Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: Food First: Supplements Should be Secondary

Sponsored: Food First: Supplements Should be Secondary

In most cases it is better for us to get our vitamins and minerals and other nutrients from food first instead of relying on supplements.


  • It is usually less expensive to eat food rather than to purchase hundreds of dollars in vitamin and mineral supplements.

  • Nutrients, and especially vitamins and minerals, may be better absorbed from food than from supplements.

  • Foods are less likely to interact with prescription medications than single vitamins and minerals.

  • We are less likely end up in a situation of toxicity (getting an unnecessary and perhaps dangerous amount) when we eat food and more likely if we take supplements.

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While popping a pill to get vitamin C or magnesium may be easy and there may be some cases when your family doctor recommends specific supplements; there are other benefits in eating food like other vitamins, minerals, and fiber in those food. Eating food also provides taste sensations and enjoyment. You could take a vitamin C supplement but eating an orange or some berries is probably more enjoyable. Magnesium can easily be found in nuts, seeds, beans and avocado – you don’t have to take a pill to get it!

Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian


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