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Micro-Nutrients: The Key to Optimal Health

What are micro-nutrients? They are the vitamins and minerals found in foods, and they are necessary for you to stay healthy.

However, it's becoming more and more important to know where your micro-nutrients are coming from.


Mira and Jayson Calton join To Your Good Health Radio to explain which foods you should eat for the healthiest micro-nutrients and which foods you should avoid.

According to the Caltons, you need to get past the "billboard" (the front of the package) and become more of an expert at reading the labels. They also share how you can eat healthy and organic without breaking the bank.

Hint: Find your local farmer.

Learn more about these tips, so that you can find the healthiest foods for your family table.
Micro-Nutrients: The Key to Optimal Health
Mira and Jayson Calton
19c364722ec9d04e3ac36e8f0d18d41aThe Caltons are among the world’s leading experts on the topics of weight management, lifestyle medicine and micro-nutrient deficiency. Their high success rate working with adults and children to achieve sustainable weight loss and reverse health and disease conditions has made their consultancy highly sought after by celebrities, athletes and top corporate executives around the world. It is their belief that becoming micro-nutrient sufficient is the first step towards preventing and reversing many of today’s most prevalent health conditions and diseases.

RadioMD Presents: To Your Good Health Radio | Original Air Date: February 19, 2015
Host: David Friedman, DC
Guests: Mira and Jayson Calton

Chews-4-Health presents To Your Good Health Radio. Here are Melanie Cole, MS, and Dr. David Friedman.

MELANIE: Our next guests are the authors of two best sellers, Naked Calories and Rich Food, Poor Food. Jayson Calton holds a Master’s of Science Degree and a PhD in Nutrition and his wife, Mira, is a licensed certified nutritionist and certified personal fitness chef and that’s just a few of their credentials.

Welcome to the show, returning guests, Jayson and Mira Calton, here with Dr. David Friedman.

FRIEDMAN: Hey! Great having you both back on the show. Always a pleasure.

MIRA: We’re always thrilled to be here chatting good healthy food and nutrition with you.

JAYSON: Thanks for having us.

FRIEDMAN: Yes. Great.

You know, for over 25 years, I’ve been a huge proponent of micronutrients for good health, but this term is still not really mainstream nutrition yet. So many people still turn to these synthetic one-a-day vitamins believing they’re the answer.

Mira, share why whole food micronutrients are a better choice.

MIRA: Well, first of all, let’s just be really clear with your audience. I’m sure you’ve told them a million times, but there are probably a lot of new ears, as I’m sure this show is always growing. So, micronutrients are things that you need in micro, or small, amounts every day. They’re what’s found in your food and they’re not a scary word. I still think a lot of people are still frightened by it, but these are things they already know, like vitamins. Vitamin D and Vitamin C and then your minerals like calcium and magnesium. When you don’t get enough of them, your health fails. They’re what supplies your body to do all the things, all the functions it has to do every single day. It’s just really important that you know the sources of your multivitamins and you know the source of where you’re getting your micronutrients because some are better absorbed by the body. In some forms, the synthetic forms have actually been shown to do more harm than good and that’s the form of Vitamin E which was actually recently discussed for that.

FRIEDMAN: Right. Exactly. Now, I know in your book, you share various poor foods that actually strip the body of these micronutrients and I think you’ve mentioned a few in the past: corn syrup, refined flour, GMOs, artificial coloring. But, even if we become label readers, there are still tricks of the trade that companies use to disguise bad ingredients.

Jayson, what can consumers do to get the truth about what they’re really eating?

JAYSON: Well, the first thing they have to do is, they have to become label readers, right? So, we’ve got to get past that billboard that’s at the front of the package. That’s when manufacturers are trying to lure you in. They’re going to try to do all kinds of things to try to make you think that the products that they’re trying to sell you are the products you’re looking to purchase. I think a good example of this recently is, there are certain cereal manufacturers now, and you’re going to see right on the front of the box, “no high fructose corn syrup”. But, what they’re not telling you is when you read the label, they’re just going to have something labeled as “fructose”. Now, high fructose corn syrup is about 55% corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. So, it’s got 55% of it that is coming from fructose, whereas now, the fructose itself is 90% corn syrup, so it’s much worse for you. On the front of the box, they say, “no high fructose corn syrup” because that’s the nasty word. In the ingredient list, watch out for the word “fructose”. We all think “fructose”? How bad could that be? Isn’t that just fruit sugar? Well, yes. There is fructose in fruit, but when you read the label, when you see the word “fructose”, it’s even worse than the old high fructose corn syrup. So, just one example of how they’re fooling you and you really have to know what you’re looking for if you’re going to be a smart consumer.

FRIEDMAN: Right. I know people tend to believe when they see the buzz word “organic”. That’s another one in the label and a lot of people, I think that’s an overused word, but they also believe organic means it’s costly for the average person. How can a lower, middle-class family eat healthy without breaking the bank and know that what they’re eating is truly organic?

MIRA: Yes. Well, you know what? I think get to know your farmer. First of all, it’s really fun. It’s a great thing. Families don’t spend nearly enough time together as it is. So, the first thing I would say is get to know your local farmer because local means more micronutrient dense food because the longer food travels, the more it loses micronutrients. So, you want to buy them local first. Then, in terms of finding the organic farmer, not everyone can afford the organic USDA certification anymore. So, you really want to start digging a little deeper and saying, “How are you growing it? What are you spraying on it?” And get to know it that way. Also, you can save a lot of money by buying local because the farmers don’t have to pay for the shipping and the delivery of all of their foods. So, not only is it going to be more nutritious, but you’re saving money at the same time.

FRIEDMAN: Yes. You make a good point. So, if I’m in North Carolina and I’m buying organic that’s from California, by the time it gets here, even if it is organic, it’s probably not as healthy for me as it is if I’m in California.

MIRA: Three minutes of every mile that your food travels, it loses micronutrients because it comes into contact with the elements: air, light and heat. And, as those things happen, they become less micronutrient rich which I’m just going to bring this up right now because this is completely newsworthy. The Arctic Apple, this new apple that doesn’t get brown? It’s a genetically modified apple. It’s a perfect example of this, “How fresh is it? How far has it traveled? How long has it been cut?” because the apple is new. I don’t know if everyone is aware of it yet, but the new GMO apple, which has been approved by the US Government, can be left open for 2 weeks and it doesn’t brown.


MIRA: Now, that might sound really good for the look of your fruit salad, but we have to think again. What does that do to your micronutrient values? Every minute that it’s opened, it’s oxidizing and although it still looks good, what you’re really getting is the nutrition of a rotten apple.

FRIEDMAN: Exactly. And, I think that’s a sign that it’s gone bad is when you see the brown of a banana, so to actually get rid of that, it’s kind of hiding that it’s old. So, we could be eating old apples now and our eyes don’t tell us so.

JAYSON: It’s absolutely true. You know, if you think about it, I mean, if you just visually do an experiment. Think about what an apple would look like if you cut it and left it on your counter for 2 weeks. Now, do the exact same thing with these new genetically modified apples and that apple looks almost the same as it did day one—two weeks later. All they changed was the enzyme that causes that brown action in the apple. It didn’t change the fact that it’s losing the micronutrients or that it is literally rotting from the inside out. Yes, it looks good on the outside, but this is going to be a major blow, we believe, to the micronutrient depletion that’s already an epidemic in America. This is just the first fruit that they’ve started to do this with. They’re going to be doing this now with potatoes and I think there are about 30 different fruits and vegetables in the lines waiting to come out.

FRIEDMAN: So, it’s like Frankenstein in our grocery stores?

MIRA: Absolutely and actually, potatoes have already come out, so we have to worry about that one, but then, on top of that, the other really bad thing that most people never focus on, but because we’re the micronutrient geek couple, we think of this, you have to look at GMOs from another standpoint. They’re sprayed with RoundUp Ready Sprayer glysophate. This is the spray created by Monsanto for these special, genetically modified crops. Well, most people haven’t been talking about or there hasn’t been a lot of research done on what GMOs do in your body. The one thing we know that they do is they deliver less nutritious food because glysophate actually kills the weeds around that plant by suffocating the micronutrients from them. Therefore, the plant that you’re getting has also been suffocated of nutrients and it’s delivering much less mineral rich food to your plate every single time you eat genetically modified foods.

FRIEDMAN: That makes sense. Real quickly in this segment, I’m just curious on your feedback on butter. It’s back in the news that it’s good for us. Last year, it was bad for us. This ping pong match keeps going on for decades.

What do the Calton’s believe on butter?

JAYSON: Well, you know, we believe that butter is one of those, almost a superfood, as long as—and we have to add this caveat to this—you want to find organic, grass-fed butter. It’s so, so important because of all the hormones that are fed oftentimes to dairy cows to try to increase dairy production. So, we don’t want rBGH or rBST. We don’t want to have any of the hormones, so we’re going to want to get an organic, grass-fed butter. But, when you do, that grass-fed butter is going to be chock full of the Vitamin D and the CLA, that conjugated linoleic acid, that’s a good type of fat that you really get from cows that eat the grass. There are all kinds of benefits to an organic, grass-fed butter and even Cosco now has it there. It’s real easy to find.

FRIEDMAN: Great. So, the key is just find the right butter.

MELANIE: The key is to find the right one and I’m sorry to cut into you all because it’s such great information, but to learn more about the Caltons and their books, go to and make sure you follow their optimal life blog while you’re there.

If you heard something today you want to share, our podcasts are always available at You can follow the Caltons on Twitter @CaltonNutrition. Of course, you can read our daily health tweets @DrDavidFriedman.

Of course, you can always stay tuned for more with Jayson and Mira Calton on more poor foods to avoid, so you can eat to your optimal health.

This is Melanie Cole with Dr. David Friedman.

Stay well and stay tuned.