November 28, 2018

Nutrition vs Supplement Label: Which is Better?

GEM is more than your average vitamin. What sets GEM apart from the rest of the supplement aisle? A lot of things – convenience, price, sustainability. But above all else, we’re made with clean and sustainable real food ingredients.

As it turns out good health isn’t as simple as taking a pill for each thing that ails you. You’re much better off consuming whole foods whose nutrients can work synergistically to do what the average, synthetically-made supplement can’t.

Why do our bodies absorb nutrients from real foods so much better than vitamins and supplements? A concept known as “food synergy” might hold the key. According to scientists, nutrients from whole foods are not only better, but they also work better together. That means that when we eat the right combination of whole foods, the health benefits we receive go beyond any ordinary vitamin or supplement!

GEM’s unique approach to nutritional supplements is based on sourcing the most powerful, real food ingredients (think: dates, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, and algae) and information that work together, combining nature and science’s finest sources and forces, to create new solutions for increasingly complex health problems.

Since only real food ingredients are used in our bites, GEM is regulated by the FDA as just that — conventional food! Not only does this mean that GEM is produced differently (in a facility with other organic food products and not in a lab of pills and capsules), but we’re regulated and labeled differently, too.

Let’s dive into the logistics behind what this means and why a nutrition fact label is better than a supplement label:

Nutrition Label vs. Supplement Label Comparison

Nutrition facts labels and supplement facts labels can appear to be very similar because they both require the same types of information regarding nutrients such as calories, sugars, carbs, fats, proteins, and more. While the labels tend to look similar, they are actually very different - See more details below on supplement facts vs nutrition:

  • The ingredients do not have a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for supplement facts. Nutrition facts panels require nutrients with RDIs.
  • Supplement facts allow the source of the dietary ingredient to be listed next to it. Nutrition facts do not allow this.
  • Dietary supplements require for the part of the plant to be listed to show how the dietary source was derived. This type of information is not permitted on a nutrition fact.
  • Dietary supplements are not allowed to use “0” when indicating the amount of nutrients. Nutrition facts actually do require there to be a use of a “0” to show the amount of nutrients in a food if it does not have that much of that certain type of nutrient.

1. Nutrition Facts Panels Do Not Have Toxic Ingredients

The Food and Drug Administration maintains a list of food ingredients tested and determined as “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS, for short). Only products that use all GRAS ingredients can have nutritional fact labels. For example, most energy drinks on the market are labeled as dietary supplements because they contain ingredients that are not considered “GRAS”. So, those energy drink companies aren’t required to list ingredients on the packaging and can be sold with dangerous levels of caffeine and toxins.

2. Nutrition Labels Do Not Have Hidden Additives

A nutrition facts label requires all ingredients to be listed on the label by order of volume on the product. Supplement panels are able to list their ingredients as part of a “proprietary blend,” which means the specific amount of each individual ingredient in the “blend” does not have to be listed, only the total of the blend itself. So as a consumer, you have no idea if the product has more positive or negative ingredients. Worse, in each of these “proprietary blends,” companies can conceal ingredients and add fillers or toxic binders.

Here’s an example of a label that lists the active ingredients as a “Premium Proprietary Blend,” meaning you won’t know what’s in each soft gel, the fillers or binders that are added, or how much. 



Inherently by design, consumers don't have full transparency into what they are ingesting. Unless a company provides a full label disclosure, we are left in the dark as to what we are putting into our bodies.

Even when a company doesn't have a "proprietary blend" and lists the full ingredients, there could still be binders and fillers added that they aren’t required to disclose to you.

3. Nutrition Labels Do Not Have Misleading Claims

Dietary supplement fact labels are able to make unsubstantiated claims that are not pre-approved by the FDA.

There are three types of claims supplements can make on their food labeling:

  1. Functional Claims: Any claim describing the role of a nutrient or ingredient that will affect or maintain the day-to-day function of the human body. Example: Calcium builds strong bones.
  2. General Well-Being Claims: Claims about a nutrient leading to general well-being after consumption. Example: Vitamin D and Vitamin E contributes to good health.
  3. Nutrient Deficiency Claims: Claims that outline a benefit to the product related to a nutrient deficiency or disease. Example: Vitamin C prevents sickness.

Despite any kind of egregious or life-enhancing health claims a supplement might make on the front of the food label, they then often include a disclaimer on the back that reads: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

So with a label with a front and back that contradicts itself, what’s the answer to your wellness needs? GEM.

Made only from plant-based, nutrient-dense ingredients, GEM offers your daily nutritional insurance in the form your body knows best: real food, not packaged food filled with added sugar, trans fat, and more.

Looking to learn more about what’s inside our bites? Click here.




This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and contains trusted sources.

Our goal at GEM is to give readers up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics. GEM content is written by experienced health and lifestyle contributors and articles undergo an extensive review process.

All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.