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4 Supplements You Can Replace With Real Food

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4 Supplements You Can Replace With Real Food

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

Of all the dietary debates, none is more heated than the one surrounding the issue of supplements.

Should I take supplements? Are they safe? How much do I need? Is it worth the money?

Even if you have the time to wade through the conflicting literature surrounding supplements, it can be hard to find a straightforward answer to these questions.

Just recently, a new study surfaced saying that Omega-3 fish oil—one of the more highly-touted supplements—wasn’t effective in reducing a person’s mortality risk, or their propensity to have a heart attack or stroke. These results ran contrary to the prevailing wisdom that Omega-3s may help stave off heart disease and death.

The bottom line—most experts say—is that no pill can replace a balanced diet.

“My motto is always: food first,” says Rachel Berman, R.D., Director of Nutrition for Calorie Count, “Foods found in nature are always more nutritious because our bodies are used to processing natural food.”

A well-balanced diet is best

Dian Grisel Ph.D., co-author of the book, “TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust,” agrees that getting nutrients from natural sources is the way to go.

“Not only is it possible to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need from foods alone, but also this is the best way to ensure we’re getting all the nutrients we need,” she says. Even accounting for modern farming practices and soil depletion, naturally-grown fruits and vegetables outstrip artificial sources of nutrition.

What makes real food more beneficial than manufactured vitamins and minerals?

Supplements are generally made up of isolated nutrients. Each pill contains, at most, a handful of closely-related compounds.

The problem with this, according to Griesel, is that vitamins and minerals were never meant to be consumed in this manner. “In nature, they [nutrients] are packaged in a complete form and work together for our physiological benefit. Isolated and out of proper balance, they can create problems,” she says.

Related:
Antioxidant Supplements: Beware of Dangerous Drug Interactions
Dietary Supplements: More is Not Always Better
Antioxidants and Herbal Supplements

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73 comments

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4:34AM PDT on Oct 12, 2014

Thank you :)

6:22AM PST on Dec 10, 2013

As always real food is best :) But then we have to worry about GMO salmon and corn and soy beans, etc. Fresh and organic always the best.

6:17AM PST on Feb 28, 2013

Thank you AgingCare, for Sharing this!

1:35PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

Thank you

2:28PM PDT on Oct 5, 2012

Thank you, I'm unhappy with all of the meat suggestions. However, you did mention a few veggies, nuts and oils.....

5:05PM PDT on Oct 2, 2012

Thank you

6:54AM PDT on Sep 28, 2012

healthy diet is the best

1:10AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

When my Dr told me I should be taking Vit D as well as my iron supps, I laughed to myself and thought "that's it, as soon as the weather is a little warmer it's time for backyard BBQs!"

9:15AM PDT on Sep 24, 2012

not listing the vegan source for b12? that is in yeast right? or you just do not wash carots when you pull them from the ground. because bacteria that make the b12. live in the dirt.

11:42PM PDT on Sep 23, 2012

my doc doesnt let me take supplements. she prefers to have me take them thru sunlight (vit d) or thru food. i try to buy and eat organic food. they taste better - at least to me.

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