The dietary supplement industry is booming. People are striving for a healthier lifestyle, but our vitamins and minerals supplements really needed? The Food and Nutrition Board recommends that those who choose to take these supplements follow the FDA guidelines. There is no scientific proof that these supplements truly help. One of the major supplements we see advertised are products such as Slim Fast and Ensure. Testimonials are used with such products to make people believe they actually work. Do they? Are they healthy? These are two questions that will be answered
In order to reduce obesity, most invest in diet and exercise programs. Recently, liquid diets have been positively modified, thus rising in popularity since their fall out during the late 1970’s. Out of the twenty million dieters, about one billion dollars will be spent this year on either medically sponsored liquid diets or over-the-counter liquid diet products. Even though many companies claim their diet produces safe and effective weight loss, many medical researches express their concern for various health risk consequences.
People whom don’t have time to sit down and have a meal, choose to take these “nutrition in a can” meals to fulfill their daily vitamin and caloric intake. These shakes now come in many flavors, and claim if you don’t have the time to eat, just drink one of these shakes. It’s not so simple. Doctors do not recommend such meals to healthy people who can eat a balanced diet. These milk shake drinks are only recommended to those people who are bedridden, and can’t swallow regular foods.
The nutritional value of these supplements aren’t what they are cracked up to be. An eight-ounce can racks up as many as 250 calories and nine grams of fat, which is what one would find in a regular milkshake. A Slim Fast shake contains the following:Non-fat dry milk. sucrose. whey powder, fructose, dextrose, dutch processed cocoa (In chocolate product), protein isolate, calcium caseinat powdered cellulose, guar gum, corn bran, soy lecithin. carrageenan, soy fiber, natural and artificial flavors.True they provide twelve essential vitamins and seven minerals, but one could get the same effect by popping a multivitamin.
Following the RDA guidelines and exercising is a much better choice.
“If all American were to achieve a normal body weight, it has been estimated that there would be a 3 year increase in life expectancy, 25% less coronary heart disease, and 35% less congestive heart failure and stroke.”(Hemphill) Liquid diets are not for everyone; they may be successful for some and not
for others. Any kind of dieting requires a highly motivated and disciplined
person. The problem with liquid diets is not losing the weight but keeping it off. It has been predicted that for every 100 people who lose weight, 95 will gain it back.
These types of diets can also be extremely harmful. Many weight loss experts claim that liquid diets causing rapid weight loss tend to over use lean muscle and slow the metabolism, thus making it even more difficult for weight loss to be maintained. Eventually, liquid diets can lead to the development of muscle cramps, anemia, dizziness, and menstrual abnormality. For obese patients, liquid diets can definitely cause a large amount of weight loss as well as an improvement in health. However, if there is no medical supervision, liquid diet programs can get misused and lead to health risks. Many mild obese patients without medical attention tend to test out various diets trying to find one more successful. However, the more one diets, the slower one’s metabolism becomes; therefore, one must eat less in order to maintain one’s weight. Since the safety and effectiveness of different products claim various results, it is important for all dieters to seek medical help before starting a liquid diet.
Unknown Author (1999). 5 Nutrition Topics that Are Not All They’re Cracked Up to Be. Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, 3-4