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16647 supplementsMany people aren’t getting in the recommended nutrients from their daily food intake. Plus with soil depletion and the cost of organics over other produce, people are forgoing their health over pennies and switching to supplements.  Although there is no substitute for whole foods, supplements can offer an insurance policy to "supplement" your health.

Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, Director of Women's Heart Health at the Heart and Vascular Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and a cofounder of the Global Nutrition and Health Alliance (GNHA), shared her insights on the biggest mistakes people are doing with regards to taking supplements.

"Supplements aren’t a replacement for a healthy diet, but they can be important when attempting to bridge the gaps in your diet. While I encourage people to get as much of their omega-3 fats and vitamin D as possible from foods, the reality is, it is difficult to consume enough of these nutrients through food alone," Steinbaum said.

"Being educated on the supplements one might take is extremely important and in many cases overlooked. I highly recommend speaking with your health care provider to understand what is best for your diet and not what is best based on something you read."

"As a co-founder of the Global Nutrition and Health Alliance (GNHA) educating people around the world about optimal nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle is incredibly important to me. In fact, the GNHA recently commissioned a three-country survey to better understand consumers understanding of the importance of a healthy diet. In terms of Omega-3 supplementation, the survey found that 78 percent of polled American, German and British consumers recognize the importance of Omega-3s to their health, yet less than a third (32 percent) are supplementing their diet with the nutrient."

"And when it comes to vitamin D, 84 percent of consumers polled recognized the health benefits, yet more than half (55 percent) aren’t sure if they consume enough vitamin D in their diet. The prevalence of chronic diseases in these countries suggests respondents may be overestimating how healthy their diets are and should consider supplementation."

Before beginning a supplement regiment I urge readers to speak with their doctor about any individual health needs and possible interactions between supplements and any medicines.

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