More and more people around the world are being diagnosed with obesity–and often, through dieting, these individuals are diagnosed with certain vitamin deficiencies due to decreased food consumption. This article discusses two of the most serious vitamin deficiencies associated with dieting and weight loss, and offers some alternatives that contain the vitamins and are still dieter-friendly.
Calcium is a very serious vitamin deficiency that is often associated with weight loss. Calcium is found in milk and milk products such as cheese, yogurt, and butter. These foods are often avoided by individuals who are trying to lose weight due to the high amount of fat and calories found within the foods. But what can happen if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet. Most people understand that our teeth contain high amounts of calcium, and consuming dairy is important to maintain their strength and integrity. But did you know that our bones are also composed almost primarily of calcium? A calcium deficiency can lead to the development of osteoporosis, which means weakened bones. Bones that are weak are more prone to fractures or breaks, which can be deadly for elderly individuals. But can’t you supplement with calcium tablets and get the same result as if you were actually consuming dairy? Unfortunately, no. Research has found that while calcium supplements can provide some extra calcium for people who may be deficient due to dieting or other reasons, the calcium found within these supplements has the tendancy not to be absorbed by the teeth and bones, but rather to deposit in arteries and the heart, leading to the development of serious cardiovascular events.
Iron deficiency is another common vitamin deficiency associated with dieting. Iron is found in red meat, which like dairy products are typically high in fat and calories, and therefore are often avoided by individuals who are dieting. Iron deficiencies can lead to the development of anemia, which includes symptoms such as fatigue, pale skin and gums, and can even be life threatening. If you are dieting and are looking for a way to get iron in your diet without consuming high amounts of fat and calories, look no further than the produce section. Spinach contains more iron per gram than red meat, and is extremely low in calories. In addition, more and more packaged grain products such as breads and pastas are being enhanced with iron. Dieters should use caution, however, with these products, as they may not be low in fat or calories.
Vitamin A, C, F, E Deficiency
Finally, when dieting, people often avoid eating foods that are high in fat. Because of this, the fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, C, E, and F) often become deficient. If you are on a diet, or simply choose foods that are low in fat, you may want to consider supplementing your diet with these fat soluble vitamins. Be sure to talk with your nurse or doctor about what type of supplementation may be right for you.