Nutrition and Labeling - Does it matter what food you eat if you take a multivitamin everyday?
06-19-2008, 12:16 AM
If you eat enough calories and take a daily multivitamin, is it really that bad to eat only carbs or protein or whatever then? I mean, multivitamins are for those who don't eat enough of certain foods and don't get all the nutrients.
They always recomend you to take multivitamins if you're on some strict diet.
06-19-2008, 12:26 AM
Yes, it does matter what type of food you eat. Are you thinking of following a particular diet that eliminates entire food groups? Below is what the Mayo Clinic has to say on that subject:
Dietary supplements: Nutrition in a pill?
When using dietary supplements, assess your needs, evaluate the merits of taking supplements, and understand how to choose and use them.
Can you skip your daily servings of fruits and vegetables and take a vitamin and mineral supplement instead? Unfortunately, no.
Vitamins and minerals are substances your body needs in small but steady amounts for normal growth, function and health. Together, vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients. Your body can't make most micronutrients, so you must get them from the foods you eat or, in some cases, from dietary supplements.
Dietary supplements can complement your regular diet if you have trouble getting enough nutrients. But they aren't meant to be food substitutes. Dietary supplements can't replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. So depending on your situation and your eating habits, a daily dietary supplement may not be worth the expense.
Whole foods: Your best source of micronutrients
Whole foods are your best sources of vitamins and minerals. They offer three main benefits over dietary supplements:
Greater nutrition. Whole foods are complex, containing a variety of the micronutrients your body needs — not just one. An orange, for example, provides vitamin C plus some beta carotene, calcium and other nutrients. A vitamin C supplement lacks these other micronutrients.
Essential fiber. Whole foods provide dietary fiber. Fiber, as part of a healthy diet, can help prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it can also help manage constipation.
Protective substances. Whole foods contain other substances recognized as important for good health. Fruits and vegetables, for example, contain naturally occurring food substances called phytochemicals, which may help protect you against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Many are also good sources of antioxidants — substances that slow down oxidation, a natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage.
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06-19-2008, 12:37 AM
06-19-2008, 02:22 AM
While multivitamins can fill in some small gaps, it can't replace the basics of nutrition. Besides the micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants...) the macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) are each important and irreplaceable for many reasons. Fat and protein can cause death if eliminated from the diet. "Rabbit starvation" occurs when fat and carbohydrates are eliminated or severely deficient in the diet. Called "rabbit starvation" because it caused the deaths of pioneers living off little more than rabbit (high in protein, but no carbs and little fat). This is probably what caused the illnesses attributed to the diet created by the scammer that encouraged people to do an extreme form of Atkins that eliminated fat and carbs.
There have been some people who have argued that carbohydrates can be virtually eliminated without ill health effects, at least under certain circumstances, but personally I find the the evidence rather sketchy, most of it anectdotal such as a couple scientists about 80 years ago supposedly lived on just meat and fat - and I believe possibly coffee for a year in their imitation of the eskimo diet. The experiment was not controlled enough to ensure that the men never "cheated" on the diet. It is also said that sea mammal blubber contains many vitamins including vitamin C. Besides, while eskimo and mongolian nomads eat primarily meat during the winter months, they do eat fruits and vegetables when they can obtain them.
I personally do not believe there is an optimal diet (in terms of breaking down the proportion of fat, carbs, and protein) for all people, but eliminating any food group (no matter how you divide the foods into groups) is generally a bad idea (with maybe the exception of dairy for adults). Some people obviously do better on different proportions, so maybe there are healthy ranges, rather than a specific optimum proportion. I know the Zone and several other plans recommend 40/40/30 with the 30% coming from fat. There's some evidence that the Zone is helpful to people with fibromyalgia. The Ornish plan is supposedly very good for heart patients and the fat percentage is like only 10 - 15% I believe, but the diet is notorious for being difficult for most people to stick to. South Beach and other low glycemic and some lower carb plans seem to work better for people with diabetes and insulin resistance. People with severe kidney disease have to limit protein.
I think you have to do a little experimenting to find out what works best for you, keeping in mind that extremes probably are the least likely to be healthy. Probably universally good advice is lots of fruits and vegetables and choosing whole foods over processed foods, especially 'frankenfoods' that resemble nothing in the natural world (like "cheese food" that resembles plastic more than it resembles cheese).
06-19-2008, 03:15 AM
You also should be careful not to overdo w/ vitamins. I'm on a delivery diet and was taking a multi before I found out I could actually overdose on vitamin A and D. Remember, Vitamins should help fill the gaps, but some of them can be just as deadly any other medication. I noticed that in order to prevent blindness is malnourished children, volunteers give them ONE Superdose of Vitamin A in childhood and that's it. And I don't know if it's an urban legend or not, but I did read in the newspaper that a grandmother who was babysitting her GD almost killed the child with Vit A supplements that she was giving 4 times a day. Vit C and many other will just be eliminated at higher volumes, but others won't.