I strongly encourage you to research any diet you are thinking of doing before you do it. Even a quick Wikipedia search or googling “x diet review” can be very eye-opening as I suggest in the “understanding health science” course.
Some diets have great websites and buzz words, or fake supporting articles, or recommendations by celebrities or people in white coats but when you spend even 5-10 minutes reading the independent reviews and studies of them you will realise a lot of them are empty. And so you will save yourself a lot of time and money by doing a background check. It is a funny thing that most people would read reviews of a car or at least ask around before buying one. But yet we don’t do the same with health recommendations. Don’t believe the salesperson – do your own background check.
Some of the things you want to check for include:
- Are there genuine studies that support its use – ask your relevant health professional or look on PubMed or google search “x diet evidence”. To know if a study is of a high quality actually takes quite a bit of training so this is where doing the health science course might be useful or having a chat with a trained professional. But briefly you want to know if the length of the trial was reasonable, was it 4 weeks long which most diets will show a benefit or a year long where phoney diets probably won’t have much effect. Was it in many people or just a few? If only a small number of people did the trial then it is not reliable. Are there multiple studies looking at it? Was there a control group comparing outcomes who did not do the diet? And there is much more but these are some of the important ones to check for.
- Is it just a diet program or does it come with supplements they want you to buy? So essentially are you being upsold?
- Is the study sponsored by someone selling something? Or that have a vested interested in getting a positive result? Whilst it does not mean the results will be wrong, we still need to be more sceptical when this happens
So by asking these questions and doing a quick background check by asking qualified health professionals and doing a google search for reviews can be really helpful.
Further reading if desired – a guide to online health information: