Food Fortification: How Much Is Too Much?

by in Food News, Nutrients to Know, October 11, 2011
cereal and milk
Cereal

Most health conscious folks are looking for foods full of vitamins and minerals, but some products tout good stuff that doesn’t exist there naturally. Is pumping foods with extra nutrients just as good? We’ll give you the facts.

What is Fortification?
Fortifying or “enriching” foods is the process of adding supplemental vitamins and/or minerals. Since the amount added can vary, read labels carefully. To see if a food has been fortified check the ingredient list, any nutrients listed as ingredients were added in.

What Foods Are Fortified?
In recent years, large-scale public health initiatives have called for the fortification of certain foods to help when a population is at risk for a specific nutrient deficiency. Folic acid is added to grains and cereals to prevent a particular kind of birth defect, while iodine is added to table salt to prevent iodine deficiency.

Foods are also fortified to help those with allergies meet their nutritional needs. Products like calcium-fortified orange juice and soymilk are great ways for those with lactose intolerance to take in more calcium and vitamin D.

Foods are sometimes fortified to appear healthier than they really are. Healthy imposters like packets of Splenda with added fiber, antioxidants and B-vitamins, or Subway breads with boosts of calcium and vitamin D are sprouting up everywhere. Labels on “Who Nu” cookies boast that their products have “as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal, as much vitamin C as a cup of blueberries”, and “as much vitamin A as an  8-ounce glass of tomato juice.” But does that make these sugary treats “healthy? If you look at the ingredients you’ll also find a long list of preservatives including added sweeteners and trans fats.

Be on the Lookout
Fortified foods can be put to good use in a healthy diet but should never be a replacement for the real thing. It seems a little excessive to be looking for nutrients in packets of artificial sweeteners and crushed up multi-vitamins in cookies and sandwich-shop breads. While it may be true that some folks need more vitamins and minerals, eating a diet loaded with fortified foods can lead to dangerous side effects since many vitamins and minerals can be toxic in large doses.

Bottom Line: Some fortified foods serve an important purpose; others are more for clever marketing than better health. Seek out genuine sources most of the time to give your body what it needs.

Tell Us: Do you buy fortified foods?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

You Might Also Like:

More posts from .

Similar Posts

In Search of the Healthiest Dish on the Menu? Help Is on the Way.

You’re feeling hungry and hankering for some comfort food, so you slip into your local diner and scan the menu, looking for healthy options. You...

Comments (1,324)

  1. cash for gold in richmond ca…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a search, whoa did one particular study about Mid East has got additional problerms also [...]…

  2. “sba small business loans…

    Hey what kind of antispam plugin do you use for your blog””‘”…

  3. beast 123 says:

    [...]the time to {read|study} or {visit|go to|pay a visit to|check out|take a look at|stop by} the {content|content material|material|subject material} or {sites|websites|web sites|internet sites|web-sites|web pages} {we have|we’ve} linked to {below…

    [...]here are some hyperlinks to sites that we link to mainly because we think they may be worth visiting[...]…

  4. home insurance in FL…

    [...]just beneath, are many absolutely not associated sites to ours, however, they’re certainly really worth going over[...]…

  5. Corporate Gifts…

    [...]we came across a cool website that you may well appreciate. Take a appear in the event you want[...]…

  6. best site says:

    Souls in the Waves…

    Fantastic Early morning, I just stopped in to go to your internet site and imagined I’d say I loved myself….

  7. The Slave of the Husband…

    Trying to get in advance to learning extra from you afterward!……

  8. “customs house bar…

    I’ll create a hyperlink to the web page about my personal weblog”…

  9. czysta woda says:

    Souls in the Waves…

    Superior Early morning, I just stopped in to visit your site and thought I’d say I enjoyed myself….

  10. Good Web-based website…

    Some potent discover, We simply along with all this to produce the friend who’ve recently been performing some evaluation applying this particular. As the right way since they actually purchased most of us breakfast time because related to I regarded …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>