Food supplements to lose weight are beneficial. But they aren’t designed for everyone. Remember that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend getting your nutritional needs through diet. But the guidelines advised that supplements may be taken only to obtain the nutrients you might be lacking. Then again, you need to know the facts first on what they can and can’t do.
Are food supplements to lose weight designed as a food substitute?
The clear answer here is “no.” This is because they don’t have the nutrients and benefits provided by whole foods.
In other words, the health benefits of food supplements may vary from one person to another.
Whole Foods versus food supplements to lose weight
Whole foods offer greater nutrition than food supplements. They contain almost all micronutrients that you need. By eating an orange, you can take advantage of its vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene contents. But you can’t obtain these other micronutrients if you opt to take a vitamin C supplement.
They’re also packed with dietary fiber and other essential nutrients that can prevent certain types of diseases, like type 2 diabetes. Plus, you can avoid suffering from constipation.
In addition to fiber, vitamins, and minerals, whole foods also contain substances necessary to maintain good health. For instance, fruit and vegetables have phytochemicals that can fight cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. They can also combat high blood pressure. Other whole foods contain antioxidants that can slow down oxidation. It’s a natural process that can lead to damage to cells and tissues.
But why bother taking food supplements?
You may not need supplements if you eat fruit and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains and other healthy foods. However, food supplements are highly recommended for the following conditions:
- Women who may be pregnant. They need 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. They can only obtain such amount through supplements and foods containing folate.
- Pregnant women. They must take a prenatal vitamin that has iron. Their doctors may advise them to consume a separate iron supplement.
- Adults. Adults who are 50 years old or above should take foods with vitamin B12 or take a separate supplement of this vitamin.
If you’re not eating well or consuming less than 1,600 calories a day, then you may need to obtain the benefits of a food supplement.
Vegetarians who are eating a limited amount of food must also consume dietary supplement.
Women who experience heavy bleeding during their monthly period are advised to take an appropriate dietary supplement for their case.
Patients with medical conditions that negatively affect their ability to absorb nutrients may need to take them.
If you belong to one of these categories, then your doctor may recommend a particular food supplement. However, you must not start a supplement program without first asking your doctor. This is to avoid the possible negative side effects or interactions if you’re taking certain medications.
Even though food supplements contain natural ingredients, they may still cause adverse effects. Hence, it’s highly recommended that you know what you’re taking to avoid regretting in the end.
How about you? Do you take natural supplements to lose weight?