Learning how to properly fuel your body can be tricky in today’s world.

On social media, influencers push products promising weight loss and fad diets monopolize the web. At the grocery store, packages shout fat-free! light! superfood! and other buzzwords from the shelves.

But how do you know if a food or product is really good for you? Two local nutrition experts, Shelly Asplin, registered dietitian, and Meg Wolstenholm, University of Nebraska Medical Center intern, weigh in to provide sound, trustworthy advice and tips on eating right.

First off, reading and understanding food labels can be tricky. Do you have any tips to help consumers better understand what’s in the products they’re buying? What should people look for on the back of the package?

Experts: Eatright.org is a great resource that dietitians use. Look for whole foods and ingredients you can recognize. The fewer ingredients, the better.

It seems like there’s a lot of conflicting nutrition advice on social media and the internet from sources that aren’t reputable. Do you have any sources you recommend people look to for a healthy lifestyle and meal planning?

Experts: Looking for sources that have evidenced-based research to back up the topic being discussed is key. Some sources we recommend are the American Heart Association, eatrightpro.org and nutrition.gov.

On social media, it’s always good to look at the influencer’s page for credentials, such as registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), registered dietitian (RD), certified diabetes educator (CDE) or licensed medical nutrition therapist (LMNT), in their bio.

Do you have any tips you can share for creating a balanced diet?

Experts: Referring to MyPlate on nutrition.gov is a great reference tool. MyPlate shows you an individualized plan of your daily food group targets.

How can a nutritionist help people find the right foods for their needs?

Experts: Individualized nutrition counseling is a valuable tool to provide guidance and support for your personal health needs and goals. Seeking the advice of a registered dietitian can be helpful to identify the best plan for you since dietitians focus on foods that fuel the body to help you feel your best.

Is there anything you’d like to add or think people should know?

Experts: A balanced lifestyle, including all food groups, is essential for health. Eating should be enjoyable and not stressful.

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