitamin D from the sun. So it is, it's just a really good, this is probably about as low as your vitamin D is going to get, so this is a good time to test it. And vitamin D is so important for our bones, for immune function, good moods, hormones, I mean on and on and on. Vitamin D affects so much.

MELANIE: I had a client tell me that she felt when she started getting adequate protein and that her vitamin D came up, she felt like a, like a plant that was coming out of the ground and flourishing.

TERESA: Oh, what a good image.

MELANIE: I know.

TERESA: Yeah, I mean vitamin D is so critical and it is such an, you know, it's, it's very accessible for the average American to be able to supplement with this one cause it's not an expensive supplement. And typically, especially living in the north, we do need to supplement to have adequate levels for most people.


Key steps to building healthy bones

In addition to eating a variety of, of vegetables, natural fats, healthy oils and sufficient protein, many women may need to supplement with a good quality calcium to support their bones. I have so much success rebuilding clients' bone density with a diet of adequate protein, a variety of vegetables, healthy fats, and a special bone building supplement called Key Osteo Plus. And Mel, I know that you've had a lot of success with this.

MELANIE: I do. I take it myself.



TERESA: Most research about how to slow down the aging process recommends a whole food diet like we talk about and supplementing with targeted supplements based on individual needs. What I like and clients like about the Key Osteo Plus when they are concerned about their bone health is that it contains all the key nutrients to support good bone health.

MELANIE: And overall, it, it's a multivitamin, but it's, it's targeted to taking care of your bones. I love it. It's the limousine of supplements when it comes to bone health.

TERESA: Bone health. Yeah. Yeah. I had, in fact, I have this client. She is in her seventies, very health focused. She ate mostly plant-based for years of her life. So very low animal protein. She's a small woman; no weight issues. But she came to me because she had osteoporosis and because her A1C was in the prediabetes range. So when she came to work with me, I've really focused on, well, how can we get protein up without raising your blood sugar? And she was willing to include more animal proteins in her diet. You know, we really had to be careful to stay in line with her values.

MELANIE: Of course.

TERESA: But we increased the animal proteins and her blood sugar levels started to come down. Her A1C improved. And, and she also, because I mean she just was very skeptical, skeptical about eating animal protein, but she decided to do her own research. So she did find quite a bit of research outside of Nutritional Weight and Wellness that from doctors and bone specialists that really supported the idea of having very absorbable proteins in the diet. And the most easy for the body to absorb are animal proteins and they contain all the essential amino acids. So, so she was willing, slow but willing and she incorporated these foods into her diet and she was also very diligent with her weightbearing exercise. And she took the Key Osteo Plus. And about after a year or so her she, she redid her DEXA scan, which is…

MELANIE: The bone density.

TERESA: Yep. The bone density scan, which measures how how well her bones are doing. Her doctor actually said to her, you are a poster child. Your hip and spine are back to normal. And your femur has moved from osteoporosis to osteopenia. Your results are spectacular.

MELANIE: I love that story.

TERESA: How often does your doctor tell you that your results are spectacular?


TERESA: That's pretty fantastic. So we all know someone who after breaking a bone in their older years, older age, it was maybe the beginning of the end for them, you know, it was that they broke a bone and then maybe just things they didn't recover well.


TERESA: So therefore it makes me so happy when my clients can strengthen their bones because in essence they're aging backwards.

MELANIE: It is a very frightening, it's a very frightening diagnosis. But there's hope and you're told there is no hope for you to do it without medication. And that's just, that dog won't hunt. Because we see it in clinic all the time. People improve their bone density naturally without the side effects.

TERESA: Right. Because I think people don't think that their bone is living tissue.

MELANIE: Right. I agree. So it's time for our third break. Menopause is a challenging time of life for many women and it seems like the overnight, the foods that kept you thin now put weight on your tummy or you find that your easygoing personality suddenly changed to someone you don't know anymore. There are so many reasons and so many solutions. With knowledge and support, you can be yourself again. Call us at (651) 699-3438. Help us and we'll help you to find the best solution for you; get back to feeling like yourself again. We'll be right back.


TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Some of the best solutions for any health problem for anti-aging plan, or to rebalance your hormone start in the kitchen. We have several fun entertaining educational cooking classes going on this summer. Even if you're just so done with cooking, I think you'll enjoy these classes and they will inspire you to put together some healthy meals. Coming up on June 7th, Marianne will show us how to use vegetables from the farmer's market to create some great summer dishes.

Sign Up for a Cooking Class

MELANIE: And I love these classes because you have access to the video where then if you want to cook, you can watch the video, pause it.

TERESA: Oh yeah.

MELANIE: Do your thing. Watch it, you know.

TERESA: Yeah, yeah. Because the first time around the class isn't really set up to do, to cook along with Marianne. It's more, but yeah. Then once you get the recording, hit pause, do what she does. Cause I'm sure she does it faster than most of us with her.

MELANIE: Oh yeah. She's pro.

TERESA: Culinary skills are not quite up to chef status.

Collagen provides health benefits for many aspects in the body

MELANIE: Yes. So we were talking about of course the anti-aging and, and I feel like we would miss the mark if we didn't talk a little bit about collagen. It's trending out there. It's a big hot topic, but we do have clients that start a good, a good quality pharmaceutical grade collagen. There's a few; Key Collagen is the one that I use. And it's a supplement that helps clients with wrinkling they've said; wrinkling and skin integrity.

And I have my husband, he, he's pulling samples in and out of his car all day and he was nicking and dinging and noticing as we're aging that our skin is thinner. And he is like, well, what can you do about this? So I put him on the Key Collagen, the one I take. And he doesn't have that bruising and tearing of his skin as, as long as he doesn't do anything crazy. You know, of course we are all going to wound, but that bruising, underlying bruising that you get as you age is gone. He doesn't have that anymore. So I thought that was fascinating.

TERESA: Yeah.  

MELANIE: So the skin gets thinner.

TERESA: Yeah. It absolutely does. And that collagen is so good for bone health too if it has that Fortibone type collagen in it, which the Key Collagen does have.

Vitamin C promotes collagen production

MELANIE: Yes. And the Verisol for the skin. And we naturally make collagen when we eat protein and take vitamin C. We, we naturally do that. So, you know, incorporating those fruits and vegetables that have a good source of vitamin C. Just to name a few: oranges, blueberries, red peppers. My favorite: broccoli. Good food matters.

TERESA: Yeah. Doesn't have to be just citrus fruits. Right? I mean, there's any really, any fruit or vegetables going to have a fair amount of vitamin C it, but yeah. The ones you named.

MELANIE: Great: strawberries coming into season.

Strategy for reducing cardiovascular disease risk: consume omega-3s

TERESA: Yes. Love strawberry season. Well, another concern that we might have as we are aging is our risk of cardiovascular disease. And one thing that we can do too, as we're talking here about some supplements that we can take is taking a high quality fish oil supplement. I personally take about two to 3,000 milligrams of omega-3 every day. And certainly research tells us that we are not getting enough of that EPA and DHA in our diet. EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids. So if you have an omega-3 bottle sitting around at your house, you'd see on the back, it would break it down into, well these, it's made up of EPA and DHA. These are essential fatty acids, so our body needs them in order to function correctly. You certainly can eat omega-3 rich foods. Fatty fish is a great source.

MELANIE: Sardines and salmon.


MELANIE: And but you, you try to kind of have that at least daily to get enough.

TERESA: Yeah. I try to, somebody had mentioned like the acronym SMASH fish. It's salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring.

MELANIE: Oh, that's great.

TERESA: Yeah. So those are…

MELANIE: I will never remember that, but that is brilliant.


MELANIE: SMASH fish. That's, yeah. That’s appetizing too.

TERESA: Right. Yes. so on the days that you're having those, those omega-3 rich foods, you don't necessarily have to take a fish oil supplement. You're probably getting enough in your food. I know that not everybody likes to eat fish.


TERESA: And so if you're one of those people you might want to look into, well, maybe other sources of omega of omega-3 fatty acids: walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, but those types of omega-3s aren't as easy for our body to absorb.

MELANIE: To absorb. And I have clients that say that, well, I burp the, I burp the fish oil. So one, it needs to be quality.


MELANIE: Because you don’t want rancid fish oil that’s been sitting in big box store for months because you don't know if it's rancid. That's not going to help you. But too, you can put a good quality one in the freezer.


MELANIE: And that's going to help prevent that. So no matter how old you are today, you can feel better and stronger with some good nutrition. And we encourage you to feed your body and brain the nutrients it needs to be, to feel as young as, as you like. So I, I think it's really important that we, good quality proteins, lots of protein. I think we hit on that enough. I feel like our listeners are “protein’ed” up in their brain anyway today. We challenge them: measure, measure, weigh it out the cooked protein a few times and see how you're feeling.

Steer clear of inflammatory oils

And then we talked about the importance of lots of vegetables, fresh vegetables, real food, sources of vitamin C, collagen, maybe a good and multivitamin, if you've got some challenges there. And I love what you said about the omega threes because we were talking about how out of balance we are with omega-3s and omega 6s, which are inflammatory oils.

TERESA: Right. And both of those are actually essential fatty acids. We need both omega threes and omega sixes. But where we're getting our omega sixes from now is the inflammatory things that you're talking about are like the vegetable oils, seed oils. Those are really inflammatory. And they're commonly hidden in foods that we eat every day, but we don't really think of as sources of fat.

MELANIE: They sound like real food, right?


MELANIE: When you read the ingredients and it says safflower or sunflower oil, well that sounds okay.


MELANIE: But it's in omega six, probably highly processed.

TERESA: Yeah. And it's, it's in your salad dressing. It's in baked goods. It's in crackers and breads and really anything that's packaged that's using some sort of a fat and most, you know, a lot of those foods need some sort of fat component in order to keep some sort of moisture there. Even if it's something dry like a cracker, it still needs a binder.

MELANIE: And if you're eating out but you're eating real foods, the oils that they're using, they're not using avocado oil, coconut oil, grass-fed lard; that's not what they're using. They're using omega six oil. So if you eat out a lot and you feel like, well, I'm getting a salad and vegetable, that's great. But something to be in mindful of is maybe bring your own salad dressing or ask for olive oil and vinegar.

TERESA: Yeah, great idea. Yeah. And certainly fried foods are fried in vegetable oils, which is an omega six; the, the the inflammatory omega six. I think that the ratio that the average American, it's 15:1 omega six to omega threes.

MELANIE: Oh my goodness.

TERESA: Which we really should be closer to one, to one of, you know, equal parts omega six to omega threes. And we're very off balance, which creates inflammation in our body. If we have an inflamed body, we're going to have an aging body.

MELANIE: That's a really, really good point. And so the more this is, we circle back to the more you're making real food at home, keep it simple, if you hate cooking, but the more you're making real food at home, you have control over the ingredients, you start lowering that ratio.

TERESA: Mm-Hmm. Yeah.

MELANIE: So that it is begins to equal out a little bit. And then of course you're going to eat out now and then because life. That's just how we roll. But your body is then better equipped to handle what you're getting when you eat out if you're giving it all it needs 90, 95% of the time.

TERESA: Right. Perfection is not required.

MELANIE: Perfection is not required. And obsession is not required. Right?


MELANIE: There has to be balance overall. And like we said, you're going to have a treat now and then, but are you having a treat every day? Have, are you having a treat once a week or is it on those special occasions? It's always somebody's birthday.

TERESA: That's right.

MELANIE: So maybe just your birthday or your child's birthday. But we can always find a reason to celebrate and have a treat. But if you want to age well and you want to feel comfortable, I think it's important that you pay attention to what you're consuming to build a good body. So our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thanks for joining Teresa and I today.

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