Supplement Adjustments

December 13, 2010 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

Traveling presents a unique set of challenges in terms of maintaining dietary standards. I was reminded of this during the past few weeks while I was away on a business trip in Europe. Even though I made the best possible food choices, I must admit that the quality of my diet wasn’t on par with what I’m accustomed to eating at home. Fortunately, I anticipated this turn of events and adjusted my nutritional supplements accordingly.

Generally speaking, I make three primary changes to my supplement regimen when I’m on the road. This specific nutritional shift isn’t necessarily applicable to everyone. But at the bare minimum, I think it presents a good idea about what you may want to consider when eating out frequently.

Krill oil is the first supplement that I up my dosage on. At home, I eat many omega-3 rich foods and use both fish and krill oil supplements as sources of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, when I’m traveling, I opt for krill oil exclusively. My reasoning is as follows: a) krill oil soft gels are smaller in size and are easier to pack in my mini-sized supplement bags; b) krill oil contains a powerful antioxidant (astaxanthin) which can protect against unwelcome dietary and environmental factors; c) omega-3 fats improve circulation which can be negatively influenced during long flights. (1,2,3,4,5)

Low-glycemic fruits and vegetables are sometimes hard to come by at eating establishments ranging from affordable diners to five-star restaurants. That’s why I choose to increase my intake of concentrated fruit and vegetable extracts as part of my traveling protocol. Scientific studies report that powdered juice extracts of fruits and vegetables effectively replicate some of the benefits of eating their whole food counterparts. In fact, recent publications in peer-reviewed medical journals reveal that such supplements are capable of: a) decreasing the risk of contracting common infections such as colds; b) increasing antioxidant activity in the body; c) reducing inflammation associated with physical activity. (6,7,8)

Effects of n–3 Fatty Acids on Components of the Metabolic Syndrome

Improved Circulation via Endothelial Benefits and Decreased Platelet Function
Lowers Insulin Resistance in Adipose, Liver and Muscle Tissue
May Lower Insulin Secretion – Discouraging Fat Deposition
Modestly Raises HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol
Reduces LDL (“Bad”) Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Supports Healthier Blood Pressure and Inflammatory Status
Source: Am J Clin Nutr June 2006 vol. 83 no. 6 S1499-1504S (link)

Eating out regularly is an excellent way of assuring an inadequate intake of magnesium. It’s quite easy to ensure enough calcium. Dairy foods alone can boost dietary levels of calcium well above the recommended daily intake. But the likelihood that you’ll consume plentiful quantities of magnesium-rich foods including halibut, pumpkin seeds, spinach or swiss chard are rather slim. And while magnesium is an important nutrient to look out for always, it’s especially useful when your body is out of its normal element. A lack of magnesium has been associated with an increased incidence of constipation. On the other hand, the addition of supplemental magnesium can help address regularity issues that may arise on trips of business and pleasure. (9,10,11)

Travel is but one occasion where you ought to reassess your use of dietary supplements. Anytime you make a major change in the way you eat or live day-to-day life, you should also look over what you’re taking. By the way, this doesn’t always mean taking more. There have been many instances where I’ve advised clients to eliminate or reduce certain supplements due to positive changes in blood tests, dietary patterns and weight. Nutritional supplementation not only needs to be individualized, but it should also reflect your ever changing health status and lifestyle factors.

Be well!

JP

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements

6 Comments & Updates to “Supplement Adjustments”

  1. anne h Says:

    i hardly ever eat out anymore….even when I travel…
    It’s just not worth the gain and the worry….
    And the salt. Don’t forget about the salt!

  2. JP Says:

    Anne,

    I hear what you’re saying. Excess sodium is definitely a problem when dining out a lot. But weight gain is rarely an issue for me. I tend to lose a pound or two on most business trips and vacations. I suspect it has more to do with my activity level than my away diet.

    Be well!

    JP

  3. Nina K. Says:

    Good morning, JP ☻

    welcome back ☺. I hope you 2 had a great time in France ♥ ;-)

    What impressed you most? You know, don’t forget your walnuts now against the jetlag ;-)

    …more pics to come?

    Greetings from “❄❄❄snowland❄❄❄”
    Nina K.

  4. JP Says:

    Thank you, Nina. :)

    We had a wonderful time abroad. It’s something I’ll never forget.

    I was probably most impressed with the impressive historical landmarks surrounding Paris. Cannes and Provence were lovely as well. But there’s something special about the convergence of past and present in Paris, IMO.

    We took quite a few photographs. I plan to put something together to share a summary view of what we experienced in France. More on that as it takes shape!

    Be well (and try to stay warm)!

    JP

  5. paul Says:

    Hi JP,

    I stumbled across your site and absolutely love it!

    So much interesting information! Regarding Krill Oil, is there a specific brand that you use?

    Thanks,

    Paul

  6. JP Says:

    Thank you, Paul.

    At the moment I’m using a product manufactured by Source Naturals called Arctic Pure Krill Oil.

    Be well!

    JP

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