Do you think? Getting supplements are just as good as taking nutrients from whole foods.
Do you know? Supplements generally contain fewer nutrients; wherein whole foods can offer a bigger nutrition punch.
Let’s take an example of protein powders as dietary supplement that may have plant, egg or milk as a source of protein.
When we consume protein from meat, poultry, fish, dry beans and peas, eggs, nuts & seeds, they supply many nutrients apart from protein viz B vitamins (niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, B6 & B12). Vitamin E,omega 3, iron, zinc & magnesium.
Especially, Protein from plant source comes packaged with phytochemicals and most importantly fiber (soluble & insoluble) that help reduce the risk of heart disease & cancer.
Other nutrients aside, the protein itself might not be the same quality in powder as it is in food.
No supplement will be able to imitate these nutrient combinations exactly, nor their synergistic effects.
There are bioactive ingredients in foods that we can’t duplicate [in a supplement], that are helpful to maintain health.
Do you know? When foods are processed to create supplements, certain nutrients may be stripped, and others may be added back in—which can sometimes be beneficial, and sometimes not.
Are you aware? Researchers screened and found many protein powders contained heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A (BPA, which is used to make plastic), pesticides, or other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions.
Do you know? Just because a supplement is promoted as “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe? The herbs comfrey and kava, for example, can seriously damage the liver.
Do you know? Combining supplements, mixing supplements with medicines, or taking too much of some supplements, especially vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron, can be dangerous for your health.
The young minds of today have got it all wrong when it comes to fitness. Fad diets and supplements have become a part of their life. This might make them look lean, but they are far from being fit.
First try to improve your diet before you use supplements. That’s because nutrients are most potent when they come from food. Plus, food tastes better and is often less expensive than adding supplements.
Who should consider taking supplements?
While whole food is best, but if you are transitioning to vegan diet, it’s just not always possible to get all the nutrients you need from whole foods.
Pregnant & lactating women need extra support from supplements to meet extra demanded needs.
Supplements may be helpful for those having difficulty in eating or an impaired appetite (as a result of cancer treatment or frailty from older age)
Supplements also can help people with Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, conditions that make it difficult to absorb certain nutrients.
Supplements can plug the dietary gaps. But taking without professional advice can actually harm you.
Bottomline: Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet.
Nutrients from food may be linked to lower risks of death, while intake of supplements without expert advice may have the opposite effect.
Before you start taking supplements, you need to make some dietary changes and consult your dietician, you might not be in need of any.