Eating fortified foods can lead to an excess of calcium,iron,and more,if you’re taking a daily multivitamin or other supplement.
Browse the cereal,bread,and snack-bar aisles and it may be difficult to find products that don’t contain added calcium,folic acid,and iron in fact,some packaged products are loaded with more than a days worth of those nutrients.But consuming a lot of food fortified with vitamins and minerals along with taking dietary supplements could put you well over the recommended limits.
Most American adults already get enough calcium,folic acid.and iron without eating fortified food or taking dietary supplements.
“For healthy people eating varied diets adequate in calories,there is little or no evidence that fortification improves health,”says Marion Nestle,Ph,D.,M.P.H,a professor of nutrients:
Adults generally need 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium per day,which is plentiful in dairy and also found in beans,greens,fruits,and nuts.But don’t routinely exceed 2,000 to 2,500,particularly of added or supplement calcium,which research suggests our bodies handle differently from the calcium in food. To much added calcium can increase that risk if kidney stones.(By contrast food that’s naturally rich in calcium seems to lower that risk) Calcium dietary supplements can also interact dangerously with some heart and thyroid drugs.
Consider this: A 3/4 cup serving of Total Whole Grain cereal. for example,has 1,000 mg of calcium,and a Special K French Vanilla Protein Shake has 350 mg.Add two Nature’s Way Alive Calcium Gummies (1,000mg) and you’ve doubled the daily requirement.
Cereal is quick and can provide many essential nutrients all at once.Here’s how to pick a winning bowl.
Go with whole grain.Look for a “100 percent whole grain” claim on the box,or read the ingredients list to be sure all grains are whole.
Say no to sugars. Some cereals have more than 3 teaspoons of sugar,or 12 grams,per serving.”if you’re going to buy a sweetened cereal.chose one with no more than 8 grams of sugars per serving.” says Maxine Siegel,R.D., who heads CR’s food-testing lab.
Pump up the protein Having protein in the morning may help keep blood sugar steady and aid weight control.Cereals usually have 3 to 6 or more grams per serving.Pour on some milk- cow or say- and odd 3 to 4 grams per 1/2 cup.
Watch your partions. It’s easy to go overboard.Check the serving size on the box and measure what you’re puring in your bowl.
Folic Acid and Folate
The institute of Medicine (IOM) recommend that most adults consume 400 micrograms folate per day,a vitamin you’ll find in dark leafy greens.fruits,beans,and eggs.But don’t get more than 1,000 mcg of folic acid,a synthetic form of folate used in dietary supplements and fortified foods.
Too much can mask vitamin B12 deficiency,most likely among people 50 and older,and in vegetarians.
“Untreated,that can lead to nerve damage,cognitive trouble,and even psychiatric,cognitive trouble,and even psychiatric problems.” says Consumer Reports’ medical director, Orly Avitzur, M.D.
Research suggests that daily folic acid supplements of 300 to 800 mcg can hide the symptoms of B12 deficiency.In a study of more than 2,500 older adults,consumption of more than 400 mcg per day was linked to cognitive decline.Many manufactirers add folic acid such products as enriched bread,cereal,flour,pasta,and rice.
If you snack an a Lina bar and take a One A Day Men’s 50 Plus Healthy Advantage supplement,you ‘ve consumed double the amount your body requires and hit the government’s safe upper limit.\
In general, 8 to 18mg of iron per day is sufficient unless you have a condition such as iron-deficiency anemia.The IOM says healthy people shouldn’t exceed 45mg.More than that can increase the likelihood of type 2 diabetes and heart problems for those with hemochromatosis, a surprisingly common genetic condition that causes the body to deposit exccees iron in vital organs.
Most adults can get sufficient amounts of iron by eating foods that naturally contain it,including red meat,beans,brocolli,and eggs.
Cereal,pasta,and bread are often fortified with iron,so you might get more than you need without even realizing it.
One serving of Total Raisin Bran provides 18 mg : one GNC Ultra iron supplement contains 65 mg