It can be difficult to know who to trust regarding nutrition information. Following inaccurate information has the potential to harm your health and can lead to wasted money. Use the following questions to be a savvy consumer of nutrition information and determine what is credible.

Evaluate the source and content

Is the recommendation supported by credible sources based on current research? Credible sources include examples like these:


.gov – Governmental Institutions


Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


.edu – Educational Institutions

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Nutrition


.org – Professional Organizations

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

  1. Does the person or group make money off products or supplements people buy because of the information they are sharing?
    Be cautious when someone shares information with you in an attempt to get you to buy a product they are selling. They may not provide balanced information if they are being paid to sell a product. Social media influencers with affiliate links make money from the products they recommend.
  2. Does the source distinguish fact from opinion?
    Credible sources should be given for the facts shared, and it should be made clear what opinion is.
  3. Is the information based on a single study?
    A single study by itself seldom ‘proves’ anything. Results from one study shouldn’t be enough to change your food choices.
  4. Does the message cause guilt or fear?
    Nutrition is a science based on fact, not emotion or belief. Be skeptical if someone is trying to make you feel fear or guilt with the information they share.
  5. Does it sound too good to be true?
    Claims that sound too good to be true probably are. There’s no such thing as a quick fix or magic bullet.
  6. Does the advice claim to treat, cure, or prevent diverse health problems, from arthritis to cancer?
    No nutrition plan, product, or service can treat many problems. Even when part of a credible treatment plan or prevention strategy, nutrition factors are typically just one part of an overall healthcare plan.
  7. Does the information share a list of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods?
    No single food or food group is good or bad. Some foods do provide more nutritional value, while others provide less. However, all of them can be part of a healthy eating plan. Certain foods might have adverse effects for people with specific health conditions. For example, foods containing gluten are unsafe for individuals with celiac disease. However, that does not mean that foods containing gluten are harmful to someone without the condition.