You have something going on, but don’t have time to get to the doctor. You hop on the internet and search your symptoms and get 3 million results. Guaranteed at least one of them will tell you your death is imminent. Sound familiar? Well, the same thing happens in the nutrition world.
Science is never settled. There is constant research being done, new discoveries being made, and new long-term effects being realized. Modern nutrition is a newer science, having been studied for less than 100 years, with the first isolated vitamin being discovered in 1926, and the role of nutrition in cause or prevention of disease only being studied in the last 30-40 years. And there is still so much we don’t know! Check out the nutrition discovery chart below, sourced from an excellent nutrition timeline article: https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k2392
Literally everything is someone’s opinion! Consider this: you hurt your knee. Your doctor tells you surgery is necessary, so you get a second opinion – that’s right, OPINION. Meaning there are always other ways to treat the same injury, illness or ailment. The same applies to nutrition – ask 100 doctors, dietitians and nutrition experts what the best diet is and you’ll get 100 different answers. Ask 100 people who are 90 or older how they lived so long, you’ll get 100 different answers. There is no ONE answer that applies to all people. So, what can you do?
For starters, ignore the hype! The fad diets come and go – and, yes, some people see amazing results with them – but there’s a reason they aren’t around for long. And most of them are just new twists on old diets that have been through the cycle before! Have you ever seen some of the fad diets from the 60s and 70s? The grapefruit diet, the sleeping beauty diet, the tapeworm diet, some wine diet where you drink wine with every meal – including breakfast! Wow!! Most diet plans have little to no research to back them up, and the ones that do are generally tested on a small group of healthy men.
Question everything! Question every piece of advice, every medication prescribed and every procedure recommended. Don’t get me wrong – I have a great amount of respect for doctors, and usually they have our best interests at heart, but that doesn’t mean you should take everything they say as fact. Remember, medicine is a practice, as is nutrition, fitness, law, teaching, and many other fields. There is a reason continuing education is required! We are constantly learning new things! [One little caveat – if you are working with a professional that doesn’t encourage you to ask questions, you might want to wonder why]
It’s okay to go on the internet to do research, but do it with the knowledge that you’re going to find extreme examples of someone with similar issues. You’re going to find fabricated stories. You’re going to find “solutions” that have no research, no proof and no indication that their remedy is safe for you. And, of course, you’ll find plenty people who want to sell you a miracle product or program that is “guaranteed” to give you the results you’re looking for.
When it comes to nutrition, it takes time to discover what way of eating will have you feeling your best. Some trial and error is necessary. Sometimes, we don’t realize that we are feeling bad until we no longer do! For example, when I was running a 6 week challenge a few years back, I asked each of the participants how their body reacted to dairy. One woman responded, “Fine, I just take a Lactaid before I eat it and I’m fine.” My response to her and to you now – if you have to take something to help your body digest the food, your body is not reacting positively to that food! That’s a pretty clear indication that it is something you should be avoiding – no matter how much you enjoy it!
Bottom line, it’s time to stop listening to experts and start listening to the greatest expert there is – your body. What is it telling you?
See you soon!