Nearly half of people get nutrition advice from social media

Nearly half of people get nutrition advice from social media

When it comes to healthy cooking, social media has always been brimming with recipe inspiration. But new research indicates that people are increasingly turning to online platforms – such as Instagram, TikTok and YouTube – for nutritional advice.

Survey, through the communication platform sort listI found that social media now outnumbers other traditional channels – such as doctors and web search engines – as the main source of diet information. They discovered that more than 47.6 percent of participants learned about healthy food in this way, compared to 21.6 percent who contacted a nutritionist directly.

So, is this trend a sign of progress or entering dangerous territory of misinformation? After all, many qualified health professionals, including nutritionists, dietitians, and doctors, now have a social media presence and offer legitimate tips for healthy eating online.

From ways to get more than five servings a day into your meals to how to cut back on sugar, it’s possible to find great nuggets of information as you scroll your day. Here’s what an expert thinks you should keep in mind as you digest the helpful advice gleaned from your feed…

Should you get advice about nutrition online?

Getting to know what we’re eating via social media seems tempting — after all, it’s free and easily accessible with a tap of the screen.

However, Marilia Chamon, registered dietitian, gut health specialist, and founder of Courageous Nutrition, offers some words of caution. “This advice is often generalized and not intended for you as a specific individual,” she explains. “If you are simply looking to learn more about health and nutrition, it may be harmless, but if you are looking to improve certain health conditions or symptoms, it can become a problem.”

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Moreover, from the best carbohydrates to the advantages of dairy products, the topic of a healthy meal is still an evolving topic. “There is an ongoing and ongoing discussion about nutrition among health professionals and on many occasions you will find different types of advice depending on an individual’s qualifications,” Shamon notes. “This can be very confusing and leave people not knowing what is right and what is wrong.”

This doesn’t mean you should completely avoid healthy eating guidelines on social media. “There are excellent professionals out there who give valid advice on social media, but remember that the information is not directed specifically at you,” Shamon adds. If you’re healthy and curious, this is a great place to learn, but if you’re dealing with chronic symptoms, no amount of social media pointers won’t solve it — you have to work with someone in a one-on-one encounter. To achieve effective and long-lasting relief.

How do you know if you can trust the influencer?

First, whether they are a dietitian, dietitian or doctor, it should be possible to verify their credentials – which should indicate if they have the right experience to provide health advice. Chamoun recommends “check their qualifications and whether they are registered with an administrative body.” This includes proverbs British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle MedicineThe British Dietetic Association and the Medical record of the General Medical Council.

Plus, a good old Google search won’t spoil. “Has it appeared in reputable media?” Shamon notes. “Or do they just have a large number of followers on social media?” If they also work personally in clinical practice, that could be another good sign.

You should also watch out for red flags with what influencers recommend — especially if it sounds too good to be true or takes a one-size-fits-all approach. “In my opinion, anyone selling a quick fix deserves a few questions,” says Shamon. “The same goes for professionals who strongly advocate one type of diet over another—for example, ‘You have to be vegetarian to be healthy.’ The dietician’s role is to understand each person’s vital individuality—advocating an eating system as a solution to health. Everyone is not the right approach.

Another warning sign is saying to cut out certain foods or whole food groups. Shamon points out that “restrictive diets have a time and place if you are dealing with a specific health condition, for example if you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and are required to follow a low-FODMAP diet.” “But it should never be long-term or done without professional guidance.”

And if you’re still not sure what you’re being told on social media, it’s always a good idea to check first with your dietitian, dietician, or doctor IRL.

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