Are supplements needed for a healthy diet?

Eating healthy food instead of using supplementsUsually, when a diet includes all the food groups, it is deemed healthy and sufficient. Sometimes though supplements may be necessary. This could be especially true either in the early stages of a weight loss program or for people with certain health conditions.

Dr. Richard Hornby is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Medical School and has written on and developed several diet programs. He designs all his weight loss plans to meet the criteria for healthy eating. The diets will typically include lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits. However, he agrees that along with any diet, supplements can be taken to make sure you get enough vitamins, calcium, fiber, or when needed a helping hand.

A Daily Multivitamin

Taking a daily multivitamin ensures that you are the recommended Daily Value (DV) of vitamins and minerals. You will want to make sure you get the major ones such as vitamins B, C, D, and E, and folic acid, plus a range of minerals. No matter what diet you are currently on, supplements can include up to 100% of the daily value.

Dr. Hornby says: “I recommend a multivitamin along with omega-3 dietary supplements. Ensure that you’re getting a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids by using flaxseed oil daily as a supplement, or by taking omega-3 supplements. This essential fatty acid protects heart health.”

A Calcium Supplement

Calcium strengthens bones and supports critical functions in your body such as controlling blood pressure, and is needed for muscles and nerves to work properly, and even for blood to clot. If there is not enough calcium in the blood, then the body will take calcium from bones, which causes them to weaken. When your dietary calcium intake is too low, it can contribute significantly to osteoporosis.

It would be ideal if you could get all the calcium you need from food instead of supplements. The typical diet recommends you take calcium daily since most people don’t get enough of this essential nutrient to replenish continually the calcium in their bones. Calcium Carbonate (Tums, Rolaids, Caltrate 600) is the most recommended and affordable form while Calcium Citrate is more expensive but better for people with ulcers.

high-fiber-foodA Fiber Supplement

Taking Metamucil or another psyllium-based fiber supplement is allowed on most of Dr. Hornby’s diets. Although you are getting enough fiber from the foods you eat, the supplements can help manage constipation. Be sure to take the supplement before a meal each day, especially early on in your diet.

An Appetite Suppressant

You should attempt to go through a weight loss plan without these. However, as is the case for everything, they have their uses. It is usually better to get a bit of assistance than to give up on a diet altogether because continuing with it becomes too hard. Popular choices of appetite suppressants include products like Garcinia Cambogia or Forskolin. However, as mentioned, we try to avoid using these unless necessary because their effectiveness is often questionable. If you do decide to proceed, all of these pills should be available worldwide, so now you too can buy your Garcinia Cambogia Canada. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that inside joke.

When Supplements Are Appropriate

While taking supplements on a diet may be unnecessary for many people, there are many of us who should be taking them. For example, these types of supplements are usually recommended for anyone who is pregnant, post-menopausal, a vegan or vegetarian, has a low daily calorie count (less than 1200 a day for women or 1600 a day for men), have certain medical conditions such as food allergies or intolerance, or have chronic diarrhea. As always, talk to your personal physician about taking any of these supplements and their dosage before beginning your weight loss program.

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