The road to better health may sometimes involve an extra expense here and there, but you should be careful about wasting money on diet ideas with promises that are more based on myth than fact.
Identified below are four diet strategies that may be ineffective and financially expensive.
Vitamins and Supplements
Americans spend $53 billion a year on vitamins, minerals, and other similar products every year. But is that money well spent? There is no scientific consensus about the efficacy of many supplements, including multivitamins. In fact, supplements often promise more than they can deliver and may even be harmful to your health.1,2
Some supplements may be of some use to some people, but determining the right supplement for your age, gender, and personal health status is best left to you and your medical professional.
The growth of gluten-free products has been explosive. And, in many cases, consumers are paying a higher premium for them. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, and is more beneficial than detrimental. Gluten is harmful to individuals with celiac disease and can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in individuals with a gluten sensitivity.
However, there is no evidence to suggest that a gluten-free diet helps with other health issues or losing weight. Unless you are one of the minority of Americans who truly need to avoid gluten, you may be wasting money on gluten-free products.3
Body detoxification using special juices has been touted as a way to lose weight, rid the body of "poisons," and treat or prevent any number of diseases. These expensive juices, however, don't live up to their billing. Indeed, detoxing may be dangerously unhealthy for some people.4
Your body already does a wonderful job of detoxing, thanks to your liver, kidneys, and intestines. Save the money and let your body do what it's ideally designed to do.
There is no generally accepted definition of a superfood, and it certainly has no meaning among nutrition scientists. Superfood is more marketing than it is science. Before you spend good money on the latest superfood, find out if the claims are backed by any independent qualified research. If there is none, you may want to help your pocketbook and stick with a balanced diet.
If you're considering a diet, you should consult your physician to determine the best approach for you.
1. Statista.com, 2023
2. NCCIH.gov, 2023
3. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2023
4. WebMD.com, 2023
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