WHAT TO CHOOSE AND WHAT TO AVOID
FOR YOUR DIET RESTRICTIONS
BY JACK CHALLAM
Gluten free, vegan, low glycemic. Everyone has a dietary preference these days. And sometimes it can
be difcult to fnd the right supplement
to ft your needs. Te key, as obvious as
it might seem, is to read the fne print
on a label and then ask your natural
retailer questions if the details aren’t clear.
Over the past couple of decades,
supplement companies in the natural foods
industry have cleaned up their act, getting
rid of most problematic ingredients.
“Tat’s great news for careful eaters
and people with food allergies,” says
Ron Hunninghake, MD, chief medical
ofcer of the Riordan Clinic in Wichita,
Kansas. “It’s easy to fnd supplements
that complement the many dietary
habits or restrictions people have.”
Here’s the lowdown on what to look
out for—and common pitfalls to avoid.
It’s easier to control gluten-free eating
at home, but you have a higer risk of
accidental gluten contamination when
dining out. Tis is where supplemental
dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP- 4) can
help. DPP- 4 is an enzyme that breaks
down gluten. It won’t protect against a
pizza or bowl of pasta, but it will likely
counter small amounts of gluten, such
as the low amount in many soy sauces.
Most supplements don’t contain
gluten, but read the label carefully
anyway. Wheat free isn’t the same as
gluten free. And some whole-food
supplements might contain barley, rye
or wheat—all of which contain gluten.
Don’t use wheat germ oil, because small
amounts of gluten pass through the
oil-extraction process. And vitamin E?
Don’t sweat it. Virtually all natural-source
vitamin E now comes from soybean oil,
which doesn’t contain gluten.
Vegan and vegetarian supplements are
usually clearly labeled. Still, read the
fne print. Most—but not all—softgel
capsules, which range from golden to
brownish in color, are made from gelatin,
an animal byproduct. Hard capsules
may be derived from either gelatin or
vegetarian sources, and companies
usually state if it’s a vegetarian source.
Fish and krill oils are derived from
sea creatures, but the omega- 3 fats are
now available from vegetarian sources.
Vitamin D2 is made from fungi, and
most vitamin D3 is produced from
sheep lanolin (the oil found on sheep
wool). However, some companies now
sell lichen-sourced D3. Bone meal and
some digestive enzymes come from
Strict vegans are at risk for some
vitamin and mineral defciencies, such as
vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, iodine and
amino acids (which the body uses to
make protein). Vegetables are poor
sources of vitamin B12, and plants
contain phytates, which reduce mineral
absorption. Dose: Shore up your
nutrient intake with a quality, daily
multivitamin with minerals. ➻