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Growing up healthy: Proper Nutrition for Kids

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 1:50:16 PM America/Los_Angeles

Healthy kids have a better chance of turning into healthy adults. But it takes work—and that work starts early. That’s because kids’ nutritional needs tie to the rapid development of childhood. So, nutrition for kids is about growth and development in the present and forming healthy building blocks and habits for a lifetime.

Just think about this: at two years old, your child’s brain has grown to 80 percent of its adult size. That’s incredible growth in a short amount of time. And for one of the most important parts of the body, too.

You understand why proper nutrition for kids is important. Now it’s time to deal with how you provide for kids’ nutritional needs. And the advice about the foods needed to grow healthy kids will sound very familiar.

When kids start eating solid foods, you should strive for a healthy balance. Like adults, kids’ nutritional needs start with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains.

Similar advice applies from six months (or when solid foods are introduced) all the way to 96 years. So, you won’t see it repeated in each section below. That would get tedious. But remember that keeping a balance of healthy, nutrient-dense foods is the foundation for good health—for a lifetime.

The Right Start: Nutritional Information for Infants

In the first six months of life, kids’ nutritional needs are taken care of by breast milk. If breastfeeding isn’t an option, high-quality commercial formula can provide the nutrition for babies up to six months old.

The mother’s nutritional status is very important for breastfed infants. Passing on adequate quantities of vitamins and minerals is essential to proper growth and development. That means a focus on getting all the nutrients—from a healthy diet or quality supplementation, if necessary—mom and baby both need.

At about six months, an infant needs a few important nutrients—especially iron. Levels of this essential mineral start dropping, and iron-rich foods are needed. Eleven milligrams (mg) of iron per day are recommended for babies 7–12 months old.*

Luckily, about this same time, kids are typically able to start supplementing breast milk or formula with other foods. So, iron-enriched cereals, fruit or vegetable purees, and other options can provide the extra nutrients healthy kids need. That’s on top of the nutrition babies continue to get from breast milk or formula.

Infants also need zinc, calcium, and vitamin D. Your baby needs to get 260 mg of calcium from six to 11 months. And you should shoot for 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D. This pair of vitamins and minerals work together to support strong bones and many growing body systems.*

Also, fats are critical for brain and nervous system development. So, don’t limit your baby’s intake of fats—especially plant-based ones.

As they grow, you can expand the variety of foods your infant eats. You can move to finger foods and chopped whole foods as your baby grows older. Just move slowly to more solid foods and be very conscious of any choking hazards. But make sure to have a variety of healthy foods to build your baby’s love for diverse, nutritious fare.

Feeding Your Toddler’s Growing Needs

Toddlers (ages 1 to 3) are growing. And their opinions about food are, too. This is a time when vegetables and fruits are met with a one-word rebuke—NO. It’s a simple word that even healthy kids can learn to associate with foods they need.

Picky eaters’ nutritional needs aren’t always being adequately met. Growing kids need fiber. The general rule for daily fiber is the child’s age plus five grams. A lot of that should come from vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Choosy children can also miss out on crucial micronutrients.

Your growing toddler needs about 700 mg of calcium each day to support the growth of strong, healthy bones. Good nutrition for kids one to three years old also should include plenty of iron. That means seven milligrams per day.*

The caloric requirements of your growing child can vary. Anywhere from 1,000 to 1,400 calories is normal. When they’re hitting growth spurts, your toddler may want to eat more. And when that growth slows, their appetite might follow.

As a general rule, aim for about 40 calories for every inch of height, each day. For example, a toddler who measures 30 inches should eat around 1,200 calories a day. This amount can vary depending on a child’s activity level or build. It’s also important to remember that the serving size for a toddler is about 25 percent of an adult’s.

This can be a tricky time. To get the nutrition your kids need takes patience. But it’s important to push through and help your toddler develop healthy dietary habits. These become even more important as kids age and start making their own food decisions.

Nutrition for Kids Ages 4 to 10

As the growth spurts continue, the need for calories and specific nutrients does, too.

Healthy kids in this group can eat 1,200–2,000 calories in a day. That’s a big range because activity and growth are big variables. Active kids going through a growth spurt can reach those upper limits.

Calcium is still a main concern. Again, that has a connection to the growth of bones as kids get taller. Kids’ nutritional needs include 1,000 mg of calcium and 600–1,000 IU of vitamin D. They also need a full complement of essential vitamins and minerals—especially vitamin E and folate.*

School-age kids make more food choices without you. Packing lunches and helping your kids make informed decisions are crucial. Children this age can start helping more in the kitchen. Involving them in meal planning and preparation creates educational opportunities and helps build good habits.

Older Kids’ Nutritional Needs

The life of the modern pre-teen and teenager can be hectic and overwhelming. It can create a balancing act between school, activities, and social lives.

At this busy time, kids are still growing—and puberty brings its own changes and challenges. Good nutrition for kids in this age group needs to remain a constant in chaos. That means 1,300 gm of calcium per day for growing bones. It should also include fiber-packed meals, extra iron for girls (15 mg) who have started menstruating, and all essential vitamins and minerals.*

Teens can eat you out of house and home. Active girls can require up to 2,400 calories. Active boys can chew through 2,000–3,200 calories. That’s a lot of food. And they should be nutrient-rich—not just empty calories.

At the same time, some older kids will start dieting. Body image is a big part of teenage life. This newfound self-consciousness can hinder the ability for healthy kids to get what they need.

Kids nutritional needs can’t take a backseat to vanity, activities, or a packed social schedule. So, your teens should start the day with a healthy breakfast to fuel their busy days. They should get a balance of macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fats—and micronutrients. Protein and fiber provide sustained energy and satiation.

Your teen will soon be out in the world, scavenging for their own food. Make sure they’re equipped with the skills and habits required to deliver good nutrition throughout their lives.

Group of happy children lying on green grass outdoors in spring park

Good Nutrition Grows Healthy Kids

Pound for pound, kids require more nutrition than adults. Their bones are growing longer and stronger. Their brains are being built for a lifetime of learning. Their organs, muscles, and other systems mature. Getting proper nutrition for kids of all ages helps from head to toe.

At the same time, a child’s likes and dislikes take shape. Opinions about foods are cemented. Palates develop and influence choices later on.

The good thing is that meeting kids’ nutritional needs as they grow can help teach them to love healthy foods later in life. So, the work you put in to provide what your kid needs also builds the foundation for a healthy future.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Intermittent Fasting: The Science of Going Without

Monday, August 6, 2018 4:29:46 PM America/Los_Angeles

If you’ve recently had a conversation about dieting and weight management, then you’ve probably heard talk of intermittent fasting. But what is intermittent fasting? And is it healthy? Currently, this is quite an under-researched topic, with limited research in humans.

In other words, the answer is a little complicated, but let’s break it down together.

The Science of Going Without

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It’s a way to manage your weight and promote overall health, not by limiting what you eat, but by limiting when you eat.

There are several different intermittent fasting methods, such as:

  • Daily intermittent fasting: 16-hour fast followed by an eight-hour eating period each day.
  • Alternate day intermittent fasting: Cycle between 24-hour periods of eating and fasting.
  • The 5-2 method, eat regularly for five days during the week and restrict food during 2 days to about 500 to 600 calories during the fasting days.

How does intermittent fasting work? To put it simply, when your body is digesting food, it’s in the “fed state.” This typically lasts three to five hours after your last meal. During this state, your body doesn’t burn fat as efficiently because your insulin levels are high and you are getting needed energy from food.

But if you don’t eat for around eight to 12 hours after your last meal, your body will enter the “fasted state.” Your insulin levels are low because your body has stopped absorbing food and, as a result, your body burns stored food energy (fat) more easily.

Intermittent Fasting: Scale

The Pros and Cons

So we know what intermittent fasting is and what it does, but the real questions are—is it healthy? Is it safe? Is it something you should do?

Your body is unique. And so is everyone else’s. Many people have tried intermittent fasting with great results, and they happily want to share their success with others.

But for many people, intermittent fasting is not the answer they’re looking for. For some people, it could even be a danger to their long-term health.

Let’s look at just a few of the many possible pros and cons of incorporating intermittent fasting into your daily life.


  • Promotes health and weight management. Some studies show intermittent fasting may be a promising way to lose weight and improve metabolic health.
  • No calorie counting. With intermittent fasting, you don’t have to change what you eat in order to stay under your daily calories. By controlling when you eat, you have the freedom to eat what you want.
  • It’s simple. Intermittent fasting makes your day simpler. When on a fasting program, you plan for and cook less meals. Some people find this simplicity liberating, as they have more time to devote to other activities they love.


  • Dropout rate is high. Recent studies show people may be more likely to quit an intermittent fasting routine before it can provide any real benefit to their health.
  • You could develop bad eating habits. Intermittent fasting can be very stressful for some people. This, coupled with a lack of satisfaction, means they end up eating much more than they should during non-fasting periods.
  • Dangerous for people with certain conditions. While safe for most people, intermittent fasting can have negative effects if you have diabetes, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or take certain medications. Make sure to always consult your physician before introducing any fasting routine or change in diet as part of your everyday life.

The Choice Is Yours

Intermittent Fasting: Plate

At the end of the day, there is not yet enough scientific evidence to prove or disprove intermittent fasting as superior to traditional dieting, nor to prove or disprove it promotes long-term health better than counting calories. On the flip side, there also isn’t any strong evidence it’s harmful to average adults, either.

If you have the willpower for an intermittent fasting routine, then more power to you. If not, there’s nothing wrong with a more traditional method of weight management.

Research is ongoing and, hopefully, we’ll soon know the benefit of intermittent fasting. Until then, the best diet is one you can maintain consistently—along with plenty of exercise.

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Coenzyme Q10: How It Works For Your Health

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:21:15 PM America/Los_Angeles

coenzyme q10

Your body doesn’t have to look very far to find Coenzyme Q10. It’s in almost every one of your cells. Maybe that’s why it belongs to a category of molecules called ubiquinones (ubiquitous meaning everywhere). This widespread distribution in your body also means CoQ10 benefits abound.

Q10 is important to prepare cellular reactions (that’s what a coenzyme does). It helps cells produce energy for growth and maintenance. CoQ10 also works as an antioxidant that protects you from the same energy-making process it’s also involved in.

But you can’t rely on your natural production forever. It falls off the older you get. So, Q10 is what’s called a conditionally essential nutrient—required under certain circumstances. In this case, age.

Maintaining optimal Coenzyme Q10 levels is important. Discover how CoQ10 works, how it benefits your health, and where you can find it in your diet.

Vitamin Q? Not Quite
If it works like a vitamin, looks like a vitamin, and acts like a vitamin, then it’s a vitamin. Or is it?

CoQ10 doesn’t quite check off the final box. Vitamins are compounds that have to come from your diet or supplementation because you need them and can’t make them. Coenzyme Q10 is not quite an essential substance because your body can make quite a bit of it. At least for some of your life.

Age takes its toll on CoQ10 production. As you get older, your natural production of Coenzyme Q10 falls off. But your need for it never does. So, you could say that Q10 is conditionally essential—especially for older people and those dealing with specific health concerns. That makes it about as close to a vitamin as a non-vitamin can get.

The lack of a full vitamin designation doesn’t make it any less important for optimal health. Let’s look at some of the functions of CoQ10.

CoenzymeQ10 Loves Electrons
First—and this is a bit obvious given the name—CoQ10 works as a coenzyme. That’s how most vitamins work in your body. They help spark reactions in your cells. After all, your cells are basically just bags of chemical reactions. Coenzyme Q10—like it’s vitamin doppelgangers—assists important reactions that help your body run smoothly.

Coenzyme Q10 has the same solubility requirements as vitamin A, D, E, and K. All those compounds require fat for absorption into your body. This is because they all have tails hanging off of the key part of the molecule that look like fats themselves. This is where “Q10” part of the name comes from. This tail is 10 carbon atoms long in humans. In other mammals, for example, this tail is nine carbons long and takes the name Coenzyme Q9.

Q10 most closely resembles vitamin K. They have a similar molecular structure. And the both have the same core function to facilitate so-called redox reactions in your body. That means they donate and receive electrons.

Cellular Energy Production and Q10
Mitochondria, a membrane-enclosed cellular organelles, which produce energy, 3D illustration

You’ve probably heard that mitochondria are the powerhouses within your body’s cells. That’s because they’re the site where ATP (adenosine triphosphate), your cells’ energy transporter, is generated. This is done through a process called the electron transport chain.

The mitochondria break apart the chemical bonds in the food you eat. As these bonds break, they release electrons. There are special molecules that capture these electrons and bring them to the electron transport chain in the membrane of the mitochondria. The electron transport chain is a series of protein complexes. As the electrons are shuttled through the transport chain, they’re harnessed for their energy. But for an electron to get through all the protein complexes in the chain, it takes special molecules to shuttle them.

As the electrons are shuttled down the chain, protons are picked up along the way and passed through the mitochondrial membrane. This creates a charge gradient, or potential energy, to drive the enzyme that makes ATP. You can think of the charge gradient as being water behind a dam. As the water (protons) move through the dam (mitochondrial membrane) this potential energy is utilized to power the conversion of ADP, into your body’s cellular energy, ATP.

Let’s translate this into something more familiar. ATP is the energy your cells use to function, much like the gasoline you put into your car for it to run. Using this analogy, you could imagine that Coenzyme Q10 is similar to the pump that gets the gas into your car’s tank. While it’s not the fuel itself, it plays a major role in getting that fuel to your cells in a form they can utilize.

CoQ10: A Quality Antioxidant
The fact that Coenzyme Q10 is a ubiquitous molecule found everywhere in your body is great news! Because it can operate as a powerful antioxidant. And almost by definition, any molecule in your body whose job it is to give and take electrons can also act like an antioxidant.

Extra CoQ10 in your body—those molecules not involved in energy production—is shuttled off to provide antioxidant protection in various membranes in your body.

It works like any other antioxidant to combat oxidation in your body. Coenzyme Q10 neutralizes free radicals by taking on electrons or giving them away. (Similar to its electron transporter role in energy production.) This helps balance these highly reactive byproducts of different processes.

These oxidized molecules with unpaired electrons are called free radicals. They have an odd number of electrons, making them unstable. Without an antioxidant to help free radicals get an even number of electrons, these reactive molecules build up. This increases oxidative stress. As free radicals build up they start reacting with other molecules or structures within the cell. Left unchecked overtime, oxidative stress damages your cells, DNA, proteins, and lipids. This is known as oxidative damage and is detrimental to your health.

Coenzyme Q10 is one of the important antioxidants that helps protect your cells and body structures. Making sure you have adequate levels of CoQ10 helps support a proper balance between free radicals and antioxidants (yep, your body actually needs some free radicals to remain in a healthy balance). This is especially important as you age, because both oxidative stress and oxidative damage is more common as the years stack up. And at the same time, your body produces less Coenzyme Q10.

Other Body Benefits of CoQ10
Q10 is found everywhere in your body, so it supports total body health, usually as an antioxidant. But it can be found in the highest concentration in some of your hardest working organs—the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. These are also the organs that have the most metabolism and energy needs.

There’s been research showing a connection between Coenzyme Q10 and optimal heart health. It’s been successfully used to help people maintain their heart health. CoQ10 supports healthy muscle function, and your largest organ—the skin. It also plays a role in healthy cell growth and maintenance. Coenzyme Q10’s ability to shuttle electrons helps stimulate cell growth and provide sufficient amounts of energy.

How to Increase CoenzymeQ10 in Your Diet
As mentioned before, your body loses its ability to hold onto optimal levels of CoQ10 as you age. Supplementation and strategic meal planning can help combat this decline. Consider the following ideas to increase the amount of Q10 in your diet, so your tank isn’t running on empty:

Coenzyme Q10 is often found in fatty cold-water fish. That’s because CoQ10 is fat-soluble. Next time you’re in the market for seafood, choose a fat-rich cut of fish, like tuna, salmon, herring, or mackerel. The American Heart Association recommends eating 3.5 ounces of cooked fatty fish at least twice a week. Not only will this new staple provide you with a boost in Q10, but it also delivers heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Don’t assume that Coenzyme Q10 is only found in sea-based protein. You can also find healthy helpings of the nutrient in beef and even chicken. But beef delivers twice as much as poultry in the same serving size.

Various nuts and seeds also provide decent amounts of Coenzyme Q10. While they don’t yield as much as the fatty fish and beef, the amount nuts deliver isn’t negligible. Consider packing nuts as a mid-day work snack. Add sesame seeds or pistachios to a green salad for an extra nutrient kick.

Soybean and canola oils, among a few other plant-based oils, provide a satisfactory amount of Q10. Consider swapping these out for your go-to oil occasionally to give your system a CoQ10 boost.

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5 Critical Weight Loss Mistakes

Thursday, June 1, 2017 5:28:12 PM America/Los_Angeles

Not Planning Ahead
When hunger strikes and you're not prepared, that's when unhealthy decisions are made. Planning ahead is a vital part of helping you make healthy choices during the busy week. Take 10 minutes once a week to plan out your weeks worth of meals and snacks. Always having healthy choices at your disposal will make you feel like you are progressing towards your weight management goals. It will also significantly reduce the temptation to eat junk food. You will save yourself hundreds of calories every week.

2. Keeping it to Yourself
If it ever feels like the people closest to you are unknowingly sabotaging your healthy eating efforts, consider whether you've shared your goals with them. Tell your family, friends, or co-workers that you're trying to lose weight. Instead of going out to an all-you-can eat buffet, they'll invite you to make a healthy dinner at their house. In addition, people will offer you words of encouragement and root you on as you progress with your weight loss goals.

3. Too Much Protein or Not Enough
While carb-free, high-protein diets are all the rage, and they do offer results, it's not sustainable or healthy for the long term, as you're missing out on vital nutrients from fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. This variety of healthy foods helps keep your gut bacteria happy, your digestive system regular, and keeps you feeling satisfied. Not eating enough protein can also cause weight gain. Since protein helps you to stay satisfied, it is important to make sure you are eating it at every meal.

4. Compensating For Eating with Exercise
Whether you think that run earns you the right to inhale four slices of pizza, or you hit the gym just so you can eat whatever you want later, you're not only promoting an unhealthy relationship with food, but it can also lead to weight gain. You only burn 150 calories with a 20 minute run. Therefore if you consume a 350 calorie cheeseburger then you are gaining weight instead of losing it. Use workouts to complement your healthy diet.

5. Skipping Dinner for Cocktails
This is detrimental to weight management for a number of reasons. Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to quicker intoxication, so even if you planned to just enjoy a few drinks, you'll end up losing the ability to make healthy choices and are more likely to consume additional calories. Some people think that skipping dinner will compensate for a night out of drinking. Not only will they miss out on important vitamins and minerals, their blood sugar levels will drop. If you want to meet friends for some drinks make sure you limit your consumption as much as possible. Remember drinks can add hundreds of additional calories making you feel unsatisfied.

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7 Myths About Nutritional Supplements

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:51:38 PM America/Los_Angeles

Your best friend in the office swears the microwave is killing all the nutrients in her food.

The big guy at the gym with bulging biceps and a t-shirt that says, “Real Men Lift” insists by his diet consisting of protein, protein, and—you guessed it: more protein—is the only way to get that beach body you’ve been dreaming about.

Even your goofy neighbor with a bizarre affinity for taxidermy (no judgement) seems to think he’s qualified to dish out diet and exercise advice.

When talking about health and wellness, there’s no shortage of inaccurate information—particularly when it comes to supplementation.

But with so much coming at you from friends, colleagues, and Internet “experts,” how can you separate fact from fiction?

Let’s check out some widely accepted supplement myths, cut through the white noise, and then get to the facts.

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5 Beauty Routines Secretly Damaging Your Skin

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:04:42 AM America/Los_Angeles

5 Beauty Routines Secretly Damaging Your Skin

If you think you know everything there is to know about beauty and skin care then think again! When it comes to skin care, the smallest little thing can make a world of difference. Since you do it almost every day, your beauty routine is just that – a routine. But there are some bad habits that you may not have even realized have crept into that routine. Take a look at the below demanding routines we’ve highlighted and be sure you’re not making these common mistakes every day.

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5 Reasons Why You Need More Fiber

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 10:45:55 AM America/Los_Angeles

5 Reasons Why You Need More Fiber

Fiber. Maybe you’ve heard it in conversations lately, or maybe you haven’t. (Believe me, it’s a pretty hot topic in the nutrition space.)

Whether you talk about Fiber or not, the bottom line is that most people need to increase their fiber intake to hit the recommended levels. Adequate dietary fiber levels for adults is 25 to 38 grams per day. Are your dietary habits within that range? Higher amounts of fiber can be found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. With the busy lives we lead, it can sometimes be challenging to get enough fiber from our food choices alone. Fortunately, USANA has an excellent fiber product called MySmart™Shake Fibergy Plus to help boost your fiber intake.

Let’s discuss some reasons why adequate fiber is an important diet goal and what some of the main benefits are.

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The Ultimate Guide to Stress Management

Thursday, December 1, 2016 1:39:59 PM America/Los_Angeles

Stress Management Guide

Download your free report: "The Ultimate Guide to Stress Management: Stress Management 101". This report will show you the true definition of stress, the root causes of stress, the dangerous effects of stress on your body, and 13 ways to combat stress for better health.

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Introducing USANA® CellSentials™

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 11:20:37 AM America/Los_Angeles

usana cellsentials

USANA added the revolutionary USANA InCelligence Technology™ to the world’s highest-rated nutritional supplement to create USANA CellSentials. It’s like nothing available today. The powerful combination of Core Minerals and Vita-Antioxidant form the advanced cellular nutrition system your body needs to unlock vibrant health.

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A New Era of Nutritional Science is Here

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 11:04:29 AM America/Los_Angeles

usana incelligence

A Giant Leap Forward - USANA added the revolutionary USANA InCelligence Technology™ to the world’s highest-rated nutritional supplement to create CellSentials. It’s like nothing available today. The powerful combination of Core Minerals and Vita-Antioxidant form the advanced cellular nutrition system your body needs to unlock vibrant health.

CellSentials represents a dramatic step forward in personalized nutrition. Expertise, diligent research, and bold innovation have come together to change the future of cellular nutrition. That’s what happens when a man—Dr. Myron Wentz—and a company understand that the best actually can get better.

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