So many North Americans make a point to pop their daily multivitamin-mineral tablet each morning to help ensure that they're in good health. For many, that tablet acts as a safety blanket, a back up for any nutrients that might have gone by the wayside or might do later that day. The trouble is, according to a new study, people who take vitamins are more likely to indulge in fast food and more unhealthy dietary and lifestyle behaviours than those who don't take them. Uh oh.
While vitamins are a good idea from time to time, perhaps even daily, to ensure that you're getting all the nutrients you need, you're probably getting much more of each nutrient than you think. If you follow a pretty healthy, varied diet filled with fruits and vegetables, your chances of getting most of what you need are pretty good. We're not all expected to meet every single DRI every day, few people can actually do this, but by the end of the week, with a pretty sound diet, it is most likely that you're doing just fine. But if you think a tablet can rescue you from the depths of a destructive diet, you're unfortunately incorrect.
According to Dr. Wen-Bin Chiou of National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan, who's work will be published in the journal Psychological Science, ‘After taking dietary supplements in the morning, individuals should diligently monitor whether illusory invulnerability is activated by restored health credentials and subsequently licenses health-risk behaviors.’ That's really a mouthful, but what it actually means is that while that tablet might make up for what you're missing in terms of vitamins and minerals, it can't undo all the harm that you inflict by following other poor dietary practices and certainly don't make you invincible to them. Eat right, and you've got a much better chance of being and remaining healthy.