Have you ever been confused about who to believe when it comes to food and nutrition? I’m writing this post as a bit of a positive spin on something I’ve noticed of late on this very topic!
Just this morning I was having a chat with a Dietitian student I have with me at the moment. (oh – by the way, Josh is busy writing some posts for the SOL blog so…..stay tuned for more on that). We were talking about the conflict that often occurs between Academics and those working in the wellness industry and the resulting impact on the general public.
For example, over the last couple of years there seems to have been more and more debates about food. There have been anti – grain debates. Anti-meat. Anti – sugar. Anti-fructose. Anti-dairy etc etc etc. These nutrition viewpoints often conflict with mainstream nutritional and medical advice. A knock-on effect of this is the public get confused about what to eat and who to believe.
We were pondering that perhaps this conflict is due to our different ways of working? Academics work with advice formed from years of long-term studies in large groups of people (as do Dietitians). Often the wellness industry or natural therapy practitioners base their advice on traditional / Eastern philosophies or perhaps anecdotal / less stringent appraisal of the scientific literature. This may or may not be a problem. Except – often arguments ensue, conspiracy theories are formed over the science and the key messages that often both sides would agree on get lost.
Compounding this, nutrition is a relatively new science. Advice can change from time to time as more and more research is documented. More arguments can then arise between the two factions and more confusion in the community.
So who should you believe ?
For me, lost in this conflict is the key message of eating a wide variety of foods and whole foods if we can (i.e. with the least amount of processing). If we do this, it probably won’t matter whether fructose is the cause of the “obesity crisis” (well that’s just an example).
Also, just remembering we are all here to help people improve their health. So if we can all work together, appreciate each other’s skills and abilities and have a healthy debate (not toxic) ….in 50 years time our food supply and our health will be in much better shape.
Anyways, that’s my thoughts this week. It would be great to hear from anyone who has been confused by nutritional messages before. You can comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to help