Supplements... Are they worth it?

To Supplement or Not….

By Sara Colman Carlson, RDN, CDE

Food is nourishment…our main source of protein, energy, vitamins and minerals. Foods also have many other nourishing benefits. Especially plant-based foods that share their immune systems with us in the form or antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. And don’t forget fiber that helps keep the gut healthy and moving. But there are questions about food providing all the nutrients we need each day. And we know certain subgroups of the population do need additional nutrients in supplement form. Examples include those with poor intake related to illness, those on restricted diets such as vegans, and young children who may be quite picky.

A recent headline from Tufts University Freidman School of Nutrition Science and Policy reads “Nutrients from food, not supplements, linked to lower risks of death, cancer”. The study found no association between using dietary supplements and lower risk of death. The study also points out a recognized risk between excess nutrient intake from supplements and increased risk of certain cancers. For example, calcium supplementation greater than 1,000 mg/day is linked to an increase in cancer deaths.

The aim of this study was to look at the association between dietary supplement use and death from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Data from over 27,000 US adults 20 years and older was used for the evaluation. They assessed intake from food versus supplements plus adequate or excess nutrient intake and association with death.

Some of the study findings around food vs. supplements:

• Lower risk of death associated with adequate vitamin K and magnesium was limited to foods, not from supplements

• Lower risk of CVD death was linked to adequate vitamin A, K and zinc limited to nutrients from foods, not supplements

• Calcium of at least 1,000 mg from supplements was associated with increased risk of death from cancer. Calcium intake from food did not show this association.

One conclusion of the study is that nutrients from food provides benefits that are not gained from

supplements. Also to note that more of a nutrient via supplements may not necessarily be better.

This is only one study on food and supplements. But it gets us thinking about the benefits of eating nutritious foods each day. Little things can make a difference like a cup of berries or an apple for a snack instead of a processed bar or chips; a salad with a few nuts, beans and tomatoes; or an egg white

omelet with a mix of veggies. Planning nutritious foods into your eating plan then looking at an assessment of your intake is extremely helpful. Then you can see if there are gaps and if a supplement is truly needed.

Many people take nutrient supplements as “insurance” because it’s easier than worrying about the healthiness of foods eaten. Before continuing you may ask yourself if you truly need each nutrient you are supplementing. Plus are there any excesses than may be doing more harm than good.

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Nation News Spring 2019


Bring a Friend Week is almost here! Next week bring your buddies! They don’t have to be here when you are here. They can come in anytime, any class. Register on our homepage.

Uh oh…. Vicky’s got her eyes closed again!!!

Uh oh…. Vicky’s got her eyes closed again!!!

Congratulations on all of the PRs that we’ve been seeing! The Level Method seems to be working! We will revisit the testing cycle again in May. Mostly, it will look like you’re doing a regular workout, but you’ll have the opportunity to Level Up!

So far, we have the following members with their overall levels:

Vicky, Rhonda, Trish , Carolyn, Brian, Tyler, and Tonya. If you’ve got all of the testing done, and your name isn’t here, get into the app and LOG IT!!

The TV slides now have (in the upper right hand corner) what level you should use to decide on your color for that workout. Trust the method and stick with the recommendation: your overall fitness will improve the fastest this way! In addition, the coaches will be able to tell you how many rounds or what time you should expect to aim for. The Level Method Gym is 2 weeks ahead of everyone and they let us know what to shoot for.

This group is for members AND non-members. You’ll be able to share our events directly. Add friends who you think would be interested in free recipes, tips from our dietitian, and gym events! We will still have our private group, where the workouts will be posted. The button above will take you to the NEW group.


That is… Eastern Shore Affiliate Challenge #18. CrossFit Affiliates will battle it out again but not with light sabres. Wall balls, double unders, snatches, and everything barbell will be the tools of destruction. The competition happens May the Fourth at CrossFit Salisbury. We’ve got a few teams going down to represent Nation, so show your support and cheer us on!

And speaking of competitions, the image below is Carolyn Helmly.. If you don’t know her (she’s part of the 5:30 am Breakfast Club) , know this: she placed 128th out of over 3500 women who actively competed in the CrossFit Open in the 55-59 age group. This score earns her a place in the online Qualifier, which is the next step to the CrossFit Games. Only the fittest of the fit and the most dedicated get to be where Carolyn is. CONGRATULATIONS!!! We will be following her journey through the next phase, which begins in May. Maybe we can get some workout buddies to do the Qualifiers with her!



Nutrition Easton

May Kickstart is coming! 50+ Recipes, custom portion sizes, and a quick 10 pounds gone! Registration will begin May 1. If you are ready to get serious about your performance, then you need to be serious about your nutrition. This program does the trick. No dieting, no restrictions. Just eating the right amounts at the right times.

Whisky (Coach Katie’s dog) suffers from severe hip dysplasia.

Whisky (Coach Katie’s dog) suffers from severe hip dysplasia.

We are hosting Whisky’s Warriors 5k September 21. Register here:

The purpose of the Whiskey's Warriors 5k is to help pet owners who cannot afford, or fall short of the funds necessary to help pay for their pets' surgerie, or to pay for the surgery of rescue pets who would have otherwise not been adopted, due to health issues. 

The proceeds from this event will go to the Talbot Humane Society to help cover the cost for pets, and their owners, who find themselves in this situation. 

That’s all for now, folks! Questions, Comments, Concerns? Send me a text, catch me in person, or call (we can still do that) 410-324-6945