A Healthy Diet Wins Hands Down
The typical American diet is heavy in processed foods, refined grains, and added sugars, all of which come up short on essential vitamins and minerals. But even a healthy, well-balanced diet can fall short of needed nutrients, especially among older adults, reports the June 2015 Harvard Health Letter. . . . Dietary supplements would seem to be the obvious way to plug vitamin and mineral gaps in the diet. But supplements make it easy to get too much of a particular nutrient without realizing it. With some vitamins and minerals, too much can be harmful.
It’s best to improve the diet before using supplements . . . because vitamins and minerals are most potent when they come from food. In food, they are accompanied by many other beneficial nutrients, including hundreds of carotenoids, flavonoids, minerals, and antioxidants that aren’t in most supplements. Plus, food tastes better than supplements and is often less expensive.