How to spot deceiving nutrition products and information.

I wanted to do a post on this since all we see on social media is detox teas, weight loss gummies, and posts from unqualified, self-proclaimed “health coaches”.

I’m all for spreading nutrition information, but being able to identify real from fake is a lot harder when you don’t necessarily have a background in nutrition. Big, fancy words can easily confuse us and make someone sound intelligent enough to seem credible. And trust me, there are a LOT of people out there doing that.

This specifically piqued my interest when one of my coworkers brought in these apple cider vinegar gummies, which were on the Ellen show and are posted all over Instagram. She asked me if they were a waste of money, so I did some quick research and decided I would share how to find out if a company is just using really good marketing tactics or honestly selling something worth buying.

So here are some tactics to use:

  1. Go to the SOURCE: I mean, actually click the links to the articles that they are referencing. The article you are reading or product that is being sold should ALWAYS have research to back up what they are saying. Always. This is a quick way to identify if the claims a company is making has any sort of credibility.
  2. Watch out for wording: Many companies will use words like “MAY” and “CAN” and “It has been shown”… things like that. They can use these words for marketing purposes since they are not definitive. The company is not saying “this product WILL help you lose weight”, they are saying “this product MAY help you lose weight”. It gets tricky when it comes to wording, but they are legally allowed to do so.
  3. Look at the test subjects: If the product you are researching does, in fact, have research to back it up, then take a look at the test subjects used. The product my coworker was showing me was doing research on diabetic rats. Last time I checked, most of us aren’t diabetic rats. The company was using results from a skewed population to promote a product for the general public. This is a very common practice!
  4. Watch out for products with the word NATURAL: the word NATURAL holds no weight when it comes to labeling. There are no guidelines to follow when you want to slap “natural” on a product. Meaning almost anyone can do it.


Ask a dietitian! If you don’t know, ASK. Please! That is why we are here. And we would all hate to see you spend lots of money on a product that probably isn’t working in your favor. I will get into detail the difference between a dietitian and nutritionist in another post, but a dietitian is qualified to understand what exactly the product is doing in your body and also help you to identify the bullshitters out there.

I hope this was helpful! Let me know in the comments below!

hi there, i’m michelle

welcome to my little home on the internet! I'm a Registered Dietitian and am here to share with you evidenced based and realistic ways to better your health for the long haul. Here you'll learn ways to eat that are both practical and sustainable. Enjoy!

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Current Location

New Hampshire

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