Yoga Nutrition

The Best Way To Get Vitamins And Minerals Is To Have A Smart Diet

As you sit here reading this, you may not realize that you’re over-supplementing!

The best way to get vitamins and minerals is to have a well-balanced diet. Nonetheless, many people unnecessarily take supplements that contain vitamins and minerals. However, those supplements may not actually help. Rather, they actually may be detrimental to the person taking them.

This article presents findings and conclusions from recently reported research discussing vitamin and mineral supplements. Although it is not an exhaustive discussion of the research, this article presents a good case for why individuals, including athletes, should focus on having a well-rounded diet instead of taking vitamins.

That’s the best way to get vitamins and minerals.

Why, then, do so many people mess this up?

As reported by researchers in Pittsburgh studying athletes and nutrition:

“. . . nutrition is mistakenly left out of their plan, or an afterthought post-event . . .”

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-16223-2_5

For non-athletes, many people may have misconceptions about nutrition, supplements, and their body’s needs. Moreover, due in part to aggressive marketing tactics from food and diet brands, it may be difficult for lay people to know what and how to eat.

Indeed, researchers from Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sport and St. Andrews University published a report. It is entitled “Athletes and Supplements: Prevalence and Perspectives.” In it, they say that many of the supplement brands make false and illegal claims on their websites about health benefits. Contrary to U.S. marketing regulations,

. . . a study of 443 websites of 8 bestselling herbal products showed that 81% made one or more health claims . . .

. . . 55% claimed the product treated, prevented, diagnosed, or cured specific diseases . . .

. . . and 52% of those making claims omitted the federal disclaimer.

. . . 75% of the most popular herbal supplements did not include on the label the key safety messages about warnings for medical conditions, drug interactions, and side effects . . .

https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/full/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0429
(internal citations omitted)

Plus, for most of us, we were never taught how to eat a well-balanced meal.

Don’t worry. We’ve got your back!

In addition to discussing some research, this article provides easy-to-follow, tried-and-true tips that will help guide you. Those tips are:

Consume an appropriate number of calories

Eat nutrient-dense foods

Eat a variety of foods

Minimize the amount of added sugars

Avoid trans and saturated fats

Minimize sodium intake

Develop a regular eating pattern

By following those steps, as described below in more detail, you will have a well-balanced diet. Therefore, you will get the vitamins and minerals you need!

The Best Way To Get Vitamins And Minerals: Some of the Research

In 2018, the researchers mentioned above from the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sport and St. Andrews University found that athletes and non-athletes alike are more than likely to take some form of supplement:

“Between 40% and 100% of athletes typically use supplements, depending on the type of sport, level of competition, and the definition of supplements . . .”

“. . . more than 40% of the adult population used dietary supplements in the period from 1988–1994, and this had increased to over one-half during 2003–2006.”

https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/full/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0429
(internal citations omitted)

That’s crazy! More than half the population is taking supplements.

Indeed, many (if not most) of us have no need to take nutritional supplements. As these authors point out, and consistent with other reports, you should only take supplements if you have a diagnosed health issue that requires it:

“. . . food and supplements containing essential nutrients (e.g., vitamins) are mainly used for health reasons, with performance effects being secondary to better health.”

Despite the prevalence of supplements, the authors caution that people should take supplements only if they have a nutrient deficiency.

“. . . unless the athlete has a nutrient deficiency, supplementation may not improve performance and may have a detrimental effect on both performance and health.”

https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/full/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0429

Most people taking supplements, however, are not necessarily taking them to correct a nutrient deficiency. Rather, they’re taking supplements to generally improve overall health, increase energy, or fill holes in their diet:

“. . . 71% of US adults (more than 170 million people) report use of dietary supplements for the following reasons: ‘an overall health/wellness benefit’, ‘to get energy’, and ‘to fill nutrient gaps in my diet’. . .

“The most used supplements were vitamin and mineral products.”

“Dietary supplements may not be promoted for the prevention or treatment of illness, but it is obvious that many consumers use them for this purpose.”

https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/full/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0429

It appears that taking nutritional supplements should be the exception, not the rule. However, people seem to be taking supplements as a rule, not an exception. What’s worse, the trends suggest that more and more people are taking supplements. As reported by the Norwegian researchers, in 2016, 71% of those surveyed reported using dietary supplements, and in 2015

“. . . 68% reported intake of dietary supplements . . .”

“. . . users aged 18–34 years reported in 2015 that they anticipated their supplement use to increase over the next 5 years.”

“. . . the 2016 survey suggest that this projection is likely to be realized, as young adults are increasing their use of dietary supplements.”

https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/full/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0429

Why are so many people taking nutritional supplements despite not needing to?

The Norwegian researchers report that athletes and non-athletes take supplements based on a misguided belief that food alone is insufficient.

“Sport-specific reasons for supplement use include a belief that the stress of intense training/competition cannot be met by food alone, and that supplements can offer a specific advantage in either training or competition.”

“In the general population, consumption of nutritional supplements is often driven by a belief that they confer health benefits above and beyond those that can be achieved by eating normal foods.”

“These reasons are more often based on unfounded beliefs than on any understanding of the issues at stake.”

https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/full/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0429

These findings are troubling. Athletes and non-athletes alike shouldn’t take supplements unless they have a legitimate health reason to do so.

“. . . legitimate concerns [exist] regarding the widespread assumption that supplement use confers health benefits on the consumer and that it is free from any risk of adverse health outcomes.”

“Unless an athlete has a nutrient deficiency, supplementation is unlikely to improve health or performance and can in fact have a detrimental effect on both performance . . .”

https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/full/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0429

A List Of The Best Way To Get Vitamins And Minerals

Consume an appropriate number of calories

Eat nutrient-dense foods

Eat a variety of foods

Minimize the amount of added sugars

Avoid trans and saturated fats

Minimize sodium intake

Develop a regular eating pattern

Looking for a snack with 21 vitamins and minerals, 10 fruits and vegetables, 16 grams of organic protein, and 250 calories?

the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to
the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to

The Best Way To Get Vitamins And Minerals Is To:

Consume an appropriate number of calories

By eating an appropriate number of calories, you will maintain a healthier weight, ensure you’re getting an appropriate amount of nutrients, and reduce your risk of becoming obese or developing other chronic illnesses. To help, look at food labels to see how many calories are in your food.

Furthermore, as explained more below in “develop a regular eating pattern,” plan out a daily eating schedule. For instance, plan to eat 6 times per day. At each meal, target a certain number of calories. For instance, meal one eat 200 calories; meals two through five, eat 400 calories each; meal 6, eat 200 calories. That gets you to 2000 calories. By planning how many calories to eat at each meal, you can control how many calories you consume in a day.

Also, buy a food scale. It will help you stay within your calorie goals. Plus, as you research online how many calories per pound of food, you will learn more about your food. Hence, you’ll be armed with better information for making better food decisions.

When you first start using the scale, you may be surprised to learn how many calories are in your food. For instance, weigh out one serving of pasta. See how it compares to your expectations. By counting calories, you are one step closer because the best way to get vitamins and minerals is to count calories as part of your dedication to having a well-balanced diet.

the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to
the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to

Eat nutrient-dense foods

Eating nutrient-dense foods will help ensure you’re getting meaningful calories. Nutrient-dense foods are those that are packed with calories and nutrients in a small volume. Examples of nutrient-dense foods are nuts, nut butters, seeds, salmon, avocado, quinoa, hemp hearts, leafy greens like arugula, and eggs.

One way to incorporate nutrient-dense foods into your diet is to start with a nutrient-dense food as your base, and then add other healthy foods to add flavor and calories. For instance, starting with one serving of quinoa as your base, you can add vegetables and fruits for flavor, calories, and vitamins and minerals: one serving of quinoa with diced carrots, arugula, and avocado. Yes! This is a healthy, flavorful, and nutrient-dense meal. Easy to make, too.

the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to
the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to

By eating nutrient-dense foods, you will inevitably eat less of the unhealthy foods, like fried, process, and high-sugar foods. Therefore, the best way to get vitamins and minerals is to focus on eating nutrient-dense foods.

the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to
the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to

Eat a variety of foods

Eating a variety of nutrients will help ensure you’re getting a variety of nutrients. Although many nutrient-dense foods are packed with significant amounts of multiple vitamins and minerals, each food is unique in terms of the overall combination of types and amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Therefore, the best way to get vitamins and minerals is to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods. That said, you can definitely repeat the same nutrient-dense foods throughout the week. Just don’t eat the same exact things for every meal.

Minimize the amount of added sugars

The general consensus these days is to avoid added sugars. Too much added sugar can cause you to consume too many empty calories and therefore gain weight. Also, too much sugar over an extended period of time can cause people to develop diabetes, heart issues, and other chronic diseases. Natural sugars, however, don’t seem to have the same negative impact as added sugars. So, for instance, eating a banana is okay, whereas drinking a soda is not. A banana has about 14 grams of natural sugar. In contrast, a soda can have as high as 35-40 grams of added sugar. Not only is the amount of sugar a big difference, so is the source. The banana sugar is considered a natural sugar. But the soda sugar is not natural; it’s added.

As you pay attention to sugar quantities in labels, you’ll start to notice how so many foods and beverages have so much sugar. Simply cutting out high-sugar drinks and high-sugar snacks from your diet will make a huge positive impact. You’ll also notice, however, how your food and beverages are less tasty. Find clever ways around that. Like, for instance, adding sweet food to otherwise bland food. Rather than adding “added sugar,” you’re adding natural sugar.

The best way to get vitamins and minerals is to minimize the amount of added sugar you eat and drink.

Avoid trans and saturated fats

By minimizing the amount of bad fats, like trans and saturated fats, you avoid increasing your risk of developing chronic illnesses. For instance, eating too much trans fat can increase inflammation throughout your body. This happens in part because of an increased amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in your circulatory system. The increased inflammation can contribute to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Similarly, eating too many saturated fats can cause an increase in harmful LDL cholesterol. This may result in clogged arteries.

Looking for ways to stay hydrated? Read this.

Accordingly, you should eat foods that are low in the bad fats. Instead, you should eat foods with healthy fats — monounsaturated fats. Yes, some fats are healthy for you. You need them for energy, cellular structure, and proper nerve function.

For good fats, eat vegetables, olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, nuts, and seeds. Also, avocados, high-oleic safflower oil, high-oleic sunflower oil, flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, and unhydrogenated soybean oil are good examples. You can also eat fish. For examples of fish, eat salmon, mackerel, and sardines.

the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to
the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to

By eating foods with less bad fats, you will likely find yourself eating more foods with healthy fats. Also, the opposite is true. By eating foods with more healthy fats, you will likely find yourself eating less foods with bad fats.

Therefore, the best way to have a balanced diet is to eat foods that are low in trans and saturated fats. Accordingly, the best way to get vitamins and minerals is to follow a diet that minimizes the amount of bad fats you consume.

Minimize sodium intake

You should minimize your sodium intake because it will help you avoid unnecessary health issues. Specifically, too much sodium will increase your blood pressure. Your blood pressure increases because your body retains extra fluid to account for the greater concentration of sodium present. The increase blood pressure negatively impacts your heart.

Also, too much sodium is associated with an increased risk of other serious illnesses. For instance, osteoporosis, heart failure, kidney disease, and stroke are all diseases that you are at an increased risk for if you regularly consume too much sodium.

Therefore, to eat a well-balanced diet, you should eat an appropriate amount of sodium. To do so, don’t add salt to your food other than occasionally for light flavoring. Choose foods that have a variety of sodium amounts. Although you should not over-do the sodium, you still need to consume some sodium. So don’t avoid it. Just be sure to eat foods with a varying amounts of sodium.

The best way to get vitamins and minerals is to minimize the amount of sodium you eat and drink because it will help you have a well-balanced diet.

Develop a regular eating pattern

You should eat according to a regular schedule or pattern. As mentioned above, you should plan out a general eating strategy. In the example above, it says to target a certain number of calories at eat meal. For instance, divide your total calories for the day into 6 meals. At meal one, eat 200 calories; meals two through five, eat 400 calories each; meal 6, eat 200 calories.

Here’s one way to help simplify your planning. Keep around the house four to five food options that are roughly 200 calories each. That way, for meals one and six, you have a few well-planned and convenient options. Similarly, keep around the house five to six food options that are roughly 400 calories each. This will prepare you for meals two through five. Plus, you can mix and match the 200 calorie options to help with these meals.

In addition to having a thoughtful eating schedule, make Tips 1-6 above are part of your everyday routine. Otherwise, by following these tips only occasionally, you are at greater risk of developing chronic diseases. For instance, instead of just winging it for breakfast in the morning (you know, by going to Starbucks and picking something that just looks good), buy a box of healthy protein bars that you can grab each morning on your way out the door.

Looking for healthy protein bars? Read this.

It helps to have a variety of protein bars so that you don’t grow tired of one kind. Plus, as your appetite varies each morning, you’ll have several options to choose from.

Another example is have a variety of healthy yet convenient mid-afternoon snacks. For instance, low-sugar yogurt with a spoonful of sunflower butter is delicious and healthy:

the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to
the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to
the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to
the-best-way-to-get-vitamins-and-minerals-is-to

By having a daily eating plan, you are more likely to successfully maintain a well-balanced diet. Such a plan, therefore, will help you get the vitamins and minerals you need for living a healthy life. Accordingly, the best way to get vitamins and minerals is to implement a regular and thoughtful eating schedule..

Conclusion

Throughout your lifetime, your eating and drinking decisions add up. Therefore, each of your food and beverage decisions are important. By making these tips part of your routine and establishing a regular eating pattern, you won’t have to rely on what is merely convenient. You can rely on something that is convenient and meaningful. For instance, when you grocery shop or explore restaurants in your neighborhood, keep these principles in mind. The more you practice, the easier it gets.

Don’t give up. You can do this. Keep trying, even if you get off track. Your persistence and patience will pay off!

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yogainthewind

Yoga In The Wind posts about all things yoga, with a focus on yoga for athletes. Like practicing yoga in the wind, in life, one must adjust mental focus and physical posture to account for the unexpected. Our articles are here to help! Visit www.jonegrossman.com for information about starting an online business, trademarks, and patents. Visit www.cdh1gene.com for articles about CDH1 mutation carriers.

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