NSCA Performance Training Journal – Volume 8 Issue 3 Are Supplements a True Substitute for Real Food? By: Debra Wein
In a recent article published in the National Strength & Conditioning Journal entitled, “Are Supplements a True Substitute for Real Food?” author Debra Wein discusses the role supplements have come to play in our everyday lives. In fact, we probably all know someone (or are that someone) who has taken supplements to lose weight, avoid sickness, or as a replacement to a meal. Current research has shown the more we learn about nutrients and their interaction with our body the more important supplementing with real food seems like the right idea. For example, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber have been proven to reduce the risk of a number of chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, & diabetes. Many supplements or meal replacements are stripped of these important components or they may not be as effective outside of their natural state.
Another key point is that nutritional supplements are not regulated as a drug, but as food. That means the FDA has little control of what is sold, they do not regulate the contents of the supplements, and they have no control over what is printed on the labels. Don’t assume because it is readily available on a store shelf that it is 100% effective, or safe.
There are populations that can benefit from supplements such as multi-vitamins to children with poor eating habits, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant, and people on long term calorie restricted diets to name a few. However, the average person would be better off taking the time to find the right balance of healthy food rather than reaching for the latest off the shelf remedy.
Submitted by Brendan Crews of Bob Block Fitness firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted in Nutrition Tagged: multi vitamin supplements health nutrition disease meal planning
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