While there is a lot of debate on whether or not diet supplements can actually help to make you healthier, one thing is clear and that is the fact that there is no shortage of people who believe they can. With that being said, yes, there are some diet supplements that can be very beneficial to your health. However, the key to getting all of the minerals and vitamins that your body requires is going to be eating a healthy, well balanced diet. With that being said, diet supplements are a great way to make sure you are getting all of the nutrition that you need. But which diet supplements should you take?
If you start to feel overwhelmed by the overloaded towers of shelves holding vitamins and other mineral supplements every time you visit that aisle in the grocery store, just know that you are not the only one. With so many different options that sound simply amazing, there are also many different questions that you have as well. Which of these dietary supplements actually work? How effective are they going to be after I start taking them? Are they overpriced and why are they so much more expensive than this cheaper brand?
If you have any interest in living a healthier lifestyle and plan on avoiding heart disease and stroke, these are great questions that you should really be asking. However, before you go out and buying everything diet supplement that claims to help you in some type of way, you need to remember that there is only one surefire way to make sure that your body is actually getting all of the minerals and vitamins that it needs: by eating foods that are healthy.
While supplements can be extremely beneficial when taken the right way, the real key to mineral and vitamin success is going to be eating a well-balanced diet. Before you start taking any type of diet supplements, be sure that you speak with your physician about your diet plan first.
Eat Food First
According to most nutritionist, they always recommend that you eat food first in order to get all of the vitamins and minerals that your body requires on a daily basis before you start to experiment with dietary supplements. This is mainly because your body was designed to eat food and get all of the nutrients that it requires from that, as opposed to simply drinking a protein shake or taking a pill.
For example, the foods that you eat are going to help provide you with many of the bioactive compounds and other dietary fibers that are normally not going to be found in any type of dietary supplement. On top of that, there are many different dietary supplements that your body will not be able to actually utilize all of the vitamins that they are claiming to provide. Just because a supplement claims that it will give you 300% of your daily allotment for vitamin A, doesn’t necessarily mean that your body is going to absorb all 300%. In fact, anything over 100% can actually have an adverse effect on your overall health.
Some of the diet supplements that are available to you can actually very easily be wasted if not taken under the right conditions. For example, if you are to take any fat-soluble vitamin supplements, they are not going to be absorbed by your body at all if they were taken around a meal that you have recently eaten containing fat. Because of this, it is always better to simply try and get all of your nutrients form actual food as it is not going to be dependent upon any other factors.
Supplements Are Able to Help
While having a healthy and well-rounded diet is going to be the only real way to make sure that you are getting all of the best minerals and vitamins that you can get, supplements are a great insurance policy. For instance, if you are doing everything that you can do to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet but are still somewhat deficient in a particular area or two, using supplements is a great way to make sure you are able to fill the holes in your nutrition. Just keep in mind that they are supplements and not replacements. With that said, be sure that you are only using dietary supplements if your healthcare professional gives you permission to do so.
Most supplements are going to provide you with 100% of your daily recommended value for most minerals and vitamins. According to most nutritionists, this means that taking a dietary supplement is going to be ok if you are not able to meet all of your nutritional requirements through your food intake by itself.
Always Do What is Best for You
As mentioned earlier, before you begin taking any type of mineral or vitamin supplement, be sure that you have a chat with your physician about your current dietary plan. Also, you may want to consider some of the recommendations that have been put out about the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of eating a healthy diet plan:
Be Sure That You Do:
- Consume a Healthy Diet: There is literally no substitute for a well-balanced, nutrition rich diet that helps to limit any excess calories, trans fats, sodium, saturated fats, and even dietary cholesterol. This approach to eating has been proven to greatly reduce your risk for coronary heart disease, no matter if you have coronary heart disease or not.
- If You Have a Heart Condition: You should try to consume a minimum of roughly 1 gram of Omega-3 fatty acids (also referred to as EPA + DHA) on a daily basis. Ideally, this omega fatty acid is going to be coming from a natural fish source, but if you are not able to eat fatty fish on a daily basis, using an omega supplement is going to be a great backup plan. However, you are going to want to consult with your primary physician before you start taking any omega supplements.
- Do You Have Elevated Triglyceride Levels: If so, be sure that you are trying to get a minimum of 2 to 4 grams per day of omega fish oils or EPA + DHA.
Never Do This:
- Never Take Antioxidant Supplements Including Vitamins A, C, or E: There has been scientific evidence that has revealed that these particular vitamins do not have any real effect on reducing your blood pressure, helping you to stop smoking, or even helping to lower your blood cholesterol.
- Never Rely on Supplements Alone: With all of the studies that have been done on the benefits of taking dietary supplements, there is still not enough evidence suggesting that if you are healthy, you are going to benefit from taking any particular mineral or vitamin supplement in an amount that exceeds your daily recommended amount. However, there have been several studies that have come to the conclusion that an excess of particular vitamins or minerals can actually lower your rate of certain cardiovascular diseases, as well as lower your risk for the symptoms as well. Just keep in mind that It is still unclear what the real reason for the results in these studies really was, meaning that the researchers are unsure whether or not the results were due to supplements.
When it comes to using dietary supplements to help fill in the voids of your health, it has a lot of potential to help when the supplements are used correctly. With that being said, when you have a diet that consists of unhealthy foods and then expect to take a pill and feel that all of your dietary needs have been met, it is simply not going to work. Yes, dietary supplements are available to you and they can help to fill in some of the holes of your nutritional needs. However, when you rely on them as your main source of nutrition, you are going to quickly discover that it is not going to work out as you think it will.
The only way that you can be sure that you are going to get all of the nutrition that you need to be healthy, is to be sure that you are eating a healthy diet that is providing you with most of the vitamins and minerals that your body requires to operate at optimal efficiency. Yes, dietary supplements are a great way to help fill in any voids that you may have in this sense, you are always going to want to check with your primary care physician to make sure that it is safe for you to use dietary supplements before you start using them.
With that said, before you start taking any type of dietary supplement, you should always check with your doctor and let them know the exact reason that you wish to take that supplement. This is the only way that you will be able to make sure that you are on the right path to your optimal health and will be safe using the new dietary supplement.