I was recently told I have low saturation levels of iron in my blood.


I was recently told I have low saturation levels of iron in my blood, although I am not anemic at the present time. I also have recently been diagnosed with an adrenal tumor that, so far, tests have shown to be benign. I have no systemic indications of malignancy. I’m being followed by a CT scan in two months. All other tests have been in the normal range.

I started a low-fat diet about five weeks ago, limiting myself to less than 25 grams a day. I also walk on a treadmill, at three mph, for 30 minutes a day. My weight dropped from 228 to 215 and has stayed there for two weeks. I’m 5 feet 8 inches tall and 49 years old. What is my healthy weight? Also, could the drastic reduction in fat intake (trust me, it was drastic), have contributed to the low iron saturation?

Also, how can I increase the protein in my diet without sabotaging the fat intake?

Are daily multivitamins a good idea for me?

By low iron saturation, do you mean transferrin saturation? Transferrin is a protein molecule in the blood that transports iron and controls the amounts and where iron is in the body. Low Transferrin saturation can produce iron deficiency anemia.

If in reducing fat, you also reduced red meats than you probably also reduced the iron content of your diet. Have you reduced calories also? You are eating 225 fat calories (25 grams times 9 calories per gram) which if fat represented 25% of calories you would be eating 900 calories per day. Eating less food will also reduce your intake of all nutrients. Yes, one daily multiple vitamins may be indicated. Considering you have a current health problem, I suggest you consult your doctor.

Four cooked ounces of lean red meats, poultry, and fish that are good sources of protein should fulfill your protein needs along with 2 cups of skim milk daily. A 3 – 4-ounce piece of meat should be as big as the back of your hand and as thick as your little finger. Use this technique to judge meat portions.

Your “healthy body weight” is 136 to 176 pounds. See the calculations in the overweight topic. If you are not reducing calories along with fat, that may be the reason for your weight plateau for the last 2 weeks. Keep exercising with your doctor’s approval. I would suggest you see a registered dietitian for assistance in planning your diet to include all your nutrition and health issues.