Nutrients can be divided into 2 groups: MACRONUTRIENTS & MICRONUTRIENTS
The macronutrients are carbohydrate, protein, and fat. These provide energy in the form of calories. Unless someone is vegan or following a rigid diet, it is pretty difficult to be deficient in macronutrients.
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. These do not provide energy in the form of calories. They have many functions, including helping to convert macronutrients into energy. Minerals and some vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they require water to be digested and absorbed. These are not easily stored in our body, so require constant replenishment. Other vitamins (A, D, E and K) are fat-soluble meaning they require fat to be digested and absorbed and they can be stored in our body fat.
It is not uncommon for an individual to become deficient in one more micronutrients. The tricky thing is, we rarely feel the effects of a vitamin or mineral deficiency, and if we do it’s when it’s gotten extreme (for example, deficient calcium and vitamin D resulting in osteoporosis). And the majority of micronutrients don’t have a lab test that can be done to determine one’s status. The best way to assess where you stand with micronutrient adequacy is by looking at what you eat. The quiz below will help you determine if you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need from food or if it would be a good idea to supplement. If you determine that a supplement would be a good idea, be sure to look at the warnings and tips for safely choosing a supplement.
Answer these questions to find out what suppliment (if any) you should add to your diet!
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