• Anna Binder-McAsey, RD/LD

Beware of nutrition fraud!

“Lose at least 20 pounds in 6 weeks, guaranteed!” “Lose up to a pound of fat per day.” “Boost testosterone and build muscle fast!” These statements sound awfully tempting as we all prepare for the summer months and beach vacations ahead. But do these products and programs live up to their claims or are they just another case of deceptive nutrition fraud?

Consider the following claims and what they may mean for your health.

1. Guaranteed results! Beware of guarantees or promises to achieve specific results. When it comes to the human body, no one is the same. We all respond differently to different techniques and approaches. It’s impossible to guarantee that every individual will have the same outcome. It’s important to work with a qualified provider, such as a registered dietitian, that can tailor a program to meet your needs instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.

2. No exercise required. Really? Exercise not only helps with weight loss and fitness goals by building muscle and burning calories, but it also ensures better long term results once goals have been met. Muscle is very metabolically active, which means it takes a greater number of calories to maintain its function. In other words, improving your fitness level and building muscle will improve your metabolism, making exercise an important part of any routine.

3. Miracle fat-burner in a bottle. If there was one product or supplement that could be taken that would burn fat, boost metabolism, or build large amounts of muscle, we would all know about it and probably all be taking it. No such magic pill exists. If a product sounds too good to be true, it likely is, regardless of which TV doctor promotes it. Remember green coffee bean extract or raspberry ketones? There is a reason why they’re yesterday’s news.

4. Scientifically proven results! This isn’t an automatic red flag, but I do encourage everyone to do their background checks. Have there been any studies published in peer-reviewed journals about the product? Do organizations like the American Medical Association or Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics support it? Many products on the market such as raspberry ketones have “no reliable scientific evidence that it works for improving weight loss” outside of animal or test tube studies according to WebMD.

5. Eliminate dairy, grains, sugar, starch, beans, anything in a can, and keep your calories to 1000 or less each day. This cocktail for nutritional deficiency is not only very difficult to maintain long-term, but also completely unnecessary to reach wellness goals. It is true that many people do lose weight when they eliminate these foods. However, the reason is usually that by eliminating grains for example, they are cutting out calories by avoiding breads, pasta, and crackers that are very common in an American lifestyle. The same calorie deficit can be created by learning to balance food choices better and still eat a wide variety of foods that are nourishing and fueling for the body.

When it comes to the health industry, information is everywhere. Be a conscious consumer and consider the source and the legitimacy of the products and people you choose to invest in. It’s your health, protect it wisely.

Article originally published on Little Apple Post; http://www.littleapplepost.com/2015/04/14/lifestyle-bites-with-anna-nutrition-fraud-a-crime-against-your-health/.

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