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12 November 2007

Nutritious Whole Foods compared to Taking Vitamin Supplements

David Jacobs, Ph.D., the principal investigator and Mayo Professor of Public Health at the University of Minnesota suggests that our approach to healthy eating might be wrong. Instead of focusing on specific nutrients or the amount of fat, carbohydrate, and protein that a food has it should be looked at as food as a whole. The research was reported in the October edition of the Journal of Nutrition Reviews.

Jacobs said that consumers are getting the wrong idea about eating healthy by picking out certain nutrients and it could be maybe be unhealthy. Instead he and co-author Professor Linda Tapsell of the University of Wollongong in Australia said that there should be more education on the entire food product and eating patterns in order to be better educated about nutrition to benefit our health.

One example that the researchers use is orange juice that is marketed as healthy because there is vitamin C and added calcium. In some instances isolated supplements have been shown to be harmful instead of helpful. There have been long term clinical trials that have shown that supplements of beta-carotene and B-vitamins could pose harm and cause cardiovascular events. However, if a person consumed these vitamins in naturally occurring food these same nutrients have been shown to improve long-term health.

By looking at whole food and interactions that are created between other food components it may further explain ways to be healthier. The researchers think that we should be thinking of food as the center focus on our nutritional health and that more research needs to be conducted on whole foods.

Tapsell said to “Think food First,” as the advice for when you want to improve your dietary nutrition and health.

By Mark Barone
Best Syndication News Health Writer

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