Dog Food: Health and Nutrition for the Dogs

Dogs have been one of man’s most favorite and reliable pets. Man has taken all the necessary steps to make sure that the pet stays healthy so that they can both enjoy each other’s company. For ages, dogs have been rightly called man’s best friend because of his faithfulness. Pets are known to be a stress buster and hence a source of happiness for many. However, getting a pet alone home is not sufficient, maintaining its health and well-being is also equally important.

Today, due to the busy lives and hectic schedules one is not able to give proper attention to their pets. This can lead to a lot of problems, therefore it is important to make sure that the dogs also get the right kind of food and nutrition. Over the years, dogs have been categorized in the omnivores category. This means that they can eat both plants and animals. It means that they can eat just about anything. Anyone who has or has every had a dog can attest to that.

Though most puppies like and prefer meat, they can also survive on a vegetarian diet as long as they get the necessary nutrition in the form of supplements. To ensure that a dog gets all its relevant dietary needs, one can opt for dog food. There are many companies that manufacture dog food; however, one needs to check judiciously which dog food to depend on. This information can be gathered from the internet or from your pets veterinarian.

The most ideal pet food is one that which provides the animals with all the necessary nutrition in the right proportion and quantity. The dog food must have a blend of meat, vegetables and dietary fibers which will keep your pet healthy and fit. The dog must also be given sufficient water so that it does not get dehydrated. Drinking water is good for any human or animal. Our bodies are mostly make of water, we should always replenish it. Since some animals are left outside, it is important that they have water available at all time, especially when is is hot outside.

While choosing food for the dog one must keep in mind the age of the dog since nutritional needs differ according to age. The pet food meant for pups is different from those meant for adults. Your vet will also be able to give you information as to what food to get for your aging pet.

A Summary Of Different Food Groups And Nutrition Values

Food and nutrition is an important yet often overlooked aspect of our day to day lives. For many years few were concerned about what food they it and how it affected their well-being. In recent years more and more people have taken a bold interest in what they eat in light of the increase in obesity which is tightly associated with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. To follow this trend even fast-food outlets traditionally associated with most harmful food servings have made erodes in introducing nutritious menus.

Having an understanding of the different food groups is essential and equipping as it will enable an individual or family to eat balanced and healthy. It makes it easier to know which foods to avoid and what causes what in the food pyramid in terms of disease. The main food groups are carbohydrates namely cereals, grains and bread, meat group, dairy products group and fruit and vegetable group. Sweets and oils are also yet another food group. Nutritious eating is one that is balanced which will nourish your body with the benefits of fruits and vegetables.

These are good for high blood pressure, healthy heart and diabetes management. You will also need to eat whole grains and skim milk which is also known as fat-free milk and milk products. Also eat foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol. Sodium is bad for blood pressure health. In fact individuals who consume a lot of sodium which is known in layman’s language as salt will increase their risk of high blood pressure. Avoiding sugars is also avoiding unnecessary additional weight. Sugars are understood to assist in weight gain especially amongst children. This is related to obesity.

One important tip applied today by many individuals is to make it a habit to read food labels when visiting the grocery store for replenishment. These labels will however make sense if you are equipped beforehand with what to look for and how to interpret them. Going by the food label stay away from foods with high levels of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol and sodium as already mentioned. Ensure on a daily basis the different foods you are loading into your shopping cart will guarantee you enough quantities of fiber, vitamin A and C, potassium, calcium and iron.

Finally after having educated yourself about all these foods, there is need to go a little further. Ensure that you lead an active lifestyle. Eating healthy is great but is even greater when combined with a life of activity. You can get your family involved and is a good thing to involve children to inculcate the importance of healthy eating and exercise.

The Reality of Food and Nutrition in Health Care – “The Moment of Truth”

The reality of healthcare food services is that there is an enormous opportunity to surpass the expectations of the customers. The expectation of any patient admitted to a hospital is the food is unappealing and tasteless. Another realization is that there was never a time an individual just wanted to go to a hospital for the meals.

The challenge for food and nutrition management teams is to set the expectations and educate the customer prior to rendered meals offering or services. The complexity of meal service does not start and end with the preparation and serving of the meal. The meal service process is a team sport, where the entire facility needs to be engaged in the meal process and understand that each staff member is an interracial part of the meal process. The customer needs to have some level of control in the ordering his or her meal but with the majority of the staff in the kitchen, fielding comments and communicating the likes and dislikes of the patient back to food service is the basic challenges for any hospital.

The strategy is to improve the communication process and setting the expectations by explaining meal options, styles of service, and the clinical restriction, which needs to be discussed prior to the first meal served. Although this sounds uncomplicated, many facilities fail to communicate this information effectively.

In developing a communication strategy, the key element is focusing on “the moment of truth”, which is creating a strategy that starts when the customer receives his or her meal and working backward. Think if any other food establishment as an example, if a customer is looking for specific meals the ability to view the menu, d├ęcor, and specials is available through varies marketing Medias. The strategy in marketing is establishing value though effectively communication. Although hospital food is not considered gourmet, there are many values to the product. There is no reason these values cannot be effectively conveyed to the customer upon admission building credibility. In healthcare, the food business needs to think entrepreneurially incorporating basic manufacturing branding concepts.

The food service industry with the exception of healthcare has an opportunity to market and brand their product prior to purchase. With a captive customer base in healthcare, the opportunity and the discretion of the food and nutrition department could create an experience that surpasses the basic expectation of hospital food.

Thinking as a marketer instead of a food director should be a prerequisite for the position of any food director. The Department of Health (DOH) in code 482.28 states the food service director must be a full-time employee who has been granted the authority and delegated responsibility by the hospital’s governing body and medical staff for the operation of the dietary services. This authority and delegated responsibility includes the daily management of the service, implementing training programs for dietary staff, and ensuring that established policies and procedures are maintained that address at least safety practices for food handling; emergency food supplies; orientation, work assignments, supervision of work and personnel performance; menu planning, purchasing of foods and supplies, and retention of essential records (e.g., cost, menus, personnel, training records, QAPI reports, etc).

In this explanation, the director is granted the authority and delegated responsibilities to make decisions about the effectiveness of the food service department. To summarize the role of a director he or she needs to have think entrepreneurial and with a passion to develop, a business customer focus and drives the program by setting a vision with long-term objectives.

Thinking as a marketer one needs to think about the targeted audience by taking into account and understanding of preferences of the customer and develop a food strategy that can satisfy and meet the clinical and regulatory requirement.

Strategic management is defined as the set of decisions and actions that result in the formulation and implementation of plans designed to achieve the objectives. In the strategy of health care food service, it is about improving the “moment of truth.”

As with any strategic plan, the first and most important step is to develop a vision and mission statement specifically for the food and nutrition department. The next set is to review the internal capabilities and analyze the resources including staffing, capital, internal logistics, budget, and the external environment to understand what can be accomplished successfully. Once each resource is evaluated, the next step is to develop long-term objectives with short-term objectives that support the vision. In one’s experience, being a directors and in trying to resolve a problem one can becomes too reactive by implementing a program that on the surface seems to improve a segment of the program but does not address the problem. If one creates a drop-in programs and fails to understand the long-term strategy the problem is by pulling resources that support the vision will only create problems deeper-rooted problems in meeting the objectives.

At times, one hears comments like “the more that changes the more it stays the same.” This comment in one’s opinion is because there is no strategic plan with long-term objectives. A food director responsibility is to generate the plan and more important selling the plan to senior management highlighting the importance and need for change.

The challenge for any food and nutrition leadership team is working through hospital policies, top senior hierarchy, nursing, support services, and budget requirements. Thinking as a business owner with a long-term objectives is what separates the outstanding operators from the average. The traits of any leadership for setting strategies that support entrepreneurship and innovative thinking along with the characteristics of being resourceful, creative, visionary, hardworking, and optimistic. These leaders are independent thinkers willing to take risks and innovate. Entrepreneurs live in a sea of dreams that entails the envisioning of expanding ones proverbial personal island by aligning all the boats and paddles in moving in the same direction.

The “moment of truth” and setting the expectations is not easy. It takes a personal commitment and the alignment of resources that requires a break away of traditional thinking. Whether the operation has an elaborate room service delivery service or the traditional tray service, the goals are still to set the expectations and the focus to maintain the expectation. Setting the decisive moment is thinking transformational and not just tinkering with the status quo but blowing up the old business models and creating new one. The difference is thinking strategically and setting a vision with each element of the plan being aligned and complimenting the “moment of truth.”

Antioxidant Rich Foods and Oils

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are phytochemicals, vitamins and other nutrients that prevent damage to our cells by free radicals thus preventing cancer and heart disease. Scientific studies have found that antioxidants are found in most fruits and vegetables and in culinary and medicinal herbs

A study in 2006 showed that the consumption of smaller quantities of a variety of phytochemicals may be more beneficial than the consumption of larger quantities of fewer phytochemicals.

Free Radicals

Free radicals form naturally and also by other external factors such as smoking, pesticides, pollution and radiation from the sun and electrical goods. Free radicals are unstable molecules which react with essential molecules within our body, including DNA, fat and proteins. Free radicals try to steal or give electrons to other molecules, thereby changing their chemical structure.

When a free radical attacks an essential molecule in our body, it transforms the essential molecule into a free radical, causing a chain reaction leading to the destruction of a cell. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by receiving or donating an electron without becoming a free radicals themselves since the are stable in both forms and thus cell damage is prevented. However, when the antioxidant neutralizes a free radical it becomes inactive and so we need to constantly supply our body with antioxidants. The damage caused by free radicals could increase the risk of diseases such as cancer and hearth diseases and aging related problems. Examples of antioxidants include vitamin C, E and beta-carotene and other antioxidants such as lycopene, and lutein.

Antioxidants Prevent Disease and Cancer

The Chinese Cancer Prevention Study (1993 showed that antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin E and selenium significantly reduced incidence of cancer. However, the Alpha-Tocopherol / Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (1994) showed that beta-carotene increased lung cancer rates amongst male smokers.

Antioxidants may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, although there is no hard proof for this at the moment. Studies have shown however, that foods naturally rich in antioxidants reduces the risk of heart disease.

ORAC Score

An Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or ORAC score is the result of scientifically measuring the antioxidant levels of food and other substances. If a food has a high ORAC score, the food is high in antioxidants and thus eating the food would prevent the damage caused by oxygen free radicals which may result in diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

The ORAC score measures all antioxidants in foods and was developed by Dr. Guohua Cao, a chemist and physician. It is difficult to measure each antioxidants separately, but the ORAC score test picks out the most important antioxidants. Combinations of nutrients in foods are more beneficial than consuming each nutrient individually. Although many people aim to fulfil their daily intake of nutrients by taking pills, the best way to receive the maximum benefits of antioxidants may be directly from consuming fruits and vegetables rather than supplements. Some foods have higher antioxidant levels as measured by ORAC scores.

It is recommended that “5-a-day” fruit and vegetable servings will give you an ORAC score of 1,750 units. Depending on what you choose, if you pick seven fruits with low ORAC scores you would achieve only 1,300 ORAC score, or you could pick seven fruits with high ORAC values and receive around 6,000 ORAC score or higher.

Scientific studies have shown that eating foods with a high ORAC score will raise the antioxidant levels in the blood by around 10 to 25%. The ORAC score recommended by experts is around 5,000 per day to have a strong impact on plasma and tissue antioxidant levels. Eight to ten servings of fruits and vegetables or dark greens will help achieve this ORAC score. More and foods and nutritional supplements are beginning to include the ORAC score on their labels, so this should make it more convenient to find the foods and supplements that will give you a sufficient level of antioxidants every day.

The following is a listing of the ORAC score of essential oils and foods:

ORAC Scores of Essential Oils

Clove essential oil (Syzigium aromaticum)…………..10,786,875
Thyme essential oil (Thymus vulgaris)………………………159,590
Oregano essential oil (Origanum compactum)………….153,007
Mountain Savory essential oil (Satureja montana)…….113,071
Cinnamon Bark essential oil (Cinnamamum verum)…103,448
Rose of Sharon essential oil (Cistus ladanifer)…………..38,648
Eucalyptus essential oil (Eucalyptus globulus)……………24,157
Orange essential oil (Citrus aurantium)…………………….18,898
Lemongrass essential oil (Cymbopogen flexuosus)…….17,765
Helichrysum essential oil (Helichrysum italicum)……..17,420
Spearmint essential oil (Mentha spicata)…………………………5,398
Lavender essential oil (Lavendula angustifolia)……………….3,669
Rosemary essential oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)………………3,309
Juniper essential oil (Juniperus osteosperma)…………………2,517
Roman Chamomile essential oil (Chamaemelum nobile)…2,446
Sandalwood essential oil (Santalum Album)…………………….1,655

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years, but it is only now that science has developed the capacity to study them on a cellular level. Studies using a high-resolution microscope that magnifies greater than 1,000 times and uses dark-field technology have shown that good quality therapeutic essential oils emitted light, vibration, and rapid motion. This pulsing movement seems to indicate the presence of active coenzymes, minerals, oxygenating molecules, and other compounds.

It is believed that the chemistry and kinetic energy of essential oils has the ability to sustain the body’s life force for good health.

ORAC Scores of Various Foods

Wolf berry (Fructus Lycii / Lycium / Gou Qi Zi)…..25,300
Prunes………………………………………………………………………5,770
Blueberries……………………………………………………………..2,400
Garlic……………………………………………………………………….1,939
Cranberries………………………………………………………………1,750
Strawberries…………………………………………………………….1,540
Spinach…………………………………………………………………….1,260
Yellow Squash………………………………………………………….1,150
Alfalfa sprouts……………………………………………………………930
Beets………………………………………………………………………….840
Oranges……………………….750
Grapes, Red…………………739
Grapefruit, pink…………..495
Grapes, White……………..460
Beans, Kindey………………460
Peas, Frozen………………..375
Potato…………………………300
Leaf Lettuce………………..265
Cantaloupe………………….250
Banana………………………..210
Apple………………….207
Tomato……………….195
Pear…………………….110
Watermelon……….100
Cucumber……………60

Super ORAC Scores (per 1 ounce serving) [based on kunitsSODeq (kilounits SuperOxide DismutaseEquivalence) /Ounce based on studies in 2007 with data from Brunswick Laboratories, Wareham, MA]

NingXia Red Juice……… 363
Vibe…………………………….. 87
Ageless Xtra………………… 85
Himalayan Goji…………… 68
G3………………………………. 43
Xocai…………………………… 13
Xango………………………….. 9
Goyin……………………………. 8
ViaViente……………………… 2
Frequent Sea……………… 1.2
Tahitian Noni Juice……….. 1
Sibu-Balance………………… 1

ORAC Scores (per 1 ounce serving)

Berry Young Juice………….. 1,130*
Xango……………………………… 550
Tahitian Noni Juice…………….. 500
Himalayan Goji……………………. 0

H-ORAC Scores (per 1 ounce serving)

Berry Young Juice…………….5,499*
XanGo………………………………….NT
Tahitian Noni Juice………….1,284
Himalayan Goji………………..1,218

N-ORAC Scores (per 1 ounce serving)

Berry Young Juice ……………4,897*
Xango……………………………………NT
Tahitian Noni Juice……………..994
Himalayan Goji……………………702

Fat Burner Food and Nutrition

If you are on a diet and weight loss plan sticking with it can be a difficult chore, but it doesn’t have to be.

The single most important part of your weight loss plan is your nutrition. The choices you make as to what food you eat and how much of it determine the extent of your progress. You won’t be able to lose weight or gain muscle if you don’t have the proper nutrition.

Losing weight on paper is simple: burn more calories than you consume. A deficit means you are losing weight.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, then you will have to cut 20% of your daily maintenance calorie consumption. Obviously, eating more than your maintenance calorie allotment will cause you to gain weight. An average 180-pound male needs to consume about 3,200 calories a day to maintain his current weight. Thus, to lose weight, an average male would need to cut 650 calories from his diet.

To cut calories, you should focus on eating the right foods in moderation, instead of what you can’t or shouldn’t eat. Make the conscious decision to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, eggs, fish and whole grains. These are the foods you should be eating more of, this should form the basis of your meals.

Lean protein is essential to long-term, sustained weight loss; it’s a natural fat burner. If you successfully cut 20% of your daily calorie intake, you will lose body fat, but one of the first places your body uses for fuel and energy is muscle mass. This is why adding a substantial amount of clean protein to your diet will encourage your body to use the protein you’re eating as fuel instead of your muscle mass.

Additionally, do not skip meals. This is not only throws off your normal body rhythms, it also works against your metabolism. Instead, you should space out your meals throughout the day and eat 6 smaller and healthy meals. This not only increases your caloric burning throughout the day, it also saves off hunger. By metering out your meals, you are able to dodge snacking on unhealthy because a meal of good, healthy food is not too far away.

As a side note, if you are on a weight loss plan, do not try to achieve your weight loss by severely dieting and starving yourself. Not only is this not save, it is counterproductive. When you starve yourself, your metabolism slows down because the body naturally goes into a form of hibernation, in order to preserve itself. Thus, starving yourself in the end doesn’t cause you to lose weight, actually the exact opposite.