(NAPSA) - Are you one of the 60 million Americans watching the amount and type of carbohydrates you eat? Then you are also one of millions of Americans who may not be getting enough of key nutrients from carbohydrate-rich foods. Make sure your low carbohydrate lifestyle doesn't turn into a low nutrient lifestyle. Here are three things to remember to help keep your nutrition in balance:
Know what you are missing:
Studies have shown, even without limiting carbohydrates, 70 to 80 percent of Americans don't get the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. By following a low-carbohydrate approach you may be less likely to get all the nutrients you need. Here are a few areas where your diet may fall short if you are restricting carbohydrate-rich foods.
Vitamins C, E and beta-carotene which are antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables
Potassium and calcium found in yogurt and milk
B vitamins found in enriched grains like bread and pasta
Understand why you need it:
Research has shown that suboptimal intake levels of vitamins and minerals can affect your daily life as well as put you at risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis. Here is what some of these vitamins do:
Antioxidant vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, plus minerals zinc and selenium help maintain a healthy immune system
Vitamins C, E, B6, B12 and folic acid help maintain a healthy heart
Calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and vitamin D help build strong bones and support muscle function
Biotin, a member of the B vitamin family works to produce energy by helping to break down fat and protein.
Balance out your nutrition:
As you begin to eat fewer carbohydrate-rich foods you may find you are eating more protein and fat than you have in the past. Before your body can use the fat and protein you are eating for energy and other functions, they must be broken down.
Experts suggest that you choose unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils, fatty fish, avocados and nuts. You can also add a complete multivitamin, like new One-A-Day(r) CarbSmart(tm) specially designed with higher levels of Biotin (150 percent of the Daily Value)-to help break down fats and proteins you are eating more of-and with higher levels of key B vitamins and antioxidants (more than 100 percent of the Daily Value) that you may be lacking.