“What a great message,” I thought when this image popped up in my Facebook news feed last week. It was posted by Fruits & Veggies More Matters, which is a program developed by Produce For A Better Health Foundation to help Americans increase their fruit and vegetable intake. This picture helps relay a message that I believe in and discuss on a daily basis.
Yes, please practice eating real whole food! Supplements are not the answer to poor eating habits nor can they provide all the same benefits that whole foods can. They may be a temporary Band-Aid if, in fact, any research even exists supporting their health claims.
Dietary supplements are not regulated like food and drugs; therefore, they do not need approval from the FDA before they are sold to the public. Supplement manufacturers are supposed to abide by certain rules and follow the Current Good Manufacturing Practices, but some may not be doing this. At this point, without a supplement police checking the labels, ingredients, and health claims of these products the belief that “even if supplements don’t work they won’t hurt me” is not a strong enough argument to take them.
Supplements are not the only pills Americans are popping. Drugs for high cholesterol, blood sugar, weight, and blood pressure are being prescribed and taken more and more everyday. Food is a preventative health method, where as, some pills are just the aftermath of poor health habits. No one has ever overdosed on vegetables! So, starting popping those carrots and stop using pills as a cover-up for unhealthy eating patterns.