5 Myths about supplements: Busted!

bawar_2_240x240sep16There’s a reason many supermarkets and drug stores devote an entire aisle to nutritional supplements. For the ones who are on a quest for better health, it’s hard to resist the promise that it can be delivered in the form of neatly packaged pills.

Despite advancements in supplement and nutrition research, many people are still holding on to the old world ideas. Are you one of them? Gaurav Dawar, Fitness and Nutrition Expert, takes us through 5 myths about supplements that have been debunked by science!

Myth 1: Supplements can help in preventing or managing conditions like diabetes or heart disease.

Fact: Supplements aren’t supposed to treat any specific health issue.

We all should be aware of the fact that nutritional supplements aren’t medications. Only nutritional gaps are filled with the help of these supplements in a well rounded diet. They help us reach our daily nutritional needs that are tough to meet with food alone. An apt example for this is Vitamin D because it’s not found in many whole foods.

Myth 2: Supplements can make up for your diet’s flaws.

Fact: A balanced and well rounded diet is a must.

Supplements are the tools that can be taken on top of eating right. They can never be the replacement for a balance diet. When healthy adults get most of their nutrients from their food, they can trust their bodies to absorb what it requires. When you rely on supplements instead, however, the risk of taking in too much is on the higher side, which can be harmful to your health. For example, too much vitamin A can increase your risk of osteoporosis; too much vitamin E can elevate your risk of suffering a stroke; and too much iron can raise your risk of heart disease.

The best way to take a supplement is taking it with your meals. The body simply excretes most of the excess amount of supplement if taken separately.

When we eat whole foods, very efficiently certain nutrients are taken out along the way, by our body’s digestive system and much of what’s not needed is excreted. When you take a supplement alone, the digestive system has to work aggressively on dissolving the pill and sending the nutrients to various parts of the body.

But taking supplements with food works way more effectively as the nutrients in the pill collide with food giving you the best delivery and absorption.

Myth 3: “All natural” labeled supplements are the best supplements

Fact: The only part of the label that matters is the nutrition facts.

Like other food sellers, supplement manufacturers have the longing to capitalize on heightened consumer interest in natural foods by touting their “all natural” bona fides. The addition of ingredients like enzymes or primrose oil is one example of the same. In most instances, they don’t provide real benefits to the consumers because they are just added in trace. Instead, they just add extra cost. Only pay attention to the nutrition information panel on the label. All of the nutrients contained in a supplement should be listed as providing the daily recommended value (DV) which is around 100 percent, but no more than 300 percent. Generally, these percentages are considered to represent a safe dose.

Myth 4: When you hear a nutrient has new proven health benefits, it’s time to stock up.

Fact: The supplement may not be right — or safe — for you.

Before investing in a supplement that you hear will fight off one or another chronic condition, consult your doctor or a dietitian to find out if it’s worth it, especially if you have a medical condition which is vulnerable to allergies with large doses of certain nutrients. For example, people who take blood thinners or aspirin need to be wary of both vitamin E and omega-3 supplements, which could limit the blood’s ability to clot and increase your risk of bleeding. These vitamins, if are being consumed through natural foods, are not a matter of concern. The situation can only turn bad if concentrated amount of these are taken in the form of supplements.

Myth 5: Protein powder are all the same

Fact: All protein powder has their own usage and specifications. Protein powders are all different: casein, soy, egg and whey (to name a few). Each of these protein powders has a different amount of carbs, fat, cholesterol, and calories and work differently from each other.

Depending on the brand and type of the protein powder the taste also varies. Always choose a protein that’s suitable for your goals and price point.