Have you ever felt that nutrition is SO confusing that you end up asking yourself if simple foods like steak, eggs, apples or bread are good for you?
Today I want to tell you why nutrition is so confusing. This will help you sift through all the information, and I will also give you a great piece of wisdom that you can start applying today and that I hope will make your life a lot easier.
This will actually be a 2 part video, so this is part 1 today and next week I will publish part 2. Update: you can access part 2 here.
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So, reason #1 why nutrition is so confusing is because recommendations are not taking your particular situation into account.
They are not targeted at YOU personally, they are intended for a population or a group of people that’s not clearly identified most of the time. And here are 2 good examples:
1. The advice “Vegetables and legumes are good for you” is intended for the general population. But if you have a digestive disease and can’t process fiber, only some vegetables would be good for you, so this piece of advice would be confusing for you.
2. The advice “Fat is bad for you” may be intended for people who have 30% or more body fat, but not for people who have a healthy metabolism and 12% body fat. So this piece of advice would be confusing.
Now, reason #2 why nutrition is so confusing is because recommendations are generic and not specific.
This is the “you need to eat omega 3s”, “saturated fat is bad for your health”, “whole grains are healthy”, “you need to drink milk for the calcium”, and so on. Each time we see such piece of advice, it’s very confusing because we don’t know how much, why, or how to prepare these foods.
So, again, let’s take a look at a few examples.
1. The advice “Broccoli is good for your health”, although most people would agree that this is true, is not specific: how much broccoli, does more = better, can I eat it raw, juice it? And you may be surprised to learn that eating raw broccoli every day may actually be bad for your health because it contains goitrogens, which are substances that can lead to thyroid issues.
2. The advice “you need to drink milk for the calcium” is especially generic. But if your diet also includes lots of foods high in sodium, low intake of vitamin D, you won’t be able to absorb and fix the calcium, and in this case drinking milk won’t give you the calcium you need.
3. The advice “you need lots of carbs for energy” vs “low-carb is healthy” doesn’t tell you what lots of carbs or what low-carb means, it doesn’t tell you why carbs are so good for energy, and it doesn’t tell you why low-carb would be healthy.
These are the 2 main reasons why nutrition is so confusing. One is because recommendations are not taking your particular situation into account, and the other one is because recommendations are generic and not specific enough.
Now, you can’t be questioning everything, but you can’t believe everything you read, either.
With all this confusion, there are people who have totally lost their own reason and their own common sense to the point that they stop eating simple, everyday foods that would actually be so good for them.
I have been guilty of this myself in the past: I followed mainstream nutrition advice just because doctors, health authorities, nutritionists were giving this advice, but in my heart I knew there was something wrong about it.
And instead of applying my own reason and my common sense I followed their advice just because it was coming from authorities who justified themselves with “science”.
So, here is what I want you to remember each and every time you read or hear nutrition advice:
Great piece of wisdom.
So that’s it for this first part about why nutrition is so confusing. Next time we’ll dive a little deeper and talk about nutrition science and the food industry. You can watch Part 2 here.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
Do you also feel like sometimes you’re following someone’s nutritional advice but deep inside you don’t feel like it’s something you should do?
Please share your opinion and leave your comment below.