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I'm dieting to lose weight. Should I worry about falling short on key nutrients?

Answer by:
David Kiefer, MD

Family Medicine, WebMD Medical Expert
University of Arizona, Tucson

When you reduce your calories to lose weight, you run the risk of falling short on key nutrients. That's why choosing nutrient-rich foods is particularly important when you're dieting. Fortunately, some of the foods richest in nutrition -- fruits, vegetables, and whole grains -- also happen to be low in fat and calories. They also tend to be higher in fiber. So they help fill you up even when you're eating less to lose weight. Even on the healthiest diet, however, you may fall short on nutrients over time. The nutrients that are most often in short supply are iron and calcium. But if you're dieting to lose weight over an extended time, you may run a risk of falling short on other nutrients. Taking a multivitamin can help ensure that you meet your basic needs while you try to lose weight. But remember, a pill is no substitute for a healthy, nutrient-rich diet.

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