Image
Multivitamins: Yay or Nay??

Do you take a multivitamin every day? If so, join the crowd. About forty percent of Americans take a multivitamin daily — usually in hopes of better health, more energy, and lower risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Even if you don’t take vitamins regularly, the idea has probably crossed your mind. You may even have a vitamin bottle collecting dust in your cupboard…

Multivitamin usage has been a hot topic in recent months, as research and experts have come out with the advice to stop taking these vitamin and mineral supplements. Why? The research stated that multivitamins have “no substantial health benefit. This evidence, combined with biological considerations, suggests that any effect, either beneficial or harmful, is probably small.” The studies reviewed in this article conclude that multivitamins do not provide any protection against cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, or all-​​cause mortality.

What if I take a multi to fill in the gaps in my diet?

It can be challenging to get all of the recommended vitamins and minerals in our daily diets, even when we try really hard! Taking a multivitamin may be a good way to ensure that you are meeting your nutrient needs. In one study cited by Nutrition Action, taking a multivitamin decreased the number of people with suboptimal levels of nutrients like Vitamin D and B-​​12.

What should I know about my multi?

  • Avoid megadoses. Some nutrients can be toxic or harmful in megadoses, such as beta-​​carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. Stick to brands that contain 100% of the Daily Values, like Centrum, One A Day, Nature Made, Equate, Target, and Walgreens multivitamins. Check the label to make sure they are not providing megadoses.
  • Vitamin A/​retinol/​beta-​​carotene: No more than 5,000 IU
  • B-​​ware: Typically high doses of B vitamins are safe, but issues can arise with >100mg of B6 (nerve damage and skin lesions, although reversible) and >50mg of niacin (skin flushing). Supplemental B12 may be necessary for people over 50 and vegans — a multi should cover your bases unless you are diagnosed with a deficiency and require higher doses.
  • Iron: Premenopausal women should look to get 18 mg/​day, while postmenopausal women and men should keep it to 10mg/​day.
  • Magnesium: No more than 350mg from supplements due to potential for diarrhea and stomach cramping.
  • Selenium: No more than 100mcg
  • Vitamin E: No more than 100IU
  • Vitamin K: 10mcg or more (check with your doctor if you take blood thinners)
  • Folic acid: Women of childbearing age should get daily folic acid, but no more than 400mcg/​day from your multi.
  • Calcium: Multi’s only contain a small amount of calcium. If your diet is low in calcium, consider an additional calcium supplement.
  • Zinc: No more than 30mg
  •  

FoodandFitness Pro’s Spin: Multivitamins will not make or break your health — your lifestyle choices will. However, taking a multivitamin daily may supply some important nutrients that your diet is lacking, and is an inexpensive type of “health insurance”.

Page 1 of 3
June 21, 2012

Fuel for Exercise - Part 3: Post-Exercise

Hopefully you have been waiting with baited breath for the third and final installment of this series – and here it is!  Now that you know how to fuel before and during exercise, the only thing left to learn is what to do afterwards.  Regardless of your workout length and intensity, your muscles need hydration and fuel to recover.  The good news for the “everyday exerciser” (meaning you workout for an hour or so three or four times a week) is that you don’t have to stress much a...

Comments

Hide Comments (0)       Add a new comment
May 31, 2012

Fuel for Exercise - Part 2: During Exercise

Image

In the last post, I reviewed the guidelines for eating and drinking before a workout.  Just as it is critical to fuel yourself properly before exercise, it is equally important to keep yourself fueled during exercise and afterwards for recovery.  Here I will discuss fuel during exercise, but stay tuned for more information on eating well for recovery.

 

Exercise lasting one hour or less

Typically, if you’re exercising in a moderate temperature environment for less than an hou...

Comments

Show Comments (0)       Add a new comment
April 30, 2012

Fuel for Exercise - Part 1: Pre-exercise

Image

We all know that fueling before, during, and after a workout or athletic event is crucial.  In this post, I will talk about fueling specifically before exercise, but keep your eyes out for upcoming posts on fueling during and after exercise.

 

Hydration

Hydrating properly is always important as water makes up at least 60% of the adult human body.  Water is vital for removing waste and carrying nutrients to the body’s cells.  We are constantly losing water and fluids thro...

Comments

Show Comments (1)       Add a new comment
March 21, 2012

Winners say "I WILL", not "I'll TRY"!

Image
Spring is here, the flowers are blooming, and we are all starting to think about jumping into our summer clothes and heading to the beach.  Many of us are then hit with the sudden panic of what that means.  Have you let your healthy eating habits or workout regimen slip over the winter months?  Has your weight crept up a few pounds (or more)?  Even if the answer to these questions is no, are there goals you have set your sights on that you have yet to achieve?  Regardless of your weight or...

Comments

Show Comments (0)       Add a new comment
February 13, 2012

Better Health with V-Day Chocolates and Wine!

Image
It’s that time of year again, where we shower that special someone with decadent chocolates and the wine is flowing.  Valentine’s Day is a time of year to show your loved ones how much they mean to you, but did you know that it can be good for your heart in more than one way?  Many of the traditional Valentine’s Day foods, like berries, red wine, and chocolate, are rich in heart healthy flavonoids.  Of course, we have to remember, as the saying goes, everything in moderation!

Flavonoids have r...

Comments

Show Comments (0)       Add a new comment
January 5, 2012

Motivational Strategies to Make Lasting Changes

Image
Now that the New Year is under way, many of us are thinking about our goals for this year – health-​​related and otherwise.  Maybe you told yourself, “I will work on eating healthier or getting to the gym more after the holidays are over”.  Well, the holidays are over and it’s time to turn those thoughts into actions.  Remember that motivation is paramount in making lasting behavior changes.  Think about what it is that motivates you to make changes – whether it is to look diff...

Comments

Show Comments (0)       Add a new comment
December 6, 2011

Healthy Holiday Foods

Image

Yes, there is such thing as a healthy holiday food.  In fact, there are many!  When we think of holiday festivities, gatherings, and meals, we often think of all the succulent dishes and decadent desserts that are the central theme to these occasions.  However, with a little planning and thoughtfulness, you can actually get some nutritional gains from these foods.  Choosing wisely will help you to prevent the typical holiday weight gain while boosting your nutrient intake.

Vegetables

...

Comments

Show Comments (1)       Add a new comment
November 18, 2011

Tips for a Guiltless Thanksgiving

Image

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it comes some of the anxiety that is associated with holiday eating and weight gain.  There are some very simple changes you can make to be healthier and prevent weight gain.  A typical Thanksgiving meal contains about 3,500 calories.  Coincidentally, there are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat!  Here are some tips to keep in mind next week during your Thanksgiving holiday:

 

·         Limit your “feast” to one meal.  Often times, Thanksgivi...

Comments

Show Comments (0)       Add a new comment
October 24, 2011

Halloween Health Tips

Image

Halloween is right around the corner, and if you’re health-​​conscious then you’re feeling the excitement of the holiday, but also the anxiety that you may get derailed from your healthy lifestyle.  How can you participate in Halloween and enjoy the holiday without packing on the pounds?  Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1) The great thing about Halloween candy is that it is wrapped in small individual packages.  Take advantage of this and give yourself a limit – on Halloween and in the...

Comments

Show Comments (0)       Add a new comment
October 4, 2011

Pumpkin Packs a Punch

Image

Fall is upon us, and with the change of the season comes changes in seasonal fruits and vegetables.  One of the most delicious fall vegetables is also a nutrition powerhouse: the pumpkin!  Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, beta-​​carotene, and vitamin A, amongst many other beneficial vitamins and minerals.  The antioxidant properties of pumpkin can help to prevent cell damage, and other nutrients found in pumpkin aid in the health of your eyes and digestive system....

Comments

Show Comments (1)       Add a new comment
Archives
  2012
  2011
  December (1)
  November (1)
  October (2)
  September (2)
  July (2)
 Stress Less f...
 Is Diet Soda ...
  June (3)
  April (2)
  March (4)
  February (4)
  January (2)
  2010