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

A Healthy APPetite: 7 New Apps for Healthy Eating

Your smartphone can bring more to food than your next big Instagram post. These seven new apps make healthy eating easier than ever. ...

Comments (1,324)

  1. Sameer Jejurikar…

    certainly like your web site but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I will definitely come back again….

  2. crowd control barrier…

    [...]the time to read or go to the content material or web-sites we’ve linked to beneath the[...]…

  3. BMW GT1 says:

    BMW GT1…

    [...]just beneath, are many absolutely not related web sites to ours, on the other hand, they may be surely really worth going over[...]…

  4. 3d wall panels price…

  5. internet advertising…

    At this time it sounds like WordPress is the best blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?…

  6. online magic shop…

  7. The Birch of the Shadow…

    I believe there might become a handful of duplicates, but an exceedingly handy record! I have tweeted this. Several thanks for sharing!…

  8. penile papules blog…

    Thanks – Enjoyed this update, how can I make is so that I receive an email sent to me every time you make a fresh post?…

  9. womens skinny jeans…

    [...]one of our visitors lately advised the following website[...]…

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>