Although most nutrients can be obtained in adequate amounts naturally through food, the Dietary Guidelines suggest that fortified foods or supplements may be recommended in some instances:
Persons 9 years and above – The MyPlate food group guidelines are designed to meet the nutritional needs for this age group in 1600 calories or over. Persons who consume less than 1600 calories (such as those on weight loss diets) may need to take a vitamin/mineral supplement in order to meet their nutritional needs.
Women – It is recommended that women who may become pregnant take 400 mcg of folic acid every day from fortified foods or a supplement in addition to the amount of folate found in a healthful diet. Breakfast cereals and breads are commonly fortified with folic acid.
Pregnant and lactating women – A pre-natal vitamin/mineral tablet that includes iron is often advised for pregnant and lactating women, as recommended by a health care provider.
Those over 50 years – It is advised that those over 50 years meet their vitamin B-12 requirement mainly through fortified foods or a supplement. Breakfast cereals are commonly fortified with vitamin B-12.
Vegans – Vegan diets should include foods that are fortified with vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, and possibly iron. Other nutrients that could be lower in the diet include choline and omega 3 fatty acids. Look for breakfast cereals, breads, soy products and soy milk fortified with these nutrients.
MyDietSteps will calculate an optimal calorie level for you and show you how to meet your nutrient needs.