Your body needs micronutrients. It doesn't need a lot of these essential dietary elements -- trace amounts are enough. But without these small amounts, you're in for all sorts of health problems, including added weight. Research has shown micronutrient deficiency to be scientifically linked to a higher risk of obesity and other diseases dangerous to your health.
In the latest health news, a study performed at the Department of Nutritional Research and Education in North Venice, Florida, shows that many popular diets are low in micronutrients -- in other words, they may not be helping people to shed extra pounds at all.
The U.S. researchers noted that one-third of Americans are on a diet at any given time. They've set out to determine whether current popular diet plans could protect followers from micronutrient deficiency by providing the minimum levels of 27 micronutrients, as determined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) Reference Daily Intake (RDI) guidelines.
The research team then got down to work. They evaluated suggested daily menus from four popular diet plans: the "Atkins for Life" diet; "The South Beach Diet;" the "Best Life" diet; and the "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension" (DASH) diet. The calorie and micronutrient contents of each ingredient, in each meal were determined by using food composition data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
The researchers tallied the results for sufficiency and total calories, as well as identifying deficient micronutrients in the diets. How did they fare? According to the study results, each of the four popular diet plans failed to provide the minimum RDI sufficiency for all 27 micronutrients analyzed. The analysis of the four diets revealed that a high average calorie intake would be required to achieve sufficiency in all 27 micronutrients. In fact, six micronutrients (vitamin B7, vitamin D, vitamin E, chromium, iodine and molybdenum) were identified as consistently low or nonexistent in all four diet plans.
The research team concluded that these findings are significant and indicate that an individual following a popular diet plan as suggested, with food alone, has a high likelihood of becoming micronutrient-deficient; a state shown to be scientifically linked to an increased risk for many health conditions and diseases.
If you are considering following a weight-reduction eating plan, make sure you are getting all the micronutrients you need. Follow your doctor's advice or the advice of a nutritionist and make sure your nutritional health is balanced. You'll want to avoid the sometimes serious consequences of deficiency.