Food alone may not provide sufficient micronutrients for preventing deficiency.
This study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition analyzed 70 athlete diets. Every single diet was deficient in at least three nutrients. Some diets were missing up to fifteen nutrients! Another study they performed showed that people following one of four popular diet plans (including Atkins, South Beach, and the DASH diet) were also very likely to be micronutrient deficient, particularly in six key micronutrients:
- Vitamin B7
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
The United States Department of Agriculture says the majority of Americans are deficient in many of the same nutrients and are not meeting the required daily amount of things like vitamin E, folate, calcium and magnesium.
PERCENTAGE OF U.S. POPULATION NOT MEETING THE RDA
Source: United States Department of Agriculture (2009)
Vitamin B12 30%
Vitamin B6 35%
Vitamin C 48%
Vitamin A 55%
Vitamin E 86%
So how do you know if you’re deficient? First of all, if you’re not eating A LOT of fruits and vegetables, especially greens, then you are probably deficient in many of these areas. There are also many different symptoms that could tell you are deficient in some critical nutrient