The internet is one of the best inventions mankind has seen, but, it comes with its side-effects, one of those being poor and even dangerous dietary and wellbeing advice.
From the grainy images of food at the end of news articles promising to reveal the ‘fruit that cures cancer to the countless blogs on hemp intake, there's an awful lot of advice out there that you should be very wary of.
So we’ve compiled a list of indicators to keep an eye out for to make sure you’re only taking on the best advice.
1. You just got sold
Perhaps one of the most concerning things to appear in a diet plan is that the author is trying to sell you something.
A website, a tv commercial, or person who is trying to sell something will have a vested interest in convincing you of the benefits of whatever is being sold so proceed with caution whenever your money’s involved.
2. “Zero carbs = zero fat”
It’s suggested you need to ditch an entire food group - ‘just get rid of carbs and you’ll be skinnier in a week!’.
This is simply not true, human metabolism requires a balanced diet which we can refine and enhance with a few supplements here and there.
3. Guava...the miracle fruit
A certain food is seen as a cure for something like a disease or ailment.
No peer-reviewed science journal is going to be making any claim that one food can cure a particular, let alone all types, cancer.
4. Guava, the devil fruit
On the flipside, it also tends to be bad news when you’re told that a certain food or nutrient is bad and should be avoided at all costs.
There are no bad foods or nutrients as any food or nutrient can fit into a healthy, balanced diet.
What should be controlled is the quantity of a particular nutrient or food - moderation is key!
5. Citing Sources
Upon investigation, if there’s no sourcing from a science journal or other expert advice then it’s likely to be wrong.
A key indicator is simply no reference to tests or investigations to get the results their boasting or perhaps the saying ‘science says’ crops up all too often.
6. I’m a ‘doctor’
Upon investigation, the source has no credentials.
Referring to oneself as a ‘nutritionist’ can, of course, be legitimate, but a certificate can also be bought for $20 online.
Look for RD (registered dietitian), Ph.D. (in nutritional sciences, biochemistry, or molecular biology, for example), MPH (master’s in public health) or MD (many doctors specialize in diet and nutrition) after his or her name.
7. It worked for me!
Anecdotes are not good evidence that something works.
While what someone else is doing might very well work for you, it also might not.
No matter who it’s coming from, anecdotal advice should never overrule scientifically verified information that shows it doesn’t work.
You’re perfect just the way you are Permanent and healthy weight loss requires changes to your diet, however, this could sometimes be a matter of portion control and moderation.
8. Lose 40 pounds in a week!
Basically, losing more than two pounds per week is not healthy, the adjustment to your weight isn’t good for your body and as a natural reaction, you’ll likely find this weight is soon put back on.
9. “Everybody is doing it”
Everyone’s body is different and so diets and health advice need to account for this nuance.
The best thing to do is to find the diet plan that works best for you, and that might be portion control or it might be taking out soya because your body doesn’t digest it all that easily.
10. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
Finally, as you would expect, if a diet says it’s an unbelievable solution to all your dieting needs... it probably is not.
A good, healthy, and sustainable diet plan will take time. The trick is always going to be persistence and consistency.
So that’s a brief guide to help you guys out when searching for, or even stumbling across, new nutrition advice.
While there are loads and loads of good sources out there, there are also loads of bad (and potentially dangerous) advice, so be sure to keep properly assess anything prior to undertaking and ensure you’ve consulted with a doctor or health care professional beforehand.
Understanding health risks is key to making your own health care decisions,” says Dr. William Elwood, a psychologist and behavioral scientist at NIH .