Weighing In: Should I take a supplement?

Heather Reese Health Guide
  • Question: All these nutritional supplements on the market make so many claims. I tend to be skeptical and believe they are all lying to me to get my money. Are their any credible general supplements out there? I eat a lousy diet of mostly fast food. I am 49 and still healthy but I need to do my body better before it's too late. I am wondering about this new fad of Mona Vie that everyone is raving about. Is it really as good as people say or is it a bunch of hype?

    Heather: It’s easy to get sucked in by advertisements touting the nutritional benefits of expensive supplements. However, there is nothing as beneficial to your health as eating a well balanced diet and being physically active.

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:

    Mona vie, which you reference, is being advertised as an antioxidant supplement. While antioxidants do have health benefits, you don’t need expensive supplements to get them.

    In fact, antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables like cherries, tomatoes, carrots, blueberries and grapes. And these natural and less expensive sources of antioxidants have the same benefits as the expensive supplements. They help guard against macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease as well as reduce your risk of some cancers.

    Eating a well-balanced diet is the best way to get antioxidants. A well-balanced diet includes food from all the food groups, including antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.

    Instead of spending a lot of money on unregulated supplements, consider making changes to your diet to help improve your overall health. A diet of mainly fast food isn’t only deficient in antioxidants it is also high in fat and sodium, which can contribute to heart disease and some cancers.

    Consider snacking on fruits and vegetables between meals. When eating at fast food restaurants is unavoidable, choose salads and fruit instead of large sandwiches and fries.

    Making healthy lifestyle changes like increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption and eating whole grains; limiting fast food and saturated fat; and being more physically active will provide far more health benefits than taking a supplement.

Published On: May 09, 2008