Are Added Health Benefit Foods Worth It?

Are Health Benefit Foods Really Worth It?

These are foods that have been fortified to produce an added benefit to our health. While there are many foods out there that claim to have health advantages, the ones below have been shown through various studies that they are worthwhile including into your diet.

Plant Sterols

These are found naturally in plant foods (like nuts, seeds, legumes and grains) and can help to reduce blood cholesterol. Concentrated amounts are added to certain margarine and milk products. To obtain the intended benefits, you will require around 3-4 serves of these products a day.

Vitamin D

This vitamin assists calcium to be absorbed into the bones, so is very important. Upon exposure to the sun, your skin produces vitamin D. In Australia we are all very sunsafe, and this can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is also found in fatty fish (salmon, sardines), eggs, milk, cheese and butter. The main food fortified with vitamin D is milk – check the label to be sure.

Omega-3 Fats

These are beneficial for heart health and help to reduce inflammation. Found abundantly in seafood and fish, many of us don’t eat enough omega-3 so eating omega-3 fortified food may be beneficial.

Iodine

Our thyroid uses iodine to make thyroid hormones. An iodine deficiency can lead to hypothryoidism, which slows the metabolism resulting in symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue and feeling cold. Iodine is found naturally in seafood, however due to surveys by FSANZ showing that many Australian’s were in fact iodine deficient, it is now mandatory for bread manufacturer’s to used iodised salt in their bread. So if you are eating bread, you are most likely getting a good serve here. Check the label – it will say “iodised salt” in the ingredients list if it has been fortified.

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