When you are dieting, the ultimate goal is to eat less calories than you burn so your body is forced to burn fat. When you are eating less, you run the risk of becoming nutritionally deficient and taking a high quality multivitamin can help fill the gap in nutrients created by your lower caloric intake.
While the above is true, it is also important for you to understand that vitamins should never be used as substitute for the nutrition you get from good wholesome food like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, mushrooms, and beans. Vitamins do not contain dietary fiber and the wide variety of antioxidants and other micronutrients that food provides and the body needs. Additionally, many of the vitamins and minerals you’ll find in multivitamins are absorbed better if they are obtained in food rather than from a pill.
Remember that crash diets are dangerous. You can very quickly lose muscle mass and bone density and it will be difficult to get that back once it is lost. Even when you are dieting, you need to make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet. Don’t think that a multivitamin is going to magically replace all the benefits you would receive from eating healthy food.
To make the point even more clear, it is fair to say that a multivitamin is a poor substitute for nutritionally dense food. On the other hand, a multivitamin can help fill in any deficiencies you may develop while dieting. The Harvard School of Public Policy calls the multivitamin a “nutrition insurance policy” which is a good way of looking at a vitamin supplement.
Even when Americans are not dieting, it has been found that the majority on the American modern diet are nutritionally deficient. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that approximately 74% of all Americans do not meet the daily nutritional requirements recommended by the FDA. So, a person on a diet of restricted daily calories needs to be even more careful that they get all the vitamins they need. A multivitamin can definitely help.
Low carb diets pose more of a risk of becoming vitamin deficient than other diets. This is especially true in the early stages of a low carb diet when most versions of this type of diet severely restrict carbs. Many low carb dieters follow a plan of eating no fruit and only a couple of cups of leafy green vegetables, at least when they are first getting started. This is not sufficient to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. Under these circumstances, it is highly recommended you take a high quality multivitamin. You may also consider adding in more high fiber low carb vegetables.
To select the best quality multivitamin, there are several things you need to know. First, vitamins pills lose their potency with time. You should always check the expiration date and make sure that you’ll be finished taking them before this date. Second, some vitamins are not regulated as closely as others. Some contain fillers that make it difficult for the body to absorb them. Others contain harmful contaminants like lead. Some contain considerably less or considerably more than what is stated on the label. It is always best to buy multivitamins labeled with the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Insignia, the NSF International (NSF) seal, or the ConsumerLab.com (CL) seal. Vitamins labeled this way have been thoroughly tested for absorption, toxicity, and amounts. Fourth, make sure the minerals are chelated so they can be more readily absorbed. Fifth, you should be aware that liquid vitamins degrade much quicker than the hard varieties.
If you decide to take a multivitamin, you may want to avoid eating “fortified” foods. These often include cereals, granola bars, milk, bread, pasta, and whole grains. Fortified means that vitamins and minerals have been artificially added. It is possible to take too many vitamins, especially the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. In fact, at really high levels they will become toxic and can cause medical issues like liver and kidney damage.
When you take your multivitamin, it is best to do so with a meal that includes some fats and lips. This will help your body absorb the fat soluble vitamins better. It is also best to pick a time that is more than 2 hours after you have consumed caffeine as caffeine can reduce the absorption significantly.
In conclusion, a multivitamin can help fill in the nutritional gaps when you are dieting. However, you should never try to depend solely on vitamins for all your nutritional needs or think of them as a magic bullet. You need nutritious food in addition to the multivitamin even when you are dieting. For more high quality articles similar to this feel free to check out our blog.