Overeating healthy foods not healthy, Consumer Reports says

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When it comes to eating healthy foods, Consumer Reports says you can get too much of a good thing.

Nutrition experts say when it comes to fruits and veggies, it’s best to eat a wide variety so you get all the nutrients you need and don’t get too much of some.

Foods with beta carotene, the orange pigment plentiful in vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes, supply the body with vitamin A and help fight cell damage. But eat too much of them, and your skin can turn orange. Cut back, and that color will fade.

Beans and whole grains are packed with fiber, but upping your fiber intake too much too soon can cause gas and bloating, and too much fiber overall may block the absorption of some nutrients.

“It’s best to get your fiber from foods that contain it naturally. Foods that are fortified with fiber may be more likely to cause stomach upset,” said Jesse Hirsch, Consumer Reports' health editor.

As for foods with protein -- such as meat, chicken, fish and tofu -- more is not necessarily better. For some people, too much protein can stress the kidneys and liver and may increase the risk of osteoporosis. It’s pretty easy to get the right amount of protein just by eating well-balanced meals.

Hirsch said there’s no need to add fortified foods such as protein bars. For most people, eating three servings of protein-rich foods daily, including non-meat items such as yogurt and quinoa, is enough.

Consumer Reports said most healthy people who eat a wide variety of whole foods don’t need vitamin and mineral supplements. Overuse can also lead to potential problems, so talk to your doctor before taking any type of nutritional supplement.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.