This next guest post is from Drew of Diet Tired. Drew is "an exercise and nutrition physiologist, entrepreneur, and advocate of diet free weight loss." Crabby is still trying to figure out the Magical Combination of supplements that will give her excellent health, eternal life, and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. However, until she does, she will leave it to others to advise you about the confusing question of which supplements to take. Here's one man's opinion, what do you guys think? Thanks, Drew!
There is much debate over what supplements you should take. For every recommendation there are even more opinions.
The fact is that supplement companies and the stores and practitioners selling supplements are far more likely to lean on the side of over recommending supplements and those who are on the medical and scientific side will argue that there just isn’t proof that most supplements do anything.
Despite a lack of clear evidence, our appetite for supplements is growing. This is because anecdotal evidence (testimonials and sales pitches) is far more persuasive to the general public than scientific studies. Add to this the small part in all of us that ‘wants to believe’ that these little pills work like magic and it is little wonder that supplement sales are in the billions.
This combination of persuasion, hope and often desperation can cause even the brightest of us to make decisions reminiscent of Jack, from Jack and The Bean Stock.
So are there any magical beans worth trading your cow for?
Magical, no. Potentially helpful, yes. I’ll get to these shortly.
It is important to recognize that if you eat an otherwise healthy diet you should have little problem getting all the nutrients that you need. In fact, when it comes to the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat) as a nation we are over nourished. That said, sometimes it is nice to have some insurance and there are certainly some health conditions or circumstances that warrant vitamin and mineral supplementation.
People may claim that today’s foods do not have near the nutrients that they had years ago, but this claim is not substantiated. This claim often comes from those selling supplements of course.
In fact, foods today are shipped faster and under safer conditions and food safety guidelines are far superior compared to what they use to be.
So how do you decide? I recommend following what the Tiger Woods of nutrition does.
Who is this nutrition all-star? He is Professor Walter Willet, Chairman, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. He takes a multivitamin and vitamin D tablet daily.
In true scientist form, Willett suggests waiting for the final verdict before jumping on other supplement band wagons.
Not only will this strategy save you money (taking a multivitamin and vitamin D supplement costs only pennies a day) but save your sanity in trying to figure out which beans are truly magical.