Are vitamin supplements necessary? Considerations plus options for tracking in MyNetDiary

  • 2 Minutes Read
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

You eat whole foods and track your macros but wonder if vitamins and other supplements are necessary for optimal health. Here’s an easy way to keep track of your supplements and several situations where you may need to include a supplement.

Are supplements necessary

Vitamin supplements are necessary for certain situations

Pregnancy and folic acid

It is important to take folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy. This is because folic acid can help to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

Supplements are needed as it is challenging to get enough folate in your diet naturally. Experts recommend 400mcg of folic acid daily in addition to eating foods rich in folate, such as leafy greens, beets, and legumes.

Women and iron

Did you know that iron is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide? This mineral is essential for transporting oxygen in the body. While it can affect many different groups, women are especially at risk of not getting enough iron.

During childbearing years (the RDA is 18mg/day), women lose iron each month during their period.

Diabetes and vitamin B12

Metformin (or Glucophage) is a common medication to lower blood sugar in individuals with diabetes or prediabetes. Yet, long-term use of this medication is associated with a higher risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. The recommended daily allowance for adults is 2.4mcg/day. Talk with your doctor about testing for B12 deficiency and whether you may need a supplement.

Vitamin D

This fat-soluble vitamin is vital for healthy bones, proper immune function, and glucose metabolism. However, receiving an adequate amount of vitamin D from food alone can be challenging. Adults need 15mcg/day.

Note: These are general vitamin and mineral targets. MyNetDiary offers the flexibility to plan and modify vitamin and mineral targets according to your unique needs. This article walks you through the steps.

Dietary supplements are not regulated in the same way as prescription drugs. Talk with your doctor first to determine which, if any, supplements are necessary.

Track supplements in MyNetDiary- You’ve got options!

Option 1: Track supplements as food

Log your vitamins, minerals, and other supplements as regular foods to be included in your daily totals. As with any food, you must find your supplement brand in the database. Remember to add to your “Favorite list” by tapping the star in the upper right-hand corner for easy recall.

You can enter the supplement using the PhotoFoods feature if it is not currently in the database. This brief video walks you through the steps to add a new supplement.

Option 2: Create a “My Meal” for your supplements

If you typically take several supplements at the same time every day, consider this time-saving option. Once you choose a meal to log, like lunch, tap “+”, then tap on “Meals” > "Create New My Meal." Next, use the barcode scanner or search the database to locate your supplements.

Option 3: Create a custom tracker

Track your supplements, sleep, hunger, and more by creating individual custom trackers accessible from your dashboard. This brief video walks you through the steps to create a custom tracker.

Option 4: Notes feature

Utilize this feature on your dashboard as an easy and informal way to track your supplements. Just look for the paperclip icon. After documenting your supplements as a note, you’ll see a checkmark on your dashboard (see below).

While supplements are never a substitute for a healthy and balanced diet, there may be situations when supplements are necessary. Easily track your food, activity, supplements, and more in MyNetDiary. Cheers to meeting your health goals!

Related Content

Can you take too many supplements? Why you might need to ditch the multivitamin

Essential nutrients for vegans: Meeting your needs on a plant-based diet

Still new to MyNetDiary? Learn more today by downloading the app for FREE.

May 1, 2023
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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