Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Nutrition in a pill: Worth it or worthless

Life Lessons: Nutrition in a pill: Worth it or worthless

It can be challenging to get all the nutrients you need for a healthy diet which is why many people turn to supplements, including vitamins and dietary pills. Some experts say they can help, while others say they are not worth the money. But do they really make a difference?

According to Megan Ware, RDN, LD, a nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Awareness in Orlando, Florida, "Supplements in general are just an insurance policy. The first thing that I want you to do is make sure you're getting enough nutrients from real food."

However, there are supplements Ware does recommend.

"The ones I think are really helpful and worth taking are something like a probiotic," says Ware.

If you don't like fish she said taking an omega3 can be helpful. Instead of aspirin or ibuprofen for your chronic pain or inflammation, try turmeric. Don't trust pills that say they boost your metabolism.

Ware explained, "Most of the time what it is, is its just caffeine so you're essentially taking a caffeine pill so it's making you jittery and its making you move around more so you're essentially burning more calories but it's not boosting your metabolism."

Keep in mind, there are no regulations for supplements.

"I could pick up dirt off the side of the road and put it in a pill and tell you that it's going to help you lose weight or its going to increase your metabolism and there's nothing to say I can't do that. Unless the FDA find it's detrimental to your health, it can stay on the shelves," said Ware.

Be sure to go with a reputable company that does their own outside testing.

Finally, do a thorough search about what foods affect the absorption of the supplements you take, it's different with each one.

Ware does say if you don't eat vegetables, a multivitamin certainly won't hurt you. But try adding in some leafy green to your diet.


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