The Hidden Dangers Of Fast Food
Many Americans associate nutrient deficiencies with people who have dietary restrictions. But recent reports have found that the average American lacks some vital nutrients. For many people, food choices are focused on weight loss and not on nutrition. People who eat a diet full of fast food may look healthy but lack some essential vitamins and minerals. Here are 3 of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the average American.
1. Vitamin C
Remember the stories about sailors getting scurvy? This disease is not necessarily just in the past. People who don’t eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables often have inadequate levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial for immune health, and a deficiency can lead to easy bruising and bleeding gums. To incorporate more of this vitamin into a daily diet, opt for citrus fruits, pineapple, strawberries, broccoli, and bell peppers.
A deficiency in iron is one of the most common nutritional concerns, affecting about 25% of people in the world. In particular, about 30% of women have a risk for low iron due to monthly blood loss during menstruation. Iron is notably found in red meat; however, vitamin C enhances iron absorption, so being deficient in vitamin C will also affect iron levels. Red meat can also be high in fat and, when in fast food, high in sodium. Opt for additional iron sources, such as shellfish, pumpkin seeds, beans, and dark, leafy green vegetables.
3. Vitamin D
This vitamin is crucial for bone health, as well as mood regulation and boosted immunity. About 42% of Americans have a high risk of vitamin D deficiency. In older adults and people with darker skin, this risk rises even higher. Vitamin D can be found in cod liver oil, egg yolks, and fatty fish. However, because adequate food sources of vitamin D are so rare, many people can benefit from a daily vitamin D supplement. Because taking too much of this vitamin can be harmful to health, be sure to check with a healthcare provider before starting a supplement.
More common deficiencies
Many Americans also have nutrient deficiencies in calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and magnesium. For best results, aim to eat a nutritionally balanced diet full of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. For specific concerns, speak with a pharmacist or healthcare provider to learn more about supplement options.