10 Reliable Nutrition Resources
I’m frequently baffled by the types and amounts of weight loss supplements and special diets that are advertised on TV. They are getting more and more bizarre every year. Recently I’ve seen a commercials for a certain (to remain nameless) weight loss supplement. It basically entails sprinkling the supplement onto your food and poof! You lose 10 lbs. And you can eat whatever you want as long as you add those magical sprinkles. Now, I know that this supplement is pretty much a crock. And obviously most people probably can see through that shady marketing, right? I mean…sprinkles? Really? Well, let’s just say I was wrong in that assumption. Not only do many people actually fall for this stuff, even a close friend thought it’d be a good idea to buy this certain weight loss supplement. Can you imagine my reaction to this? Weight loss sprinkles?
Well to give the girl some credit, she explained that this particular supplement had clinical trials to support their claims for weight loss. And even a medical doctor backed it up. So how could this just be a marketing gimmick? I’d actually have to agree that the sound of clinical trials and the support of a doctor adds a “safeness” to many health and nutrition products. But unfortunately, many of these doctors are paid very well to back a certain product – whether it works or not. And clinical trials? Well that’s a very gray area and you’d have to do some digging to find out whether the trials weren’t biased amongst a bunch of other things. I provided her with my lengthy explanation on the various reasons why this product might not perform the miracles it touts. But when I think about all those reasons I gave her, I realized I learned most those things from 4 yrs of nutrition and science education. The majority of people probably don’t have that information or knowledge to pick out or find trustworthy health and nutrition information.
Then I thought, what if there was a list? Of trustworthy and reliable resources that people can use to verify or find health and nutrition information? I’d say that would be a pretty good idea. So that’s why I’m sharing with you my top 10 list of the most reliable and trustworthy sites for nutrition/health information. I use these websites all the time! And I know these sources have incredibly high standards when it comes to accepting and publishing information. They all fit the criteria for trustworthy and reliable – unlike the doctor who sells miracle sprinkles. Here they are:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – this is the website for largest organization of food and nutrition experts. This is where many registered dietitians belong. I’m listing this first because in the case of nutrition, registered dietitians are the BEST and only nutrition experts in this field. This site provides information on just about any subject and gives a lot of detail. This is the first place I look when I need nutrition information and facts.
- CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity – this site has a lot of great public health and nutrition information. And if you’re interested in also has a lot of health statistics and research.
- Medline Plus (NIH) – this is a searchable database filled with all types of health and nutrition information. It’s powered by the NIH which does a lot of progressive research. This site will also list other reliable resources at the bottom of each article or entry.
- The Mayo Clinic – My favorite thing about the Mayo Clinic, is that they cover really tough topics, explain each little detail and put it all in layman’s terms. I also use this site frequently when looking for details in nutrition or specific disease states. You can also search specific health issues from their main page.
- Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) – This site is for something specific – supplements and complementary and alternative medicine. ODS reviews all different types of vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc in supplement form. I’ve used this many times for research or personal knowledge. It provides very detailed information on safety, recommended dosages, side effects and effectiveness of any supplement you can think of.
- WebMD – You might surprised to see WebMD listed here. I do use this site for information – but only when it comes to more generic information and tips. And all of the articles I’ve seen on here are written by qualified health professionals. But don’t go on here and diagnose yourself with something crazy! Happens to be a WebMD side effect….trust me I know.
- American Heart Association – Although this website does focus on cardiac issues, the nutrition information found here can be applied across the board. The nutrition guidelines set for improving heart health are not all that different from the general nutrition guidelines. This is a really great resource.
- Health.gov: 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans – Every 5 years a group of RDs, doctors, researchers and government officials come out with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It’s a huge document that sites a whole bunch of research and statistics and reports the basic findings. This serves as a guide to what American’s should be striving for nutritionally. It’s a great source of information and will let you know what you should be aiming for in your own diet.
- Healthfinder.gov – this website is managed by the Health and Human Services and is similar to Medline Plus listed above. It brings together multiple government and non-profit resources to form one huge database of health and nutrition information. The resources and information they provide have to meet certain quality standards to be included – so you know the information is good.
- Food and Nutrition Information Center – this is another government site. It provides basic nutrition information, national statistics and information based on demographics – like age or gender. You can also find great educational materials here too!
I hope you find this list of resources helpful. They all are really great and trustworthy sources of health and nutrition information. You can learn a lot just by browsing through some of them – which I hope you do. And remember, the next time you have a nutrition question make sure you consider the quality, reliability and trustworthiness of the information source you use. No magic sprinkles!
Where do you usually turn to for nutrition information? Would you rather talk to a friend or family or your doctor?