Why Vitamins are no Supplement for a Healthy, Balanced Diet

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vitamin supplements and your health

To maintain a healthy and balanced diet, the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends that we consume food from all five major food groups* every day – with ‘discretionary foods’ like chips, lollies and soft drink to only be consumed occasionally and in moderation.

Why we need more vitamins in our diet

Unfortunately, most Australians do not adhere to Australia’s healthy dietary guidelines. Discretionary foods with low nutritional value account for an average of 35% of our energy intake, and less than 7% of us meet the recommended intake of vegetables. This means that we are not getting all the essential vitamins and other nutrients that we need from the foods we eat.

Why vitamins supplements don’t fix our diet

Supplements are often thought as a way to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals, but they should not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet.

This is because a healthy diet provides many other nutrients like dietary fibre, antioxidants and some vitamins and minerals that can’t be effectively delivered in a supplement.

In addition to this, not all supplements will be effectively absorbed by the body, especially when consumed in isolation. For example, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) will not be absorbed properly unless consumed with food.

Using supplements can also give you a false sense of wellbeing and result in continued poor dietary health choices, which can do more harm than good.

The solution

While vitamin supplements can ensure you meet your daily requirements for specific conditions and deficiencies, they are no substitute for the many benefits provided by a complete and well-balanced diet.

Our Accredited Practising Dietitians recommend that the best way to improve vitamin intake is to eat vitamin-rich foods. Find out more about the kinds of foods that make up a healthy, balanced diet here.

If you’d like to improve your diet, energy levels and live a healthier life, book an appointment with one of our friendly dietitians today. Call 9201 0044 or find out more here.