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What Online Resources Can You Trust for Health and Nutrition Information? Here's a List of Our Favorites

October 15, 2012

The amount of nutrition misinformation is unreal. Many times I find myself wondering if what I am looking at is right. It would be so nice to be able to identify one or two foods that cure cancer or a special supplement that makes weight loss a breeze while eating anything you want. Unfortunately, the truth is usually hidden somewhere between the lines. When I am faced with this situation at work or when I'm putting together a family meal, I want a credible resource to guide me in the right direction. I have compiled a list of websites that I have found to have accurate and credible nutrition information. My selection includes websites that base their information on current research and many of the sites are government sites that contain several nutrition resources.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

This is a resource I search regularly for updates on the latest nutrition news. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) is the supporting organization for Dietitians/Nutritionists and is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. As such, the site offers accurate, up to date nutrition information on timely topics. Some topics include childhood obesity, healthy weight loss, and nutrition for life and disease management/prevention.

The Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionist (SCAN)

The SCAN website is where I go for sports nutrition questions, as well as information for disease prevention. SCAN provides sound, evidence-based information for athletes, consumers, and health and fitness professionals. A sampling of topics include disordered eating in adolescent athletes, quitting smoking/how to fight cravings, and eating for teens.

The National Institute of Health (NIH)

The NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the nation’s medical research agency that provides leadership and direction to programs designed to improve the health of the Nation by conducting and supporting research. The NIH is designed to enhance health, lengthen life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability. Topics include clinical trials, health/wellness, and health for child, teen, men, women and seniors.

Medline Plus

MedlinePlus is produced by the National Library of Medicine, offering information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues. The health information is reliable and up-to-date and covers the latest treatments and drugs or supplements. You can also find out about clinical trials on a disease or condition.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is a government program providing research, training, and education programs to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases. The site has a tab named “public” which takes you to a page that has “Health Information for the Public”. A menu of topics offer information onheart & vascular, lung, and blood diseases, as well as, sleep disorders.

Choose My Plate

The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, an organization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was established in 1994 to improve the nutrition and well-being of Americans. The Department is responsible for Choose My Plate, which is a nutrition program based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The site has a “SuperTracker” for tracking daily food and exercise. It as has nutrition tips, sample menus, recipes and daily food plans.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010

The Dietary Guidelines are the federal government's evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity. The site contains the Dietary Guidelines Policy. The policy has very specific information on weight management, foods to include and reduce in the diet, eating patterns and healthy food choices.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) 

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) conduct and support medical research and research training. They offer science-based information on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutritional disorders, and obesity; and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases.

Livestrong

Livestrong was created as the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997 by cyclist Lance Armstrong. Livestrong has content on overall health as well as nutrition issues. It is based on a premise that healthy living is essential to the prevention of cancer and other illnesses. Livestrong offers information on health and nutrition, however, at times purely facts are presented and the reader still has to decipher if it is a good choice.

WebMD

WebMD is a resource that uses health experts to answer timely health questions. A search of the database may be able to give insight into a health question.

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic offers useful and up-to-date information and tools that reflect the expertise of the Mayo Clinic. Mayo health professionals offer insight into a variety of health issues. Mayo is a site that has sound nutrition principles offered by registered dietitians. So, next time you are uncertain if a nutrition fact is true, try searching for the answer from one of these more credible resources.

I hope these sources are as helpful for you as they are for me. For quick access (and so you don't have to memorize every URL) try bookmarking each of these in your browser!

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