In the 90’s many were afraid of having too much fat in their diets. Woman everywhere were snacking away on rice cakes, trying to avoid fat. This theory of all fats being bad for you then evolved into bad fats vs. good fats. Even more recent research is now uncovering the possibility that maybe saturated fat isn’t as bad as everyone originally thought. You may ask, “Why is there so much conflicting evidence when it comes to food and nutrition?” The truth is that this confusion is for many different reasons including:
• Beliefs about nutrition and food are intertwined with deep seeded cultural and religious beliefs. Since everyone must eat to sustain life, certain traditions surrounding food are still practised today. For example, many cultures feel as though certain foods have particular healing properties.
• Nutrition is a relatively new field of study. It was not that long ago that food was linked with certain illnesses and deficiencies. For example, Calorie as a nutritional unit only came to North America by way of a man named Wilbur Atwater in 1887- that was only 126 years ago!
• Nutrition is not just black and white. Certain nutrients can be bad for you in large doses, but are essential to your health and well being in smaller quantities. This is hard because in our fast paced world people want to know, yes or no? Is this food bad or good? It’s not that a food is simply good or bad for you; nutrition is more complex than that.
• Some research articles are over sensationalized. Not all stories are based on solid research articles.
Be critical of the nutrition advice you do receive. Often times unsolicited nutrition advice will come your way, before you change your diet, stop and ask yourself if it is coming from a reliable source.