With so much confusion and so many contradictions when it comes to nutritional advice, how can you be sure what’s good for you and what’s not? Americans constantly hear what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to what we eat, yet paradoxically, two-thirds of the U.S. adult population is overweight or obese. More people than ever suffer from obesity-related chronic disease than ever before, to boot. This makes people distrust nutritional advice, and understandably so. With all the nutritional fads that come and go, from Atkin’s to paleo and so on, how can you know what to trust?
You likely already know how making good food choices has a positive impact not only on your weight, but on your overall health. Poor diets have negative long-term outcomes, including weight-related conditions such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet is what fuels your body so it can perform and fight disease, and Americans whose dietary patterns fit the USDA’s Healthy Eating Index have lower incidences of major chronic diseases.
Why Nutrition Can Be So Confusing
Nutrition research is still in its infancy, as it hasn’t been a veritable science until the last century or so. Recent nutrients, too, are newer than others, and didn’t exist until recent decades, such as trans fats and artificial sweeteners. It’s important to know, too, that no single food is the be-all, end-all when it comes to health and good nutrition. That means even if you subsist on “superfoods” like quinoa, egg whites, and berries, you shouldn’t expect that these will fend off any and all health problems. Balance is key.
The headlines, too, are often oversimplified. In our clickbait culture, it’s easy to see how any online publication can hype up a small study as conclusive, say, on the health benefits of green coffee beans. In actuality, the association may be much more complex than what it’s been boiled down to in the headline.
Stick to the Basics for Good Nutrition
The good news: Basic nutritional advice is still the same.
If you’re wondering what advice you should follow, adhere to these basic rules:
- Eat a variety of whole (unprocessed) foods, especially whole grains, nuts, and fruits and vegetables.
- Get plenty of protein, including fatty fish, lean meats, and legumes.
- Minimize “empty” calories, or those which provide minimal nutrition, such as candy, soda, and alcoholic beverages.
- Ensure you eat enough fiber and probiotics, for healthy gut bacteria.
- Don’t fear dietary fat. It’s untrue that “fat makes you fat.”
- Watch how much you eat, and strive to keep your calories under 2000/day.
The Bottom Line of Good Nutrition
Remember that everyone is selling something when it comes to food fads, and that the nutrition industry is, in fact, an industry. People who work in nutrition are trying to make money, and while the same holds true for others in many noble professions, you should take everything “new” you hear about nutrition with a grain of salt and a pound of research. Study up on your sources’ qualifications when they spout off about how healthy something is or isn’t. Look for credentials such as registered dietitian, medical doctor, professor, or other qualifications. Remember that they may be trying to sell you something, and also remember many reputable nutrition experts write diet books and sell products – always be wary.
To learn more about Soza Weight Loss, give us a call today at (504) 475-9817 or contact us online for further information.