Reading Labels: What to Look for in Your Supplements
Even if you are eating a healthy and nutritious diet, you may benefit from dietary supplements, such as superfood blends, vitamins, and minerals. Reading dietary supplement labels is key to find the right supplements to further enhance your health.
Let’s be honest, with the number of products on the market, choosing a dietary supplement can get overwhelming. Not all supplements are created equal. While some brands may have a fancy bottle, they may not be as healthy as they seem. Some supplements use low-quality or not organic ingredients. Others include unnatural flavors, artificial sugars, common allergens, and chemicals.
It’s important that you buy from a trusted brand from a company that stands behind its products and uses high-quality organic ingredients. It’s also crucial to make sure that a dietary supplement has a transparent and clearly understandable label listing all important information on its products.
To make it easier for you to read dietary supplement labels, we’ve created a handy guide to understand what you are putting in your body.
Guide to Reading Dietary Supplement Labels
Always read the ‘Supplement Facts’ on any dietary supplement label. Such labeling is regulated by the FDA. It will help you to learn about the nutritional benefits of your supplement.
Though both may include nutritional information, dietary supplement labels include “Supplement Facts”, whereas some other nutrition products, such as protein bars may include a “Nutrition Facts” per FDA regulations. The FDA requires companies to list each ingredient and their quantities even if they have no established daily value.
Always pay attention to the serving size on a dietary supplement label. It’s there to help you to take the appropriate serving size recommended. However, not all dietary supplements have established daily value, hence you are relying on what’s suggested by the company on the label. If you are in doubt, it is always a good idea to talk to your healthcare professional or registered dietitian for further guidance.
Amount Per Serving
Dietary supplement labels include the amount per recommended serving an appropriate, common unit of measurements, such as milligrams (mg), micrograms (mcg), and International Units (IU). Mg and mcg refer to units of mass, where are IU is a unit of measurement used for biologically active substances, such as some minerals and vitamins. What unit of measurement is used on a specific dietary supplement label always depends on the type of supplement.
The serving size and the amount per serving included on a dietary supplement label tell you information about one serving size. Always check for information on how many servings you may take from a specific supplement. With certain dietary supplements, there may not be an upper limit, however, with others, such as certain vitamin and mineral supplements there may be. When in doubt, talk to your healthcare professional for guidance.
Daily Value Percentage
Daily values on a dietary supplement label refer to the amount of nutrients required based on the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) outlined by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institue of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. These guidelines are based on a 2,000 calorie diet for a typical adult. Dietary needs may depend on the weight, age, activity level, and health status of the person.
Some nutrients do not yet have DRIs and suggested DRIs may changes as new scientific research emerges. If the daily valued hasn’t been formally established yet, it should be noted on the dietary supplement label with an asterisk or another symbol. Organifi uses a cross on its dietary supplement labels to note when a daily value hasn’t been formally established.
When you are looking at the daily value percentages on a dietary supplement label, consider the dietary supplement label of each supplement you are taking. Vitamins and minerals are good for you, however, you don’t want to overdo it either. If you are already taking a dietary supplement that includes the full daily value of vitamin D, you don’t need to take a separate vitamin D supplement.
The ingredients on a dietary supplement label are usually listed in descending order by weight. They may also be grouped by categories. For example, on our Organifi Green Juice dietary supplement label, the main ingredients are broken down into two groups: Alkaline Green Proprietary Blend and Superfood Proprietary Blend. Other organic ingredients are also listed at the bottom.
When looking at ingredients, make sure that everything is safe. Avoid chemical, unnatural additives, artificial sweeteners, added sugar, or natural flavors. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce an ingredient or if it’s longer than 3 syllables, it’s probably the best to look for another product. Remember, ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean it’s good for you, and it doesn’t mean it’s organic either. Look for organic ingredients for full safety. Also, don’t forget to make sure that you are not allergic or sensitive to any ingredients.
Some products may have to be refrigerated, while others have to be kept at a cool and dry place. Make sure to read all storage instructions on your dietary supplement label. We recommend that you refrigerate all Organifi Superfood Powders after opening.
Some dietary supplements have a longer shelf life than others. Some ingredients, such as vitamins, may naturally lose potency over time. Always check the expiration date on your dietary supplement label to make sure you receive the full benefits from a still potent product. Also make sure to finished opened dietary supplements within the suggested period listed on the label. We recommend that you finish our Organifi products within 90 days of opening.
Labels and Certifications
Look for dietary supplements with organic ingredients. If you see the logo “USDA Organic” on your dietary supplement label, you can be sure that you are using a certified organic product.
To ensure that you are avoiding common allergens and irritants, look for labels, such as Gluten-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, and Vegan. Organifi products are all Gluten-free, Soy-free, and Dairy-free, and with the exception of Glow, they are all vegan as well.
Check for any potential disclaimers on a dietary supplement label, including medical disclaimers. Most disclaimers state that “This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” as it is required by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) on any product that makes a claim that the product may affect the structure or function of the body. This statement also aims to separate dietary supplements from pharmaceutical medication.
Using this guide on how to read dietary nutrient labels may significantly boost your ability to find the right products made with high-quality, organic ingredients that benefit your health. If you are looking for high-quality dietary supplements, you may benefit from organic superfood blends to boost your daily nutrition and overall health.
Organifi products are made with carefully selected whole ingredients and superfoods. They are organic, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free. The Organifi Sunrise to Sunset Power Box is a great way to enhance your health throughout the day.
Kat Gál is a holistic health writer who helps health, wellness, and nutrition businesses to market their products and services through quality online content. She is also a freelance writing mentor teaching wanna-be-freelancers how to make a living writing at freelancewriterschool.com. Reach out if you are looking for amazing blog content at firstname.lastname@example.org or katgalwriter.com. Visit freelancewriterschool.com for freelance writing tips. Follow me on Instagram @freelancewriterschool and on Facebook at facebook.com/katgalwriter.
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