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Fads vs Foundational Nutrition – What You Need to Know About Vitamins in 2021

It seems like there's always something new and exciting when it comes to vitamins, but this can be really confusing, and you may find yourself wondering if you’re wasting money on things that may be more hype than substance. 

In a technology-driven world, it's becoming common for companies to target consumers with miracle solutions to a multitude of health conditions, or with trending ways to help us reach our health goals. Add to that, more people than ever are searching for health information online. However, social media and 24-hour news overload us with data, making it challenging to discern accuracy from false claims. Confusion can sometimes be our worst enemy with anything in life, especially when it comes to nutrition.  Success with anything is often found by simply understanding “the basics” and cutting through the hype. Vitamins are no different.

What’s a Vitamin Fad and Why Should I Care?

Ever wonder where the term snake oil salesman came from?  According to Wikipedia ‘is a euphemism for deceptive marketing’ and basically is used to refer to anything being marketed as legitimate, which is anything but. The term became popular in the mid 1800’s and one could say is every bit as relevant today.  Ever notice how many miracle weight loss remedies pop up around first of every year? Resolutions are made by many of us desperate to get in shape. Whether we’re trying to shed a few pounds by ramping up our exercise routine or counting calories, losing weight is no easy feat. For many people, the difficulty associated with dropping pounds makes it tempting to try alternative means of losing weight, like taking a pill or relying on alternative therapies that claim to make slimming down easier. The only problem? According to a new study, they simply don't work.  Research published in the June 23, 2021 volume of the journal Obesity reveals that many popular weight loss supplements and therapies do precious little to aid weight loss. To come to this conclusion, researchers from Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice conducted a systematic review of 315 randomized controlled trials that aimed to determine the relative efficacy of various dietary supplements and alternative therapies for weight loss.  A few items you’ll find online or on shelves today that contain very little or no supporting evidence of working include:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) - There is little to no clinical evidence that suggests apple cider vinegar is beneficial for any of the health claims suggested. When you Google search ACV, it’s touted as a fix for everything from improving digestion, lowering blood sugar, and boosting gut health, to losing weight and even helping with some cancers… But as far as the science goes, studies are minimal and results are few.

 

  • Master Cleanse Diet and “Cleansing supplements” This diet (along with cleansing supplements and teas) has been around for decades and again, is most popular around New Years. Yes, it’s effective for loosing fast pounds but not because it’s “cleansing your system”. A better term would be “starving your system”. The diet suggests drink a concoction of water, lemon juice, cayenne, and maple syrup throughout the day, plus consume a saltwater flush. That’s it, nothing else.  With so few calories and a lack of nutrients, you won't be able to feed your body and brain what it needs to function. Sure, it may work in the short term, but most people gain everything back once they start eating again.
  • HCG Supplements - Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows there are sensible ways to lose weight, including eating a balanced diet and exercising. There are also reckless ways to shed pounds, such as fads and diet aids that promise rapid weight loss but often recommend potentially dangerous practices. Those include HCG weight-loss products that are marketed along with advice for users to follow a severely restrictive diet, usually one that limits calories to 500 per day. “People think that if they're losing weight, HCG must be working,” said Carolyn Becker, director of the Office of Unapproved Drugs and Labeling Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “But the data simply do not support this; any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the HCG.”

 

From time to time, we all need a little help, especially when it comes to our willpower when trying to become healthy and fit. Finding that little edge that will help us achieve a goal is appealing.  This causes many of us to fall prey to marketing full of false promises.  What we really need is help mastering the essential fundamentals of health and nutrition. 

 What is Foundational Nutrition?

We all have essential nutrient needs to be met. Young or old, active, or not, sometimes we don’t always get everything we need from our diet alone. Whether it’s a busy life, food allergies, or that you just don’t like fruits or veggies, a supplement can help cover those nutrient gaps. The key is to know what basic vitamins and nutrients to look out for, to carefully assess your diet, and to consider how your lifestyle and long-term health goals come into play. Remember that vitamins and supplements are not meant to replace a healthy diet. Beyond nutrients, fresh fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber, all of which are important. We built our Healthsource knowledgebase over many years.  It gathers information from other people who have the same profile and looks at what their nutritional needs are.  We draw on that data to match you with similar recommendations.  This cuts through the noise and hype and allows you to focus on what you need most without spending a lot of time and money on things you don’t.

How Do I Ensure That I’m Getting the Most Important Vitamins Each Day?

Easy Vitamin Plan was created because we found so many people were frustrated and confused by the constant fads and overwhelming amount of conflicting information out there.  Our mission is to enable regular people to create personalized vitamin plans for themselves in the easiest most convenient way possible. Still, we always recommend doing a little homework on your own. Whenever a product sounds too good to be true use credible sites to research it. Choose primarily government and educational sites with URLs that end in ".gov" or ".edu." Examples include Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (www.eatright.org) and the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov).  The next time you encounter nutrition information you are unsure about, ask these questions: Are they trying to sell me something? Does it sound too good to be true? Are studies cited?  Look beyond the headlines. Is the article supported by research published in well-known (scientific) journals? Does it list the references and studies used to support the claims?

 Life is hard…….vitamins don't have to be.  We want to make it easy for you to create your own simple personalized vitamin plan.  Just take our quick 30 second survey and you’ll get your list of personalized vitamin and nutrient recommendations.  Click Here