It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy



Ask Dr. Gourmet

Can I substitute vitamins for vegetables in my diet?

I have been taking 'multi-vitamins and minerals' tablets, which contain 100% RDA of many vitamins e.g. Vitamin C, Iron, etc.. does that mean that iIdon't need to take in any veggies and will it do any harm to me if I took the tablet with orange juice which might give me over 200% of DRA?


Dr. Gourmet Says...

The recommended daily allowances (given in percentiles called % Daily Values on the labeling) are a good guideline and are usually set to give people an "average" idea of how much of certain nutrients are necessary for optimal health. In this case, it is advisable that you take a multivitamin and eat as healthfully as you can also.

If you are currently in good health and have no medical problems, I suggest you go ahead and have your orange juice and whatever other healthy foods you want. However, remember that vitamins are just a supplement and do not replace good food nor do they ensure good health.

Also, try not to use vitamins that supply higher than 100% RDA's for its ingredients. That's a good baseline since you're hopefully eating healthy foods, too.

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet