Actor Jack O’Connell went on a 700-calorie-a-day diet to portray the emaciated prisoner of war Olympian Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie’s movie “Unbroken.” In the short term, he could get away with it, but it’s no surprise that in the long term, robbing the body of essential nutrients can trigger metabolic problems, hormone disruptions and immune system challenges.
What might surprise you is that even if you eat a lot more than 700 calories, you can still be undernourished or malnourished, and it may be what’s causing you to pack on pounds and raise your levels of lousy LDL cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure.
That’s the conclusion of researchers who looked at how eating two fruit-based micronutrient- and fiber-dense supplement bars (the researchers’ own recipe) every day affected normal-weight, overweight and obese folks. Their findings: Eating essential (and previously missing) nutrients triggered weight loss in overweight and obese folks. And in everyone it improved important health indicators such as inflammation, insulin resistance, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels.
So, for your personal best, fill up on nine servings of produce daily (37 percent of U.S. adults eat vegetables less than once a day), along with lean protein and 100 percent whole grains. Dodge added sugars and syrups, trans and most sat fats. Take a daily multivitamin (half in the morning, half at night), along with 900 mg of algal oil. Ask your doc for a blood test to check your vitamin D levels and to see what else you need to protect yourself from undernutrition.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit sharecare.com.