HOW IS IT that Americans today consume an
average of 610 calories per day more than they
did 20 years ago—yet are still
falling short in getting enough of the most
critical nutrients needed for a long and healthy life?
Blame it on
our superbusy, fast food-packed lifestyles that drive
us to make compromises of convenience, which are
taking a toll on our nutritional status.
- More than
80% of Americans have inadequate vitamin D blood
levels, and for those over 50, almost 100%
do not get the recommended amount of vitamin D from
their diet. Vitamin D is needed for calcium
absorption, and a results in osteomalacia (a
softening of bones in adults).
- About half
of adults don't get enough vitamin C, which
plays a role in immune function. One of the first
signs of poor vitamin C status is low energy.
- 86% of men
and 93% of women don't get enough vitamin E.
This vitamin also is key to supporting a healthy
- 90% of
teenage girls, more than 67% of women ages 19–50,
and more than 90% of women over 50 fall
short in reaching the recommended dietary intake for
calcium from diet alone. Calcium is a mineral
essential for strong and healthy bones.
deficiency is believed to affect up to 16% of
premenopausal women in the U.S., primarily
because suboptimal iron consumption and menstruation
lead to negative iron balance.
of adults don't get enough magnesium, an
essential mineral needed for more than 300
biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium helps
maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps
normal heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy
immune system, and keeps bones strong.
adults consume only about 15 grams of dietary fiber
daily, while dietary guidelines recommend
25 to 35 grams per day. Fiber is important for
healthy digestive function and for reducing the risk
of heart disease.
There's no question that NOW is the time to set a
goal of eating more healthfully.
Start by consuming healthier fast foods:
fresh fruits and vegetables for some extra vitamin C,
a handful of nuts for the vitamin E and magnesium you
may be missing, an extra glass of low-fat or nonfat
milk to get more calcium and vitamin D, and replace
that white bread with a slice of whole grain toast to
help boost your fiber intake.
While you're working toward that goal, take a
comprehensive multivitamin/multimineral supplement
every day to help fill your nutrient gaps!