We can find many things online these days. Alternative medicines are selling like hotcakes. Books about diet fads and fitness are also among the hottest items in the e-commerce business. Meanwhile, authorized regulators cannot keep up with the number of commodities circulated online.
As a consequence, consumers are exposed to unregulated goods. Items that are not within the health niche may not bear serious risks. But the products that are within the health category can mislead the buyers and cause some fatal outcomes. A study on cancer patients within the period of 2003-2014, published by JAMA Oncology, showed how cancer patients are more likely to prefer alternative medicines to conventional treatments. And those subjects have the highest mortality rate.
Here, we are not suggesting that all health products you find on the Internet are all harmful, but we still have to draw some guidelines.
Spotting the Health Fads
Fads are the widely used term on the Internet to describe a trending topic. If you are a diet program enthusiast, you should have been aware of the rapid changes in diet fads. In the early 2000s, there was the blood type diet proposed by Dr. Peter D’Adamo in 1996. However, two articles on Healthline and Science Daily debunked blood-type diet as a mere hypothesis than a theory.
Today, according to Forbes, here are the diet fads of 2018: Keto, Paleo, Alkaline, Whole 30, Carb Cycling, and Intermittent Fasting. They may sound antique, but they all focus on two ideas that underlie all legit diet programs:
- Limiting Sugar
Sugar is dangerous to your health, especially when it has become inseparable from your diet. In fact, in the Keto diet, carbohydrate intake should be strictly limited, and the body is conditioned to achieve ketosis, a condition where fat cells are consumed to produce energy.
- Preferring Whole Foods
Your foods do not need to be organic for it is just a pseudoscientific label. However, you should still prefer real meat than the canned ones. The same principle also goes with vegetables. You can’t expect to get the health benefits of eating veggies and fruits from a can of mix juice.
- Limiting Sugar
In brief, if anyone tries to sell you any products related to diet, you can refer to the ideas discussed here to decide whether or not you need the products.
Investigating the Products
Supplements are everywhere in e-commerce stores. Thus you should be more inquisitive and investigative every time you buy a supplement from the Internet.
First, purchasing from platforms that have a store-rating feature is safer and more assuring than from those who are without it. The higher the rating of a dealer, the more likely you are to be satisfied with the dealer’s service. Also, counterfeit products do exist on the Internet. Transacting with a famous store will decrease the chances to get a fake product.
Second, if Google results do not show you convincing articles, you can get some intel from fitness and health forums. If no one has ever used the product you have spotted on, then do not take a chance.
Third, do not hesitate to consult a real doctor about a health product. Doctors have the sharpest eyes to spot fake and harmful supplements. Their evaluation will be much more reliable than a random user with anecdotal reference.
Document the Usage
If you are in doubt even after you consult a doctor and he/she has declared the medicine to be safe, then you should document the usage. You should record videos, take photos, and write notes about your condition after administering the drugs.
Do not forget to inform your medical insurance before you experiment with an unknown product. Otherwise, the insurance company might nullify your claim in case any adverse side effects occur.