Nutrition “quackery” is real.

Some people promote health products, services, or practices for an intended purpose that have questionable safety or effectiveness.

Fad diets abound this time of year, so remember talk is cheap as the diet and supplement market compete for your money and loyalty.

As you give thought to your nutrition goals for 2019, here are dos and don’ts to keep you from sinking your time and money into health hype that probably won’t pay off.

» Don’t fall for a claim that a supplement or product is a cure-all. If the promises sound too good to be true, they are.

» Do use common sense and focus on making lifestyle changes including better food choices and regular exercise, along with supplements that are appropriate for you as needed.

» Don’t spend more on supplements than your food budget. Just because a supplement is expensive does not mean it is effective.

» Do spend your food budget on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products first. If you need help with meal planning, hiring a dietitian for three months is more affordable than committing a monthly percentage of your budget to supplements.

» Don’t immediately believe the research behind the supplements’ claims. If the article is not from a peer-reviewed, professional journal, ask questions.

» Do look to see who is funding the research. A recent commercial on TV claimed corn oil lowers cholesterol more effectively than olive oil. A corn oil company funded the research I found on this, and when taking a closer look at unassociated research, both oils have benefits that tend to equalize their effect on cardiovascular health.

» Don’t assume everyone is a qualified health professional.

» Do ask what their educational background and credentials are before investing in a product. Credentials mean something. If you want professional advice and quality service that meets your specific health needs, look for both a degree and credentials. Do not settle for less than expert advice when it comes to your health and well-being.

Niki Kubiak is a registered dietitian who specializes in sports dietetics. She works as the director of nutrition and health at Infinite Sports World in Ralston. She writes regularly for livewellnebraska.com.

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