When Making General Claims about Nutrition...

The state of nutrition has gotten a bit 'preachy'

Now more than ever, people seem so sure that its this rigid, clear cut, well outlined concept and are happy to preach a particular method of 'healthy eating', with very little research or consideration. No, Netflix documentaries do not count as research!

Digging deep into nutrition is an extremely humbling experience. The more you know, the more you realise you don't know. You can look into seemingly evidence backed statements, only to find that the research behind is shoddy or has been 'generously interpreted.'

You can gather research on pretty much any food and display chosen elements of the data to feed an agenda of saying its good or bad for you. It's also difficult and time consuming to 'fact check' everything you read - so no wonder people end up confused. 


HOW DO WE MINIMISE CONFUSION?

First off, I think people need to think before they make suggestions. Too many gather under the flag of their method and recommend it before people even ask for help!

Much of nutrition is based around context, without it - you are likely guessing. Unless you have someone that knows the context, then often the answer to many questions should be an unsatisfactory "it depends." 

For example

Even seemingly easy questions to answer such as, "Are prawns a good source of protein?" has a very different answer to your average client, and another with a seafood allergy. 

So "it depends" suffices until you know more.

The problem is, the context can be huge. You really need a scope of a persons intake, their lifestyle, their body, their likes/dislikes etc. Then you are in a good position, to lay down actions that will improve a persons diet. It makes it all the more apparent what change should be made to create a desired effect.


FINDING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

It would be great to strip the biases and misinterpretation out of nutrition. But I don't see it happening any time soon!

In determining what works well for you. The best you can do is experiment on yourself! Make one small change to your diet for a reasonable length of time and see how it affects things like your:

  • Performance
  • Mood
  • Energy
  • Where you are in relation to your goal.
  • How sustainable the change is.

If it has a positive effect - stick with it! If it has a negative effect, adjust accordingly. Just remember that you will have likely not collected enough data to make any blanket claims. I don't mean to say that there is never a place to be general - just be aware when you are!

We have a method to gather context and assess progressive steps to improving your nutrition. You can check it out here.

Happy Eating!