When it comes to vitamins and supplements there are so many options that sound great, but there are also many questions: Which ones really work? Exactly how effective are they? Are they worth the money?
What researchers have found is that vitamins or supplements aren’t a substitute for a balanced, nutritious diet that limits excess calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and dietary cholesterol.
Getting the Nutrients You Need
You should be able to get most of the vitamins and minerals you need from your diet without having to take supplements. Supplements can be beneficial, but the key to vitamin and mineral success is eating a balanced diet.
Do What’s Best for You
Before taking vitamins and supplements, talk to your physician about your personal dietary plan. There are certainly situations, if you are not getting the recommended daily equivalents in your diet, that supplements can help. But in most cases taking supplements is not money well spent on your health.
Here are the recommendations from the American Heart Association.
- Eat a healthy diet. There’s just no substitute for a balanced, nutritious diet that limits excess calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and dietary cholesterol. This approach has been shown to reduce coronary heart disease risk in healthy people and those with heart disease.
- Patients with heart disease should consume about 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids called EPA + DHA. This should ideally come from fish. This can be hard to get by diet alone, so a supplement could be needed. As always, consult with a physician first.
- If you have elevated triglycerides, try to get 2 to 4 grams per day of EPA+DHA.
- Don’t take antioxidant vitamin supplements such as A, C and E. Scientific evidence does not suggest these can reduce blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol or stop smoking.
- Do not rely only on supplements. There isn’t sufficient data to suggest that healthy people benefit by taking certain vitamin or mineral supplements in excess of the daily recommended allowance. Your body naturally eliminates unneeded vitamins/minerals which means that the money spent on these supplements is wasted.
Before buying everything from Vitamin A to Zinc we recommend that healthy people get adequate nutrients by eating a variety of foods in moderation, rather than by taking supplements. The best way to be sure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs is to eat healthy foods.
Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at Blackbird Clinical Services. We can reached at 765-447-8700.