A balanced diet should be providing your body with the nutrients it needs, but with our health crazed society, many think that they NEED supplements to be healthy. But the truth is, many of us do not need to take supplements. So here are some things to know before purchasing nutrient supplements.
· Supplements do not replace the food in your diet. It is more effective to take in the nutrients and vitamins from whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish and dairy products. So do not make the mistake of thinking you do not need to eat your recommended daily intake of these food groups just because you took a multivitamin.
· More is not better. When it comes to nutrients, our bodies can only tolerate certain levels, and excessive amounts can lead to toxicity and health related problems, so be aware if you take multiple supplements each day. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking dietary supplements to understand appropriate levels for you and the possible side effects of each supplement.
· Not all supplements are regulated. Different countries vary when it comes to regulating food and drugs, and some do not have any regulations. This means that these products could contain harmful ingredients that have not been thoroughly researched and deemed safe. Supplement companies also spend millions of dollars on advertising each year, throwing out health claims left and right. Many of these health claims are backed up by little or no research, so do not always believe what you hear.
· You may be wondering who should be taking supplements. Like mentioned earlier, be sure to talk with a doctor or Registered Dietitian if you are considering taking supplements. You may take supplements if: your doctor says you have a deficiency, you are pregnant or trying to be, you are having trouble putting on or maintaining your wait, you are at risk for osteoporosis, you follow a vegan diet, or you struggle to meet nutrient requirements just through diet.