Nutritional Supplementation for Dieters and People on weight loss pills
AMERICANS ARE chronic dieters, and the impact of dramatically reducing caloric intake, fasting, eating nutritionally deficient foods, and taking various drugs to help with weight loss can take a tremendous toll on the body, especially in terms of causing nutritional deficiencies.
The chronic use of laxatives and diuretics, for example, can cause you to lose a significant number of nutrients. Use of diuretics can lead to deficiencies of potassium (if you are not using nonpotassium-sparing forms), magnesium, and B complex vitamins. Laxative use can cause deficiencies of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, 1), E, and K. If you are consuming products that contain caffeine (and drinking tea, coffee, and colas as well), you are in danger of deficiencies of vitamin B1 (thiamine), inositol, biotin, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, and vitamin B12• People who use Xenical (orlistat) are warned that this prescription weight-loss drug causes the body to lose fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, .and K, and so they need to supplement these nutrients when taking the drug. Eating healthy, whole foods-lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains,’ legumes, nuts, and seeds-should always be your first choice, whether you are dieting or not. Yet most people tend to grab what is quick and convenient, which unfortunately often includes foods that are less than nutritious.
Combine these possible situations and you can have the basis for a nutritional disaster. This is especially true of people who go on very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) of 800 calories or less, which are deemed potentially dangerous by medical experts.
HIGH-POTENCY MULTIVITAMIN-MINERAL SUPPLEMENT
You can avoid nutritional deficiencies by taking a high-potency multivitamin-mineral supplement every day. If you are in good health and eat a reasonably nutritious diet, the recommended doses in the low end of the ranges for each nutrient should be sufficient for your needs.
When shopping for multivitamin-mineral supplements, you will notice that some of them contain minute amounts of trace minerals-for example, silica, vanadium, and iodine. These are not necessary, so their absence or presence is not important to your overall health.
Some diet and weight-loss/management products contain adequate or superior amounts of nutrients that help maintain the body’s nutritional integrity while you diet. If you are using one of these products, compare the nutritional information on the package with the foregoing table to determine which additional supplements you may need. Consult your physician, a nutritionist, or a professional who is knowledgeable about nutrition if you are uncertain about your nutritional needs and whether you are meeting them.