The Right (and Wrong) Way to Choose Nutritional Supplements
Rule #1: Always do your homework.
Never buy a supplement on impulse. Here are some questions to help you make the right decision:
- Do I need it? Have you been diagnosed by a medical doctor with a condition which may be helped by this nutritional supplement?
- Is it going to hurt me? What are the potential side effects? Medication interactions?
- Is it safe enough to give to my children? I tell my clients that if it’s not safe for kids, it may not be all that safe for adults either.
- Is it high quality? Higher-quality supplement brands will have a consistent amount of the active ingredient. Lower-quality brands may have fillers and impurities that may not even be listed on the label.
Dr. Oz frequently talks about supplements that help to get rid of belly fat. By far, the biggest mistake people make is taking these supplements without addressing the problems in their diet.
If you have a bulging waistline, make sure you are eating as cleanly, purely and healthfully as possible. Try to balance your diet so that 80% of what you eat is healthy, leaving you with 20% for living and eating in the real world.
If you are eating like this and exercising regularly, that’s when properly used nutritional supplements can be almost magical. But first you need to work with your health-care professional to know what’s going on within your own body. Do you still have belly fat because your thyroid is low? Or, do you need help buffering insulin resistance? Choose the supplement that helps you deal with your specific issues. This leads me to rule number two.
Rule #2: Understand how a supplement works and what it may do for you.
To continue, if your doctor tells you that your insulin is too high, then research what supplements you can take in order to lower it safely. Remember that whatever gets us there will also keep us there. Make sure the supplement you choose is safe and that the ingredients are high quality and from a reputable source.
Also, remember that quick fixes are not sustainable. Avoid products that are too harsh, such as extreme cleanses for weight loss. Instead, take the time to lose weight in a healthy way. Consistency and frequency always get results.
Rule #3: Learn what to look for on supplement labels.
The highest quality brands might mention GMP, which stands for Good Manufacturing Practices. This tells you that there are production and testing practices in place to ensure such things as the consistency and purity of ingredients. Find out by searching the Internet which ingredients are supported by the most clinical research. Those are generally the brands that the experts believe are the most effective.
Low price is a red flag. If you are going to spend $4.99 on a supplement, you’ll get what you pay for. Bargain brands may not even have enough of the active ingredient, or the right form of the active ingredient, to do what you need them to do.
If you’re facing a shelf with dozens of similar-looking products, start by reading the label on the most expensive one. You may actually need to take less of a pricier supplement than a cheaper one, making the pricier one the best value.
Being smart about choosing the right nutritional supplements is also good for your budget because you won’t be wasting money on products that don’t work. That’s a benefit we can all appreciate!
- Lisa Lynn