If you look around, you will notice that many food manufacturers are promoting new, healthier, vitamin fortified versions of their products. This is leading many people to wonder if these foods are a viable substitute for other healthy eating practices. Are vitamin fortified foods really safe? Read on to learn more:
What are vitamin fortified foods? Simply put, vitamin fortified foods are foods that are beefed up with vitamin supplements, even if those vitamins don’t naturally occur in the food’s ingredients. Chances are, you eat vitamin fortified foods all of the time without even being aware of it. The most commonly cited vitamin fortified food is breakfast cereal. How many times have you heard that a bowl of your favorite brand of cereal is “part of a complete breakfast” because it is fortified with a number of (or a percentage of the recommended daily allowance) of vitamins and minerals? Probably more times than you can even recall. Lately, manufacturers are taking the practice to a whole new level, fortifying even sodas, cookies, and candies with vitamins.
Are vitamin fortified foods healthy? While vitamin fortification may sound like a healthy option, the most important thing to look at is which vitamin fortified foods you are eating. Junk food that is fortified with vitamins is still junk food–meaning, there is no way that added vitamins can counteract a high sugar or cholesterol content. Therefore, the next time you are sizing up a box of fortified breakfast cereal, determine if it’s really worthy of being a part of your complete breakfast by checking its sugar content. As we all know, a healthy diet is one that consists of the fewest processed foods possible, vitamin fortified or not, and an unhealthy diet is certainly not a safe one.
Choosing the right fortified foods. So now you know that vitamin fortification does not equate to healthiness. But does that mean that all fortified foods are bad? Certainly not. There are some healthy food products that are actually fortified in a way that makes them even more beneficial to our health. For example, yogurts fortified with active cultures are great natural probiotics. Choosing the right fortified foods means assessing the food first, and the fortification second.
As you can see, vitamin fortified foods might not be all they are cracked up to be. You can never assume that a vitamin fortified food is safe for your health; rather, you must be vigilant about reading food labels and making choices that make sense. When it comes to getting all of the vitamins you need, there simply is no substitute for a well-rounded diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
This article was published on behalf of Kelly Wang is a nutritionist who is always encouraging her clients to make the healthiest choices. She recommends eating the cleanest foods possibly and supplementing with the best multivitamin you can find.