In recent years a few studies have suggested that if we eat a well-balanced diet we many not need to take a multi-vitamin. While this sounds like a great way to stay healthy, it is really possible? With busy lives, crazy schedules and the constant need to be on the go, our diets are increasingly missing some of the key nutrients that we need to perform at our very best. Here we will look into the important question – can we get all the nutrients we need from the foods we eat?
What Do We Need on a Daily Basis?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets forth criteria every few years on what our diets should include each day. Their guidelines include two sets of reference values for reporting nutrients in nutrition labeling: Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs). These values help us understand the amount of each nutrient in what we eat so we can compare nutritional values of different foods.
Daily Reference Values are the recommended daily intake of energy-containing macronutrients, including carbohydrates, cholesterol, fat, fiber, saturated fatty acids, potassium, protein, and sodium.
Reference Daily Intakes is the recommended daily intake level of each nutrient that is considered to be sufficient to meet the requirements of 97–98% of healthy individuals in each demographic.
According to the FDA’s most recent list there are 33 micro- and macronutrients that are key in keeping us at peak health.
What Do We Need, But Not Every Day?
Our bodies have a unique ability to store some of what we need to be used later. With the exception of essential amino acids (which cannot be stored in the body), we can store things like fat or calories for a short period of time and use them as we need them. The problem with this, is many times we consume way too much fat, calories, sugar and other things we should limit. Then, instead of using them later, they get stored as fat cells in our body. The best way to eat is to pay attention to these important guidelines and focus on getting them every day.
Can We Get Both From Our Diet?
In order to get the proper DRV and RDI of each of the 33 vitamins, minerals, protein and calories we would need to work very hard to stay on top of each. Most of us are well aware that we need the big vitamins like A, C, D and E. But do you know that you also need 10 milligrams of Pantothenic acid, 1,000 milligrams of Phosphorus and 15 milligrams of Zinc