NO QUESTION…SUPPLEMENTS ARE VERY NECESSARY…BUT THEY SHOULD BE LIMITED TO A SELECT FEW INCLUDING PROTEIN, CALCIUM, VITAMIN D, IRON, FOLIC ACID AND OMEGA-3’S…YOU CAN REALLY OBTAIN ALL OTHER ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS AND MINERALS FROM HEALTHY AND FRESH FOODS, FRUITS AND VEGETABLES….
Although she has eight years of experience as a professional dietitian….Here are some tips she learned, if you want to try the no-supplement route yourself:
— Resign yourself to eating some processed foods, such as cereal and bread, but be selective. When choosing a processed food, Omar suggests, be sure it’s helping you meet your goals by delivering fiber, protein or potassium; many processed foods are fortified with calcium, folic acid and other needed nutrients. And read nutrition-facts panels carefully: Omar says she couldn’t have met the goal for iron without trading traditional slow-cooking oatmeal, which she would have preferred for its lack of sodium, for packaged microwave oatmeal, which is fortified with that mineral. The trade-off: Processed foods — including that microwave oatmeal — are often full of sodium.
— Sneak in as many fruits and vegetables as you can. Add spinach to your sandwich; dip baby carrots in your hummus. But be aware that you’re still likely to fall short: For instance, it would take 11 bananas to meet the target for potassium. (Beans, potatoes and orange juice are other prime sources of this nutrient.)
— Avail yourself of ground spices and herbs, which are surprisingly rich sources of such essentials as iron and potassium. Omar says cinnamon, thyme, rosemary and paprika are particularly rich in those minerals.
— Be aware that the daily values listed on food packages are based on a 2,000-calorie diet, so you should use the percentages listed there just to ballpark your intake of calories, fat, fiber and other items. Also note that each person’s requirements are different and are affected by such factors as sex and age. Go to http://www.health.gov/DietaryGuidelines to estimate your own nutritional needs.
In the end, Omar concluded that supplementing your diet may be prudent, particularly when it comes to Vitamin D, which most of us don’t get nearly enough of and which we’re learning is more important in maintaining health and preventing disease than we thought. Omar adds that we might want to also consider supplementing with calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids (for cardiovascular health) and folic acid.