Quite possibly the most prevalent characteristic in the field of nutrition today is the varying views and opinions that are preached as being universal truths. We see this with outspoken arguments in favor of, or opposition to, various diets and trends like low fat vs. low carbohydrate diets, ketogenic diets, macronutrient counting, intermittent fasting, Paleo, vegetarian, vegan, organic vs. conventional, GMO's, supplements, and more. This is not to say that there may be some truth behind these statements being made, however there are always two sides to an argument, and in the case of nutrition, oftentimes both sides of the argument can be valid. The oft overlooked point to be made is the fact that nutrition is highly individualized to where what may work for one person in terms of improving health, body composition, sport, etc could be detrimental to another person. My goal with this blog is to address these views and opinions with scientific evidence to open up thoughts on both sides of the argument before making decisions, rather than simply swallowing what is being spoon-fed to you by your peers and social figures.
Some of the most commonly debated topics or arguments today include:
(Blaming the government and food industry for the current health problems:)
"The government places a large reliance on commodity crops like wheat and corn and the food pyramid was designed to increase sales of these crops"
"Processed foods are designed to be addictive"
"Sugar is the root of all health problems"
"Artificial sweeteners are even worse than sugar"
"GMO's are carcinogenic and should be avoided"
"Eating organic is healthier than eating conventionally raised/produced food"
(What constitutes a healthy diet)
"Fat is not the problem, but carbohydrates are"
"Too much protein stresses the kidneys"
"We should eat the way our ancestors ate"
"Don't eat anything with ingredients you can't pronounce"
-gluten free diet
-IIFYM (if it fits your macro's)
And the list goes on!
Chances are you have come across at least one, if not many, of these statements being preached like the gospel and probably accepted it as the truth. While there very well may be truth behind any argument, it still warrants investigation of both sides before you can make an educated decision. The beautiful thing about this is the fact that research is constantly and continually being challenged and updated so what may have been accepted as truth previously, can once again be questioned as our base of knowledge expands. Hopefully by diving in to these topics, you can appreciate how diverse and expansive this field is and gain appreciation for all viewpoints, however different they may be from your own.