Can a pill fulfill all your nutritional needs?
It seems like such a simple solution. No need to acquire a taste for kale or start trying to convince yourself that you really do prefer whole wheat to white bread – you can just take a vitamin supplement every morning, and then continue eating (or not eating) whatever you want with no worries. If it almost seems too good to be true, that's because it is. While vitamin supplements can be helpful, they are not a magical path to proper nutrition. Here are five facts you should know.
- The FDA does not regulate vitamins. That means marketers can make any claim they want to on the packaging, and there's no guarantee that it's been adequately researched and proven.
- A vitamin supplement won't make up for a diet completely void of any nutritional value. All the extra vitamin C in the world doesn't cancel out a diet high in fats, sodium, and sugar. Supplements are only meant to fill in occasional gaps, not become your only source of nutrients.
- Real foods will always be your best source of vitamins. No pill can replace a dark green salad or a glass of milk.
- Your doctor may recommend specific vitamins supplements during different periods of your life. Don't ignore these suggestions! Supplements are essential during pregnancy, menopause, or battles with certain diseases.
- There can be too much of a good thing. Some vitamins, such as vitamin A, are fat soluble, which means your body stores the excess instead of washing it out in your urine. If too much is stored, it can become toxic. Don't overdo your vitamin regimen!
With the help of a registered dietitian, you can make sure you are getting enough vitamins and nutrients. Learn more about the Medical Center of Plano's Center for Lifestyle Enhancement. If you're ready to make an appointment, get started at our website. To request a physician referral, call us at 1-855-665-TMCP.