We Americans tend to consume foods that are high in calories, but lack the vital nutrients for maintaining good health. Pre-packaged foods and fast-food diets, which are loaded with refined carbohydrates, are cascading recipes for disaster leading to elevated blood sugar levels, which equals elevated insulin levels, and ultimately result in chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The most important thing to remember is that eating three nutritious meals a day including a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and animal protein, offers the best chances of staying healthy and preventing disease. Eating a balanced diet will help you get the essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats your body needs. Whole fruits and vegetables also provide the fiber and phytochemicals you need to protect the body from disease.
If routinely eating a healthful diet isn’t possible, and/or you know that your body is deficient in certain vitamins and minerals that are causing some physical anomalies, taking supplements may help provide the nutrients you need to get back on track. Ingredients found in supplements typically include: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, botanicals and enzymes.
Everyone’s dietary supplement needs are different based on a variety of factors including lifestyle, diet, medications and health. Scientific evidence shows that some dietary supplements are beneficial for overall health and for managing some health conditions. For example, calcium and vitamin D are important for keeping bones strong and reducing bone loss; folic acid decreases the risk of certain birth defects; and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils might help some people with heart disease. Other supplements need more study to determine their value. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not determine whether dietary supplements are effective before they are marketed.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, some people benefit from taking a vitamin and mineral supplement because of distinct nutritional needs:
• Women of childbearing age (need extra calcium and iron)
• Pregnant or lactating women
• Children and teenagers with irregular eating habits
• Vegetarians or vegans (may be deficient in key nutrients)
• Dieters or people avoiding certain food groups (may be deficient in key nutrients)
• People with eating disorders or medical conditions (deficiency diseases, absorption problems, lactose intolerance, etc.)
• People who often eat processed and fast food
Not sure which vitamins or supplements are right for you and your family?
Everyone’s dietary supplement needs are different based on a variety of factors including lifestyle, diet, medications and health. Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, AP, recommends only vitamins and supplements that contain the highest-quality ingredients and meet strict guidelines for quality control. If you would like personal assistance in selecting appropriate supplements and vitamins along with proper nutritional guidance, you may request a brief telephone consultation with Dr. Trattner by completing this form.