The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Put your best fork forward”, in other words, making best choices when it comes to what you put on your fork and then into your body. Instead of giving you a list of do’s and don’ts for eating well, I thought it might be helpful to guide you in choosing where to find (or not find) good nutrition advice. To keep it brief, below is a ‘short list’ of media-driven nutrition messages to avoid.
Be aware of these top ten red flags for misleading claims:
1. Recommendations that promise a quick fix.
2. Dire warnings of danger from a single product or regimen. (such as the banana ads on the internet).
3. Claims that sound too good to be true.
4. Simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study.
5. Recommendations based on a single study.
6. Dramatic statements that are refuted by reputable scientific organizations.
7. Lists of “good” and “bad” foods.
8. “Spinning” information from another product to match the producer’s claims.
9. Stating that research is “currently underway,” indicating that there is no current research.
10. Non-science based testimonials supporting the product, often from celebrities or highly satisfied customers.
So, where to find reputable nutrition advice?
1. First, find a qualified nutrition expert known as a registered (RD or RDN) and licensed dietitian (LD), who has specialized degree in dietetics, nutrition, public health, or related sciences from an accredited university.
2. In terms of the media, make sure the information is referenced with cited sources. Seek out multiple perspectives regarding nutrition advice, and ask a nutrition expert about the source of the findings. Ensure that the information is current and informing, not attempting to advertise or sell a product.
3. On the Internet: Websites should be from credible web addresses ending in .edu (an educational institution), .gov (government agency), or .org (non-profit). Any web pages that end in .com (commercial) or .net (networks) should be reviewed with caution.
So now that you have tools to seek the TRUTH when it comes to nutrition, also remember to seek Gods TRUTH found in His Word!