Why Supplements Cannot Replace Food

In the UK, food supplements are heavily regulated and for good reason. No supplement brand is allowed to state that food supplements can replace food, and it is misinformation like this that can harm the general public.
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UK Farming Issues

Given most of the farming in the UK is carried out under the conventional farming system, the nutrients in our food are much lower than when compared to the food grown in the organic farming system. What this means is that even when we eat a healthy diet on a regular basis, we do not actually know how many nutrients we have consumed.

Food Supplements Are Not Intended to Replace a Healthy Diet, They’re Supplementary

Although the food we eat is pretty easy to eat, the structure of food, however, is actually very complex, especially healthy food that we need to be eating regularly to avoid any nutritional deficiencies.

Healthy food such as whole foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, proteins and fats can never be replicated in their entirety when making a supplement and will never be able to contain all the nutrition that eating real food does.

Not when whole foods also contain essential fibre and also protective substances such as antioxidants and other important co-factors. No supplement in the world can offer the identical benefits that real healthy whole food can and does. Especially because all supplements, even the most natural, have to be processed and manufactured in a laboratory.

Who May Need To Take Supplements?

Supplements are literally only meant to be supplementary to a person’s healthy diet and lifestyle. So for many healthy adults who eat and live in this way then supplements may not be necessary or essential. However, if you fit into any of the following categories then you may need to take food supplements but always speak to your doctor first:

  •     Are trying to get pregnant
  •     Are pregnant
  •     Are aged 50 +
  •     If you do not eat a healthy diet regularly
  •     If you exclude entire food groups
  •     If you have a chronic health condition
  •     If you have had surgery that affects how well your body digests and absorbs nutrients

Many People Not Meeting UK Dietary Requirements

In the UK, government dietary surveys show that many people are not meeting their diet and nutrition recommendations. If you are concerned about your diet or have any symptoms you think might be related to a nutrient deficiency then it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor and a nutritional therapist or dietician alongside for best results.

Sources:

Who needs supplements?
Does taking a supplement replace the need for a varied and balanced diet?
Organic farming more nutrient-dense than conventional farming
UK Government Diet and Nutrition Requirements Surveys

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