Millions of well-intentioned American parents, unbeknownst to them, are over-fortifying their kids with too many nutrients. That’s according to a report published earlier this year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
EWG, an American-based health and research organization, analyzed the nutrition facts labels for 1,550 breakfast cereals and found that 114 cereals were fortified by the manufacturer with 30 percent or more of the adult Daily Value of vitamin A, zinc, and/or niacin. They also looked at 1,000 snack bars and found that 27 common brands were fortified with 50 percent or more of the Daily Value of at least one of those nutrients.
Among the most fortified cereals were:
- General Mills’ Total line
- Wheaties Fuel
- Kellogg’s Product 19
- Smart Start
- All-Bran Complete
- Cocoa Krispies
The most fortified snack bars included
Food Awards: Best & Worst Breakfast Cereals
When foods are fortified, vitamins and minerals that aren’t originally in a food are added by the manufacturer. Classic examples include adding vitamin D to milk, iron to flour, fiber to cereal, and iodine to salt. Since 1998, folic acid has been added to breads, cereals, and other products that use enriched flour in an effort to reduce Spina Bifida and other serious birth defects. The idea of fortification was developed almost 100 years ago to treat common nutrition-deficiency diseases.
But it is possible to consume too many fortified foods, especially by children, because the Daily Values are set for the needs of adults not kids. Furthermore, the Daily Value standards were set in 1968 and so some are higher than levels currently deemed to be safe. (more…)
Humans do not make their own vitamins, and they must get them from food or a supplement. Almost 80 percent of Americans do not eat at least five helpings of fruits and vegetables a day, the recommended minimum amount believed to provide sufficient essential nutrients. Even people who eat five daily servings of fruits and vegetables may not get enough of certain vitamins for optimum health. That is why it is prudent to take at least one multivitamin pill each day, as well as fish oil supplements to provide omega-3 fatty acids.
If you’re new to supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals, this essential supplement pack will get you started on the right foot. No hype, nothing you don’t need.
The Essential Supplements Pack from Puritan’s Pride was hand-selected by our Mary Hartley, RD. One winner will receive one bottle each of the following vitamins and supplements, valued at $71.95:
- Omega-3 Adult Gummy with Vitamin D3, 75 gummies
- Sunvite Chewable Vitamin D3, 180 tablets
- High Potency Calcium, 250 coated caplets
- High Potency Timed Release Ultra Woman Daily Multi, 90 coated caplets
- Omega-3 Fish Oil, 100 softgels
TO WIN THIS PRIZE PACK:
1. Tweet This on Twitter!
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We’ll draw one winner on Friday, September 13 to receive the essential supplements pack from Puritan’s Pride. (more…)
Missing the trace mineral magnesium in your diet can lead to a host of chronic health disorders that are often misdiagnosed. Magnesium is required in over 350 different enzymes, plus hundreds of essential functions in the body. In her informative book, The Miracle of Magnesium, Dr. Carolyn Dean writes that there has been a gradual decline of dietary magnesium in the United States, from a high of 500 mg/day at the turn of the century to barely 175-225 mg/day in 2010. Recommended dose for women over 30 years of age can be 320 mg per day.
Much of the cause for this decline has been linked to industrial farming and food processing. If the soil we grow our food in is lacking essential minerals, than the vegetables, grains, fruits, beans, legumes, seeds, and nuts are lacking those minerals as well. A hefty percentage of magnesium is also lost when removing the bran from grains in the refining process.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, Americans are critically lacking in adequate amounts of magnesium with men receiving only 80 percent of the recommended daily allowance and women receiving only 70 percent. This lack of magnesium can lead to a list of common health disorders. The irony is that many of the pharmaceutical drugs used to treat these conditions only deplete magnesium and other essential minerals further. If you suffer from any of these health conditions or know of someone who does, consult your doctor and have your levels of magnesium checked. Taking supplemental magnesium and eating foods high in the mineral can help to reverse these conditions.
By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
Minerals are essential in cancer prevention. Here are 5 of the top cancer-prevention minerals:
1. Calcium: A proven protector against colon cancer, this mineral is integral for maintaining the health of bones and teeth, blood clotting, and cellular metabolism. Excellent sources of calcium include: nuts and seeds, carrot juice, dark green vegetables, salmon and sardines.
2. Iodine: This mineral is found in sea vegetables like kelp, dulse, and Celtic sea salt. It helps protect the body from breast cancer and is required for energy and the growth and repair of healthy tissues.
3. Magnesium: This mineral protects against cancer in general, maintains the pH balance of the blood, as well as aids the formation of your body’s genetic material RNA and DNA. While damaged genetic material can put you at risk for cancer, magnesium helps with the repair work. It is found in many foods, including: nuts, fish, brown rice, whole grains, and green vegetables.
Although iron is classified as a trace mineral, it’s essential for overall health. Many of the body’s functions rely on iron and if you get too little, your body can’t function properly. On the flip side, getting too much can also be detrimental to your health.
There are two main types of iron; heme and non-heme. Heme iron is the type found in meat, poultry and fish. Non-heme, on the other hand, can be found in both plant and animal sources. The biggest difference between the two types is how well the body absorbs them. Heme iron is much more easily absorbed by the body than non-heme iron, yet most of our dietary supply comes from non-heme sources. Enriched breads and cereals, lentils, legumes, dark leafy greens, and some dried fruits are foods rich in this type of iron. Although the iron found in these foods is typically harder to absorb, your can improve your body’s absorption rate by pairing your non-heme-rich food sources with a food high in heme iron, vitamin C, citric or lactic acid, and certain sugars.
Most of the body’s iron is found within two proteins: hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in the body’s red blood cells while myoglobin is found in the muscle cells. In both, iron helps accept, carry, and release oxygen to the cells of the body. In addition, iron keeps your immune system strong and helps your body produce energy.
Here in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food safety. Denmark’s equivalent to that is the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, also known as the DVFA. Stateside, we tend to think of extra vitamins as a positive thing but in Denmark, vitamin fortified food is a diet-don’t. The DVFA has made it clear that their stance on fortifying foods with vitamins and minerals is one of suspicion and concern.
The theory held within the DVFA is that a properly balanced diet negates the necessity for supplementing with extra vitamins. In fact, they believe so strongly in the dangers of vitamin and mineral overdose that fortified foods must first be approved through a pricey application process. Foods found to contain what the DVFA classifies as dangerous levels of fortification are not granted approval.
Among the products recently pulled from the shelves of a small Copenhagen store is Ovaltine. At my home, we use Ovaltine as a chocolate milk treat because it’s nutrient enriched- I feel a lot better about that decision as opposed to pouring a giant glob of chocolate flavored syrup in to my son’s cup. What strikes me as particularly odd is that Ovaltine hasn’t yet been granted shelf-space and yet Red Bull (with its copious amounts of both vitamins and caffeine) has, according to the New York Times.
Water is boring. Why drink flavorless H20 when your tongue can be excited by bubbles or, well, flavor?
Unfortunately, with that flavor everyone craves usually comes a lot of excess calories and sugars, and despite the fact they come in liquid form, flavored beverages like tea and soda (even diet soda, which people seem to think because it is calorie free, it is an acceptable substitute for water) can dehydrate you rather than re-hydrate you.
Neuro has heard the plight of the under-hydrated adult craving flavor without junk, and offer a large array of tasty, hydrating waters that focus on every area of your health.
Not sleeping well? You’re covered. Libido needing a boost? Neuro’s got the stuff. Looking to drop a few pounds? You got it.
It’s important for everyone to get enough calcium, but women are especially at risk for calcium deficiency, which can lead to osteoporosis and decrease bone health later in life. Even though there is calcium in many of our favorite foods, it can still be difficult to meet the recommended daily allowance for the important mineral.
Dairy products provide calcium, but people with dairy allergies, lactose intolerance and vegans need to look to other food sources to fill their calcium needs. Foods high in calcium include: almonds, broccoli, spinach, cooked kale, canned salmon with the bones, sardines and tofu.
Tune in this Friday, November 26 to the Dr. Oz Show when America’s favorite doctor reveals his ultimate checklist for supplements.
The supplement industry is filled with a mixed bag of products, from the safe and effective to the downright dangerous. This show is packed with information you won’t want to miss. So get out a pen and paper and take some good notes. (more…)