What Are Nutritional Supplements

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Nutritional supplements contain ingredients that are either common or uncommon to natural foods. These substances are either extracted from a natural food or they are made in a laboratory and are provided in many forms such as pills, powders for drinks, and bars. Some examples of the early supplementation include ancient Persian physicians providing iron supplements to soldiers wounded in battle. On the other hand nutritional supplements marketed to the public began as an attempt to fill nutritional

Table 3.4 Guidelines for Food Label Claims

Fat free—must have less than 0.5 grams per serving

Saturated fat free—must contain less than 0.5 grams per serving

Cholesterol free—must contain less than 2 milligrams per serving

Sugar free—must contain less than 0.5 grams per serving

Sodium free—must contain less than 5 milligrams per serving

Calorie free—must contain less than 5 calories per serving

Low fat—must contain no more than 3 grams of fat per serving

Low sodium—must contain less than 40 milligrams per serving

Low calories—must contain less than 40 calories per serving

Low cholesterol—must contain less than 20 milligrams per serving

High or good source—one serving must contain at least 20 percent or more of the recommendation for that nutrient

Reduced, less, or fewer—must contain at least 25 percent less of a nutrient, per serving, compared with the same nutrient in a reference food More or added—must contain at least 10 percent more of the daily value for a nutrient compared with a reference food

Light or lite—the food have at least 50 percent less fat than a similar, unmodified food which, in its unmodified form contains more than 50 percent of its calories from fat

Lean (meat, fish, poultry)—must contain less than 10 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams of the food

Extra lean—must contain less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams of the food Fresh—food must be unprocessed, in raw state, and never frozen voids in the diet. For example, a supplement may help an individual who does not eat dairy foods meet their calcium needs.

Nutrition supplements are marketed to help ensure adequate nutrient intake to achieve a person's goal for health and/or performance.

Today, the nutrition supplements industry has evolved into a multibillion-dollar industry. Nutrition supplements are sold in supermarkets, drugstores, stores found in shopping malls, on the internet, and by direct marketing. Nutrition supplements include a broad range of individual and combinations of recognized nutrients, such as protein and amino acid preparations, essential fatty acids and fish oil, vitamins, and minerals, to more obscure substances and extracts such as co-enzyme Q10, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, hydroxy citric acid (HCA), kola nut, bilberry, grape seed extract, phytosterols, choline, lipoic acid, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and carnitine. As we move through the ensuing chapters we will mention different supplements as they apply to different topics of normal and applied nutrition.

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