Monday 6 August 2018

When it comes to healthy foods you may think if some are good, more must be better, but Consumer Reports says it's possible to get too much of a good thing.

Trying to follow a healthy diet? That's great, but Consumer Reports nutrition experts say you can overdo some healthy foods, even fruits and vegetables.

The best bet is to eat a wide variety, sticking to just a few may mean you don't get all the nutrients you need, or you could get too much of some.

For instance, foods with beta-carotene. The orange pigment in vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes supplies vitamin A and helps fight cell damage. But eat too many, and your skin can turn an orangey colour. Cut back, and the orange will fade.

Many fruits and veggies are packed with fibre, as are beans and whole grains, but too much fibre, too soon can cause gas and bloating and too much overall may block the absorption of some nutrients.

"It's always best to get your fibre from foods that contain it naturally. Foods that are fortified with fibre may be more likely to cause stomach upset," said Jesse Hirsch, Consumer Reports Health Editor.

On to protein like meat, chicken, fish and tofu. Some diets tout high protein but that's not always best.

"In some people, too much protein can stress the kidneys and liver, and may increase the risk of osteoporosis," said Hirsch.

It's pretty easy to get the right amount of protein just by eating well-balanced meals and many say there's no need to add fortified foods like protein bars.

For most people, eating 3 servings of protein-rich foods daily, including non-meat items like yogurt and quinoa, is enough.

And if you eat a wide variety of whole foods, you most likely won't need to take any vitamins or supplements. Over-using them can also lead to potential problems, so talk to your healthcare provider before taking any kind of nutritional supplement.

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