A Few Things to know about Supplement & Nutrition Labels
A few years ago I was trying to do that "weight-loss thing" which meant I tried anything I could just to shed a few pounds. This included a strategic regimen of products that were all replacing "what I was not getting in my food."
While I was reminded to eat colorful meals when I wasn’t drinking my meal-replacement shakes & teas and was encouraged to consistently work out, I was also was led to believe that these weight loss products would be the key to my success.
Naturally trusting the best in people, I assumed that what I was being told was valid and that I shouldn’t worry too much. So, I didn’t because I really just wanted to look better in my clothes. The real problem with this was that I had never actually looked into quality of these products further than what my friend was telling me. With my uneducated decision, I started using them unknowingly causing more harm to my body than good. Did they work? Heck yes they worked, and I looked good on the outside, too.
That lack of personal research & cold turkey weaning of those healthy-ish products back in 2015 led me to my 50 pound weight gain over the span of 4 months where I was left to pick up the pieces of a failed goal.
While the goal of losing weight is never a bad thing, the way in which we attempt that goal can be even more detrimental to our health than what was originally intended, especially if not fully understood. It wasn't until I was introduced to & educated on whole food nutrition that my eyes started to open up to the idea of a whole-hearted "health & wellness" lifestyle.
After some professional education on how our bodies receive & process what we feed them, I was shocked to learn that I had not been told this information that could’ve saved me from such a tremendous rebound effect I had gotten myself into with the the "health regimine" I had been reccommended & products I had been consuming.
While I'm not completely against the idea of supplements or technology that helps in achieving our health goals, I am not for under-researched, over-processed products that are going to cause harm to our bodies in the long term.
What I am for is bioavailable, whole food sources of nutrients.
SO. What's the difference between a "Supplement" & "Nutrition" label, and how can I know that it's safe to consume?
1. Read the Label. Like, read the back of the item, not the just Advertised "value" on the front
Coming from an advertising background, I understand the psychology behind tricks companies pull when it comes to catching the consumer's attention. There's lots of nutrition-ism's out there bombarding our brains with "kinda true" information, but if you look at the label on the back, that's where the real story is told...most of the time. For instance, did you know that cereals, dressings, and even dairy products are some of the most popular places sugar & other additives like to hide? Yet, companies promote “high fiber” in order to cover the truth up, and we are quick to fall for faulty ads. "High fiber/High sugar cereal?" You're basically asking for a trip to the toilet! All in all, make sure what you’re reading on the front matches the nutrition label on the back. If it's promoting healthy food, then it needs to be simple and readable ingredients.
2. Nutrition Labels indicate FOOD
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a list of food ingredients that have been tested and determined to be 'Generally regarded as Safe.' If a product uses ingredients that are on that list in quantities determined to be safe by the FDA, then the product is considered a food and can be labeled with a Nutrition Facts label. However, if a product uses ingredients that are NOT regarded as safe or in the quantities have not been determined to be safe, then they are generally labeled with a Supplement Facts label. That’s scary, but that just means whole foods are the best foods.
3. What research can be found about your supplements & products showing they are bioavailable?
What do I mean by "research?" I mean, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, tested on the product itself, human clinical trials, published in peer-reviewed journals, ETHICAL research. For real. What does your supplement regimen have to back it up that it actually WORKS? And if it doesn’t have research, who’s recommending this product to you? Have you looked into it yourself? Also, what do I mean by "bioavailable?" That means, does this product get into your body at a cellular level and make change. A LOT of supplemental products are just expensive pee because often if not, the body doesn't know how to process it.
4. The power is in the plate-- not the pill.
According to WebMD (and the health professionals I've worked with/learned from), "Vitamins and other dietary supplements are not intended to be a food substitute. They cannot replace all the nutrients and benefits of whole foods." That’s because our bodies know exactly what to do with the whole food that we're eating, and not so much when it’s an extracted, highly-concentrated supplement. If your struggling in your health, my first questions would be: “What are you eating? Are you eating the FDA recommended 7-13 servings of fruits and veggies a day to offset oxidative stress? Are you drinking the water your body needs to break down the food you're eating?” So while supplements have their place, food is number one!
Are you like me? Not feeling the healthy "lifestyle" fads that people are talking about lately? Me neither.
Want to step out of the "overfed & undernourished" lifestyle? Try getting more of the good things into your body, and over time, your body will start to change for the better!
Need something to help jumpstart you into a better lifestyle: check out the clinical research on the Juice Plus+ whole food products. Inquire about Juice Plus+ by setting up a free consult on my calendar!