National Nutrition Month, a campaign managed by the
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The goal of this campaign is to highlight the important of making smart,
informed nutritional decisions in order to promote a healthier lifestyle.
However, making the right choices can be difficult when the information
available to the public is contradictory or uncertain.
According to a recent op-ed by Nina Teicholz of the
New York Times, new studies have debunked established nutrition guidelines a number of
times in recent history. For example, Americans have been avoiding fat
and cholesterol for years based on information indicating that consuming
too much of either of these compounds would be dangerous to their health.
However, the government has now repealed both of these guidelines after
reports showed their original assumptions to be false.
Even the guidelines that remain in place have faced challenges. The government’s
current recommendations maintain that saturated fats are linked to heart
disease, in spite of several recent contradictions. Likewise, an influential
Institute of Medicine study has also contradicted the government’s call to reduce salt intake.
To establish healthy eating habits in the face of contradictory advice:
• Take governmental nutrition recommendations in context, work with
your doctor, and do your own research. Scrutinize the research studies
that led to recommendations before accepting them as valid.
• Consider adopting the same nutritional principles that worked for
previous generations: significant amounts of real, whole foods (including
natural fat and protein and vegetables) with limited sugar and refined grains.
Interested in the most recent guideline changes? They indicate that Americans
are eating too much sugar:
New Dietary Guidelines Call for a Drastic Reduction in Sugar Intake –
Cholesterol and Fat Limits Raised.