Thursday, March 03, 2016
What should ring your "alarm" on nutritional advice
Only, she did not say nutty nonsense, I did.
The first way to judge a piece of research or claim is look at the science. The most reliable studies are published in peer-reviewed journals (although there are periodic bursts of doubt about how conclusions are reached). Still, look for studies conducted or several months or even years. Look for a large sample size (at least 100). See who is funding the study. If the funder has a stake, the study may not be reliable.
Strong defensive claims without evidence of proof can be a sign of wackiness to come. Watch out for vague eye-grabbers such as "Hidden Secret" or "What They Don't Want You to Know."
Anything that promises that a particular food will "cure" something--back off. Coconut oil will not cure Alzheimer's, a raw diet will not reverse diabetes, warns Marlay.
If a claim promises quick results--this is a definite sign of quackery. Think "cleanses."
And, last, look for quirky claims--They say you need to send in a hair sample to assess your diet, for example. Or you may be told genetically modified foods cause birth defects.
Your BS alarm should be going ooga-ooga.