6. Fad Diets: Bizzare diets that miss out on whole groups of foods can be lacking in Vitamins. Even the popular low fat diets, if taken to extreme, can be deficient in Vitamins A, D, and E. Vegetarian diets, which exclude meat and other animal sources, must be very skillfully planned to avoid Vitamin B-12 deficiency, which may lead to anemia.
7. Overcooking: Lengthy cooking or reheating of meat, and vegetables can oxidize and destroy heat susceptible vitamins such as the B-group, C and E. Biling vegetables leaches the water soluble vitamins B-Group and C as well as many minerals. Ligth steaming is preferable. Some vitamins, such as B6 can be destroyed by irradiation from microwaves.
8. Food Processing: Freezing food containing Vitamin E can significantly reduce its minerals once defrosted. Foods containing Vitamin E exposed to heat and air can turn rancid. Many common sources of Vitamin E, such as bread and oils are nowadays highly processed, so the Vitamin E content is significantly reduced or missing totally, which increases storage life but can lower nutrient levels. Vitamin E is an antioxidant which defensively inhibits oxidative damage to all tissues. Other vitamin losses from food processing include Vitamin B1 and C.
9. Convenience Foods: A diet overly dependent on highly refined carbohydrates, such as sugar, white flour and white rice, places greater demand on additional sources of B-group vitamins to process these carbohydrates. An unbalanced diet contributes to such conditions as irritability, lethergy and sleep disorders.
10. Antibiotics: Some antibiotics, although valuable in fighting infection, also kill off friendly bacteria in the gut, which would normally be producing B-group vitamins to be absorbed through the intestinal walls. Such deficiencies can result in a variety or nervous conditions, therefore, it may be advisable to supplement with B-group vitamins when on a lenghty course.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed