Truth Or Lies in Nutrition: Who and What Do You Believe?
Did they make her a champion?
We were told that butter was bad, margarine was good, the base of the food pyramid was made of grains, and saturated fats caused heart attacks. That was the information coming from our government. The picture got even murkier when big business decided to exploit nutritional ambiguities to their benefit to hark their wares on a trusting public. We had the olympic gold medalist on the box of Wheaties, catchy but poorly explained slogans like "part of this complete breakfast", the classic switch and bait of "low fat" where one ingredient is replaced with a worse ingredient, meaningless terms like "natural" and "wholesome" created to purposely mislead, and several well paid marketing and advertising execs finding anyway possible to convince us how healthy their food is, using celebrity endorsements and carefully crafted insinuations, rather than trying to sell us healthy food. The only way to protect yourself is by education on what is truly good for you. Here's my advice:
1. Be Skeptical!
Scientifically rigorous research in the field is difficult to come by. Historically, because of the complexities involved and the multitude of factors, most research has a hidden agenda, is biased, or is poorly executed and subject to inaccurate findings. Whether it's to support a specific product or trade group or to make a new age doctor or diet guru rich, it's tough finding objective and unbiased research that aims specifically at improving your health rather than getting at your pocketbook.
2. Listen to your own bodies
Our bodies have been designed by nature to give us feedback. We have to learn to listen to them. If you're waking up tired in the morning or have low energy levels during the day there's a good chance a change in your diet or habits will result in an improvement. Given the myriad of factors involved in nutrition and the interactions between genetics, environment, lifestyle, and hormones, a proper plan will require fine tuning to your specific desires and goals. As much as I love the mantra "eat more kale, preferably organic" this will not work for everyone. Work with your body to understand what feedback it's giving you and adjust your protocol accordingly.
3. Be receptive to change
Change is difficult. Understanding the reasons and benefits of change help to make it easier. Educating yourself will help with change but at the end of the day, you have to be open minded and willing to make a change. The good thing is once you start making changes, it tends to get easier.