If you have decided to make eating a balanced healthy diet a priority, you have taken an amazing step toward improving your health. However, it can be difficult to evaluate if you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals to achieve optimal health. There are more supplements available in supermarkets and drug stores than ever before. Do you really need them?
According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “Nutritional needs should be met primarily from foods. Individuals should aim to meet their nutrient needs through healthy eating patterns that include nutrient-dense foods” (1). Exceeding recommended levels of some vitamins and minerals is not only unnecessary but can also cause health issues (1).
Supplements can be beneficial in certain circumstances where an individual is lacking vitamins and minerals caused by some health conditions. For example, if someone is lactose intolerant and cannot eat dairy, a calcium supplement will likely be beneficial to help them meet their calcium needs. Your doctor can order tests to determine if taking a vitamin or mineral supplement would benefit you. Only use supplements if your doctor has recommended them (2).
If you’re concerned that your diet is not providing you with proper nutrition, consider scheduling an appointment with a registered dietitian. Schedule an appointment online through myUHS or call 814-863-0461.
1. “Vitamins Minerals and Supplements: Do You Need to Take Them.” Edited by Taylor Wolfram, Eat Right. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics., 6 July 2018, https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/dietary-supplements/vitamins-minerals-and-supplements-do-you-need-to-take-them
2. Vitamin Supplements: Health or Hoax? American Heart Association, 12 June 2015, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Vitamin-Supplements-Healthy-or-Hoax_UCM_432104_Article.jsp#.W0YL7opKiUk