Multivitamins vs. Fortified Foods
Q. I'm a pretty healthy eater and usually take a multivitamin. Should I be stocking up on fortified foods too?
A. Probably not. "If you're struggling to get enough of a specific nutrient in your diet or your supplement doesn't provide a full day's supply, it's fine to use a couple of fortified foods to help you reach your goal," says Karen Ansel, R.D., a nutritionist in Laurel Hollow, New York. "But if you're popping a multi and eating several nutrient-added products-like energy bars, enhanced waters, and fortified snacks-you could easily blow past the healthy upper limit for some vitamins and minerals." That's because the range between what's recommended and what's safe can be fairly narrow. To avoid overdoing it, "be choosy about the groceries you buy," says Ansel. "Unless a fortified food can help bridge a specific nutritional gap, skip it and go for one without unnecessary extras."