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Why Breakfast Should Include a Side of Dietary Supplements

Duffy MacKay, N.D.

Senior Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition

The habit of starting each day with a healthy breakfast is the best way to set intentions for eating healthily for the remainder of the day. However, because we never know how the day will unfold, taking a dietary supplement, such as a multivitamin, with breakfast can serve as a nutrition insurance policy.

Meet the multivitamin

The multivitamin is the most popular dietary supplement with over 50 percent of Americans taking one, according to the 2016 Council for Responsible Nutrition Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. Research has shown that the multivitamin provides many benefits to people of all ages, but most importantly, it helps to fill nutrients gaps in the diet.

The fact is that Americans are not getting enough of the nutrients they need from food alone. Data from the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans show that key nutrients needed for good health, including calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, D, E and C, are being consumed below the recommended levels. Fortunately, these are nutrients that are found in a multivitamin.

Putting fiber in the equation

The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans also identified fiber as a nutrient of public health concern because Americans’ intake of dietary fiber is below what is recommended for good health and not getting enough fiber is associated with health risks. Taking a fiber dietary supplement is a smart option for people falling short in this nutrient. Also, fiber can help with satiety, keeping you feeling full until your next meal.

In short, there is no such things as a perfect diet, and so taking dietary supplements with breakfast can help to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need while also establishing a healthy routine. It’s important to remember that that dietary supplements are supplements to — not substitutes for — a healthy diet. Also, we recommend that you talk to your doctor or other healthcare practitioner about your diet and whether dietary supplements can play a role in helping you achieve optimal nutrition.

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