Saturday, April 13, 2013

Are You Confused by Nutrition Information?

Many people find themselves constantly baffled about what is considered "good for you" and how to compose a healthy diet. Part of the reason is that science is constantly providing new discoveries. To compound this issue is a more insidious one: Every time an article is published, someone grabs and runs with it, posting "dangers" or "must have's" across the internet and news stations. Every day you see some article announcing "the 5 foods you must eat every day" or "an element found in coconut water prevents cancer" or "a byproduct of diet soda causes cancer" or "orange juice linked to diabetes".

If you paid attention to all of these contradicting announcements you'd find little continuity as far as figuring out what to eat: in fact, there are probably numerous foods on both the "must have" lists as well as the "avoid this or die" lists.

So what's a person to do?
A news report citing one article is nothing to get alarmed about. For every study showing the ill-effects of too much fruit juice you can find several on the merits of a variety of fruits; for every claim of the downside of drinking milk you can find benefits of a healthy dose of calcium and vitamin D. And for every claim that organic is necessary you'll find evidence that the non-organic counterparts are no different.

Adequacy, balance, and variety still appear to be the keys to a healthy diet!
There is no one good food or bad food.
There is no one must-have or must-avoid.
The guidelines set forth by the USDA (my are still good guidelines, as are the recommendations of the American Heart Association, The American Cancer Society, The American Diabetes Association and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: eat a variety of foods; limit fats and sweets; get plenty of fiber from whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.
None of these health organizations say nutrasweet causes cancer or you should be buying organic, or you must eat a tomato every day!

Here's an article by a reputable MD about the abundance of nutrition advisors who contribute to the confusion.
Feel free to post your comments or questions below and they will be addressed by a Registered Dietitian!

1 comment:

Inna said...

A good post and useful