If you follow a special diet of some sort you may be lacking in some key nutrients. If you follow the Standard American Diet, or the SAD diet, you are most certainly lacking some essential nutrients.
Essential nutrients are those nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. If you don’t eat them or otherwise create them in your body (as with vitamin D) your body will be deficient and side effects will occur. Sometimes the side effects are subtle at first, but ultimately some vitamin deficiencies can cause death.
In school you probably heard about scurvy, an affliction mostly noticed in sailors who would be out on the ocean for months at a time without access to fresh foods. They would lose not only their health but also their hair, skin, and even their lives. The cure? A regular dose of vitamin C, sometimes provided by carrying limes on the ship and earning sailors the nickname “limeys.”
A simple essential nutrient deficiency can be diagnosed as an entire disease, with complex treatments and medications prescribed, when the solution might be a simple change in diet. Psoriasis is an example of this, as described in 7 Proven Reasons to Sleep 8 Hours A Night. Dietary changes, such as adding Essential Fatty Acid Omega 3, and getting more sleep have “cured” people of this devastating skin disorder.
- Essential: means necessary, but only available to the body through diet. Anything called a vitamin is essential, as are essential fatty acids and essential amino acids.
- Vitamin: an organic compound not created in the body in sufficient amounts, and so required in the diet.
- Minerals: Minerals are inorganic compounds found in the Earth’s crust, also used by the body in limited amounts for the creation of hormones, enzymes and other important functions.
Who Is At Risk?
Special diets can be defined as any diet which excludes a food group, and therefore the key nutrients in that group, whether that be by choice, habit, culture, or allergy.
Examples of Special Diet by Choice:
- Vegetarian–no meat or fish
- Vegan–no animal proteins or products such as eggs or dairy (see our guest blogs)
- Gluten Free (by choice)– no wheat products
Examples of Special Diet for Allergy:
- Gluten free for Celiac disease (see our guest blog)
- Limited food choices for Crohn’s disease (see our guest blog)
- Allergy to milk or other specific foods
Examples of Special Diets by Habit/Culture– see our Guest Blog by Dr. Terry Wahls
- Standard American Diet, deficient in fruits, vegetables, fiber, and sometimes protein
- Excluding a food or food group because you “don’t like” it, such as salad, fish, or fruit
Key Nutrients Often Lacking in Special Diets
- B vitamins, especially vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Omega 3
What is the Essential Nutrient Checklist? It’s a quick way to look at YOUR diet, and see what special needs you should consider. Do you eat mushrooms? Fish? Blueberries? Find out with this free download how these foods affect your key nutrient intake, and learn how you may correct it with food or supplement options. Get It Now.
7 Key Nutrients for Special Diets
- How B vitamins help the body
- Vitamin B deficiency; who is at risk
- How to get Vitamin B if you’re vegan
Vitamin B12 can be deficient if you don't eat fish, eggs, dairy, beef or pork. Read More: Click To Tweet
- Food vitamin D is found in
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Amount of sunlight humans need daily
In the winter, many people become vitamin D deficient--not good! Learn More: Click To Tweet
- Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9
- Omega-6 excess; how to balance things out
- Omega-3 deficiency conditions
- Who is at risk of Omega-3 deficiency
#Vegetarians, #vegans, and people who “don't like” fish may be deficient in Essential Omega 3 Click To Tweet
- Food iron is found in
- The functions of iron in the body
- Iron deficiency; who is at risk
- How to do if you have iron deficiency
Anemia can seriously slow you down. Are you getting enough iron? Click To Tweet
Read This Blog Post
- Zinc’s role in the body
- Zinc as a powerful antioxidant
- Signs of zinc deficiency
- How to add a zinc supplement to your diet
Zinc is often used to support the immune system, especially important for people with #Crohns or #Celiac disease Click To Tweet
- Calcium prevents osteoporosis
- Calcium and muscle health; specifically the heart
- How calcium can help you sleep better
- Calcium deficiency; who is at risk
Do you eat more than 1 cup of collard greens every day? Calcium is a key nutrient for #SpecialDiets Click To Tweet
- What parts of the body are made of proteins
- Vegetarians and Vegans can become deficient
- Benefits of brocolli!
- Who else is at risk for protein deficiency
People sometimes dispute the amount of protein needed for health. Read More: Click To Tweet
The point is you can (and should) choose foods that are good for you, and good for your beliefs as well!
- If eating dairy or gluten makes you sick, then don’t do it!
- If you have an allergy to a food, don’t eat it.
- If eating animal products bothers you, then don’t do it.
But your body still needs ALL of the essential nutrients, so be sure to eat them with the frequency and in the amounts that are good for your health.
Find out what essential nutrients you ARE already eating, and what ones you may be missing! Download the Essential Nutrient Checklist today!
Other informative blogs:
- Nourish: Nutrition is a #PureLiving Pillar
- Healthy Foundation Supports Everything Else
- What Are Essential Nutrients?
- Good Diet? What is that, Exactly?
- About Special Diets and Nutrition
- Gluten-Free Diets and Supplements
- Special Diet Quick Guide
Our guest bloggers for #SpecialDiets:
- Guest Blog: Theresa Longo on Being Vegan
- Guest Blog- Gluten Free Gal Kirsten Berman
- Crohn’s Can’t Stop Me – Jack Lima Guest Blog
- Guest Blog: Laura of The Whole Ingredient
- Guest Blog-Living a Raw Food Lifestyle Rocking Raw Chef
Join the conversation by using #SpecialDiet and see your posts appear on our SpecialDiet Page.
What do you think of this blog? We’d love to hear your comments below. Share what you learned, or what you will do next.
ϯ These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.