Often, my patients express their confusion with nutrition advice — and this is totally understandable! One magazine will say in big flashy writing on the front cover “cut out carbs and lose weight fast” whereas another magazine reads “eat carbs and reduce your weight” – conflicting and confusing right?
I completely understand this frustration and I love to dispel nutrition myths and separate fact from fiction. Next time you are reading an online article or listening to a host speaking about nutrition on talk back radio, I want you to answer the following questions.
- Is there a promise of a quick fix?
Like fast weight loss or a miracle cure? Is there a sensational headline for the next big thing? If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, then it likely is. Making changes in your habits means a long-term commitment to healthy eating and physical activity.
- Is information based on personal stories or testimonials?
It may be nice to hear a success story from a celebrity or friend, but it’s not proof that something works or is true. Nutrition advice should be based on the best available research.
- Is the advice based on a single study?
The best answers to food and nutrition questions are found by combining the results of many studies, which observe similar findings and reach the same conclusion. Also, more people participating in the study and a longer study duration can strengthen the results.
- What are the writers’ qualifications?
You wouldn’t ask a celebrity how to design a bridge, you’d ask an engineer. The same thinking should apply to nutrition advice. Check the website section “about us” to find out more about the people or company responsible for the website and look for university nutrition qualifications.
- Does the advice include buying special products or replacing foods with supplements?
Food is the best source of nutrients. Special products and supplements are usually not needed to improve your health.
- Does the advice emphasise a single food or nutrient?
Current food and nutrition evidence shows greater health benefits from eating a variety of nutritious whole foods rather than focusing on single foods or nutrients.
- Is the information on the website current?
Reliable websites will include the date of when a webpage was written and are regularly updated to reflect the most current nutrition information and advice available.
If you find are confused with nutrition, book an appointment with me. I’m more than happy to answer your questions and improve your health through realistic and simple strategies for sustainable results.
Written by Rebecca Greco