Too much of a good thing - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Too much of a good thing

Posted: Updated:

Orange juice with vitamin C and calcium, nutrition bars with added vitamins, and energy drinks! Americans spend billions of dollars on fortified foods every year. Consumer Reports takes a closer look at downside of foods with added nutrients.


Consumer Reports came up with a hypothetical list of all the fortified foods that a person might eat in a single day. And then we calculated how much you'd get of certain nutrients if you did that.

Say for breakfast you have two cups of coffee, cereal, orange juice, plus a multivitamin and a couple of calcium chews. A little later you eat a nutrition bar. For lunch you have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and lemonade. Then you drink a mid-afternoon protein shake. A while later you have an extra-strength energy drink. Finally, you eat macaroni and cheese for dinner. Here's what that adds up to:

You'll consume almost four times the recommended calcium for the day. Consumer Reports says that's too much of a good thing. If you consume excess calcium over time, you could end up with problems like constipation, kidney stones, and possibly impaired absorption of iron and zinc.

Your total caffeine consumption is around 470 milligrams, more than the recommended daily limit of 400 milligrams. Too much caffeine can cause insomnia, a rapid or abnormal heart rate, and increased blood pressure.

And the sample diet has five times the recommended amount of folate, which can mask a B12 deficiency.

Consumer Reports says you want to be careful not to take in too much vitamin C, either, It's added to lots of foods and can lead to intestinal problems. Look at labels to make sure you're not getting more than 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day.

The bottom line is that you really need to read labels on fortified foods to make sure that you're not getting too much. Just because some of a vitamin or mineral is good doesn't necessarily mean that more is better. And a balanced diet, including fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, should provide all of the vitamins and minerals you need—no fortified foods necessary.

Sarah Panko

Sarah is the anchor/ producer for News Three First Edition at 5/4 central time. She also brings you the latest Consumer Reports on the Nightwatch at 11/10 central. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Columbus police officer attacked in Smiths Station again

    Columbus police officer attacked in Smiths Station again

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:54 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:54:21 GMT
    The same Columbus police officer was attacked near his home in Smiths Station for the second time in two months, authorities confirm to WRBL News 3.
    The same Columbus police officer was attacked near his home in Smiths Station for the second time in two months, authorities confirm to WRBL News 3.
  • Chattahoochee Valley “Purge” is an urban legend, police say

    Chattahoochee Valley “Purge” is an urban legend, police say

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:28 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:28:17 GMT
    Several police departments across the Chattahoochee Valley are reassuring concerned citizens that there will be no real-life "purge" after a social media campaign spread across Facebook on Tuesday.
    Several police departments across the Chattahoochee Valley are reassuring concerned citizens that there will be no real-life "purge" after a social media campaign spread across Facebook on Tuesday.
  • May Mugshots - Northeast Tennessee

    May Mugshots - Northeast Tennessee

    Tuesday, July 8 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-07-08 21:42:48 GMT

    The following are mugshots of individuals arrested in May by local authorities in Northeast Tennessee.

    The following are mugshots of individuals arrested in May by local authorities in Northeast Tennessee.

  • On Your SideMore>>

  • Health Watch: Sleep Apnea patients shocked by disturbing video

    Health Watch: Sleep Apnea patients shocked by disturbing video

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:40:55 GMT
    It's estimated more than 20-million Americans have sleep apnea. Many of them may have been given a C-PAP mask wear overnight to help them breathe. Though they are highly effective, research shows more than half the patients who have them don't use them. But doctors have found a way to change that. In a sleep study by National Jewish Health, researchers recorded patients sleeping without the mask. They were disturbed a...
    It's estimated more than 20-million Americans have sleep apnea. Many of them may have been given a C-PAP mask wear overnight to help them breathe. Though they are highly effective, research shows more than half the patients who have them don't use them. But doctors have found a way to change that. In a sleep study by National Jewish Health, researchers recorded patients sleeping without the mask. They were disturbed a...
  • Columbus police officer attacked in Smiths Station again

    Columbus police officer attacked in Smiths Station again

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:54 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:54:21 GMT
    The same Columbus police officer was attacked near his home in Smiths Station for the second time in two months, authorities confirm to WRBL News 3.
    The same Columbus police officer was attacked near his home in Smiths Station for the second time in two months, authorities confirm to WRBL News 3.
  • Medical manufacturer to create 200 new jobs in Opelika

    Medical manufacturer to create 200 new jobs in Opelika

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:04:04 GMT
    Gambro, a medical supply manufacturer under Baxter International, announced a $300 million investment in its Opelika factory.
    Gambro, a medical supply manufacturer under Baxter International, announced a $300 million investment in its Opelika factory.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.