Minerals in the Context of Weight Loss

February 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Weight Loss

Overweight results from wrong food choices. But even someone who is not overweight might be making very wrong food choices, if his food intake does not contain necessary amounts of vitamins and minerals. However much a person is trying to reduce with a weight loss program, his weight loss diet should essentially contain an array of vitamins and minerals.

Whether as a part of a weight loss program or not, people are familiar with vitamins, A, B, C, D, E etc. named after the alphabets, which no weight loss diet can afford to ignore.. Among the minerals, the more common ones that the body needs are potassium (K), zinc (Zn), calcium (Ca), and iron (Fe). These combine with oxygen to produce nutrients in the form of minerals, which the body badly requires, whether it is under a weight loss program or not.

Each and every mineral plays an important role in body activities and in sustaining a person’s health, and all weight loss diets should include them.


The importance of iron, which can even be made a weight loss medication, rests in its role in hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells. These cells perform the important function of taking oxygen to different parts of the body. Oxygen, in its turn, is necessary even for the minutest functions in the body and whatever a person’s weight loss program, the diet has to contain iron.

Many non vegetarian food stuffs, that can essentially remain a part of a weight loss diet, have a high iron content. Clam, oyster, beef, turkey etc. are examples. Chicken liver is especially rich in it, providing up to 70% of the daily requirement. Children’s daily requirement is about 10 mg, and that of adolescents 11 to 15 mg with gender based variations. A fully grown male needs about 8 mg. A female of the same age requires 18 mg, which would get reduced to 8 mg after the age of 51. Children will never be on a weight loss diet, and adult requirements should be kept in mind while planning their weight loss diet.


Calcium is also an essential mineral that has to be a part of a weight loss diet. It is indispensible for the development and strength of teeth and bones. It is also important in the functioning of heart, nerves, and muscles, as well as in ensuring proper enzyme secretion and hormone secretion. Weight loss recipes can ideally include calcium rich ingredients.

Body loses calcium pretty fast. Besides the regular loss through nails and hair, there is also the loss through excretions from the digestive tract and also sweat. Most dairy products and leafy vegetables are rich in calcium and nowadays even certain fruit juices come added with calcium. Calcium rich food items should be made a part of any weight loss diet.

All weight loss programs, while planning a weight loss diet, should keep in mind the daily requirement of calcium. It is about 800 mg for kids, 1300 mg for adolescents, 1000 mg for adults, and 1200 mg for those above the age of 51. Adult consumption should be about one gram, and should be consumed split into two or three times. And consumption of more than 2400 mg per day might turn out to be counterproductive by causing imbalances, whether one is on a weight loss diet or not.


Both sodium and potassium are important in ensuring the functionality of the heart. Other than that, potassium is the more important of the two as far as body functions are concerned. It has a role to play in the functioning of the kidney, in digestion, and in every type of cellular activity. Weight loss diets should ideally include both.

Potassium is so abundant in yogurt that a cup of it contains 580 mg of potassium. Other sources are potatoes, bananas, milk, orange juice, and the fish halibut. These contain 610 mg, 420 mg, 380 mg, 355 mg, and 490 mg respectively. Making any of these food items a part of a weight loss diet is not much of a problem. Children require about 3000 to 3800 mg of potassium per day, while adolescents need about 4500 mg and adults 4700 mg.


Besides those enlisted above, other ones like sodium, magnesium, selenium, etc. have roles in sustaining human health. A weight loss diet can ideally include all these but it may not be always possible or practical. Now and then people might have to resort to supplements.