We continue on for this last bit of January having a look at what we learned in 2008, what the latest studies in the areas of health and fitness told us and how we can apply it to our exercise and nutrition, even if we don’t have a personal trainer!
Today we look at a study from 2008 on vitamin pills. These have come under sustained fire in recent years and in April a review of 67 randomised control trials (these are seen as the gold standard of clinical trials) suggested that some vitamins could be worse than useless: they could actually shorten your life. Persistently taking doses of beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E were those found to “significantly increase mortality” the study said.
These findings are thankfully totally in line with our nutritional approach at Diets Don’t Work personal training. We like to advise clients looking for sustained weight loss to stick to the wholefood diet as much as they can; keeping eating as natural as possible and avoiding processed man made foods by following this all round approach to eating provides a balanced and varied intake of all the food groups, vitamins and minerals that we need. Although the vitamin companies would have us believe that we are habitually short of vital things that we need in reality we only require a small amount of vitamins to stay healthy, and provided we’re eating a reasonably well balanced diet we will be getting plenty from the food we are eating. As well as providing us with all the vitamins that we need this varied and natural eating will also give us all the other things we need AS WELL! So instead of taking a vitamin C pill for example, which gives us vitamin C and nothing else, it’s miles better to have some fruit which gives you the same amount of vitamins but also some fibre, micro-nutrients, and other good things that the pill is lacking. This applies for ALL vitamins and supplements, with perhaps the one exception of glucosamine, which we would not normally eat much of (it’s from the shells of shell fish-ugh!) but which myself and other personal trainers and personal trainer clients really believe helps improve joint strength. The only other exception to the rule would be someone who has a deficit of one thing or another due to health problems or things they cannot eat. My personal trainer friend in Leeds does not agree with dairy, and seldom eats it, so for him a calcium supplement might be a good idea, but this type of nutritional case is usually the exception rather that the rule. So instead of reaching for the multi vitamins at Tesco try to make sure that your shopping basket is full of natural unprocessed items with foods of a wide variety and colour. Remember also to have lots of green leafy vegetables, you will live a long, healthy and happy life!