Our nutritional needs are best taken care of when we eat healthily everyday. While this is the ideal, there are benefits to be had from proper dietary supplementation. Our supplement buying guides and reviews aim to provide our readers with unbiased and researched information, so that they can make the correct choices with regards to the safe and effective use of dietary supplements.
The main reason why people take supplements is to fill nutritional gaps. Other reasons vary somewhat between different age groups such as the desire to promote overall wellness, support immunity and boost energy levels. With this in mind, we have developed a systematic method to research and select the best supplements, with all our reviews going through various stages of fact checking and editorial review by qualified professionals.
What Supplements We Do and Don’t Review
We only select and review supplements that may potentially be beneficial and effectual. This means to adhere to established guidelines, investigate recent research findings and to promote a holistic understanding of the products reviewed. We look for supplements that can fill common dietary gaps, help restore a healthy condition, assist in body maintenance, or benefit active sports people.
We do not review products that promote mega-dosing or vanity products that make unsubstantiated claims. We also do not review products that fail to meet our principle guideline, ‘Do no harm’. This would include products that use potentially harmful ingredients, especially most artificial sweeteners, colorants and flavorants, and additives such as certain types of maltodextrin or carrageenan to name a few.
Our Supplement Review Process
There are seven steps that our supplement reviews must go through:
- Product category synopsis
- Product criteria and buying guide
- Product selection
- In-house editorial fact-checking
- Expert nutritional dietitian editorial review
- Adjustments and final review approval
- Posting on our site
Product Category Synopsis
Once we have decided on a particular type of product to review, the first step is to clearly define the product parameters. This includes the form of the nutrient, dosage as well as the balance between nutrients in complex products such as multivitamins or meal replacements.
We then look at who can benefit from the product. It is important for our readers to be able to make a clear evaluation as to whether or not they may benefit from purchasing the product. We want our readers to be able to make informed choices that will be of benefit to them and not waste their time and money on products they don’t need.
Finally, we give a synopsis and preview of the product including recent research findings from trustworthy sources such as scientific journals, state and federal bodies, educational and research organizations, and advisory or consumer groups where necessary. We research typical questions and concerns people have about the supplement such as benefits, claims, advisories, and dosages.
Product Criteria and Buying Guide
Once we have a clear understanding of the product, our team then draws up a list of the criteria a specific product must meet. We inform our readers on how to select the most suitable product for themselves. We may suggest alternative solutions other than supplementation, and make recommendations on how to compensate for the product’s shortfalls.
While each product must meet specific selected criteria which vary from one product to another, each product must first meet our general criteria:
- The product must be of benefit and do no harm.
- Contain no harmful or controversial additives*.
- Comply with recommended dietary values.
- Be as naturally sourced as possible and non-GMO.
- Bio-sustainable with a low environmental impact.
- Have clear and non-deceptive labeling.
- Be on the market for at least 6-months.
- Two thirds of favorable customer reviews.
- Reputable customer service and no-hassle return policy.
Products that pass through this stage will then be short listed and re-evaluated for additional features to determine which product makes our top recommendation and which are suited for our secondary recommendations. Features that set the better products apart are:
- The best balance in terms of nutritional content.
- An affordable price and good value for money.
- Third-party certifications of ingredients and manufacturing processes.
- Corporate social footprint.
Top product selection and customers’ special needs:
Our top product recommendation or best to buy will not suit everybody, but it will suit most people. We aim for the best affordable price with no compromise to nutritional value. Our top product recommendation may or may not be suitable for vegetarians, vegans or meet other needs such as Kosher, Halaal, gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, dairy-free, soy-free, allergy-free, etc.
This does not mean to say that we don’t take various dietary needs and restrictions into account. We will always clarify every product as best as we can regarding special dietary needs. We will always strive to find the best alternative product that can suit people with dietary needs and restrictions. These often come at a premium, but sometimes they do make the top recommended product.
*You can rest assured that our recommendations will always be free of:
GMO organisms, artificial colorants and flavorants, synthetic fat-soluble vitamins; the following artificial sweeteners: saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), sucralose, neotame, advantame, cyclamate, high fructose and high maltose corn syrup; the following binders, fillers and emulsifiers: maltodextrin from corn and wheat, polyethylene glycol, carrageenan, magnesium silicate, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide, olestra; the following preservatives: potassium sorbate, BHT, sodium benzoate, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), propyl gallate, TBHQ (Tert-Butylhydroquinone).
The Review and Publication Process
Once our team of writers has completed a review, it is sent to a senior in-house editor for fact-checking and general editorial review. After adjustments are made, every article must be reviewed and edited by an external, independent and qualified dietitian nutritionist.
The dietitian nutritionist will check for and correct any factual inaccuracies, add additional information they think the reader needs to know, and sometimes will recommend that products be replaced. We always gladly comply with our experts’ recommendations and after third-round editorial processes and approvals are complete, the product review article is posted to HealthyKitchen101.
Healthy Kitchen 101 LLC is not a medical organization and does not provide medical advice. Although all supplements reviewed on the website receive consultation from Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, our content does not constitute a medical diagnosis or substitute for specialist consultations, evaluations, and treatments.
Always consult your physician or registered health care advisor before taking any supplement program, especially if you are taking any prescription medication. Always follow product guidelines and dosages or as advised by your registered healthcare provider.