Basic Guidelines for Nutrition Essay

2872 Words 12 Pages
Almost everyone I know thinks that nutrition advice is confusing and contradictory. Those that don’t think so are just not interested in the advice and so ignore it. Students come to class every week with questions about whether they need to take fish oil caplets, drink lots of milk and stock up on pomegranate juice. My answer is usually that the evidence is contradictory.

The truth is that “basic” nutrition guidelines are not confusing and haven’t changed much in thirty years. What you need to eat is lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. You need a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and you need plenty of fluids, the best of which is water. What you should avoid is food with saturated and trans
…show more content…
Almost everyone I know thinks that nutrition advice is confusing and contradictory. Those that don’t think so are just not interested in the advice and so ignore it. Students come to class every week with questions about whether they need to take fish oil caplets, drink lots of milk and stock up on pomegranate juice. My answer is usually that the evidence is contradictory.

The truth is that “basic” nutrition guidelines are not confusing and haven’t changed much in thirty years. What you need to eat is lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. You need a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and you need plenty of fluids, the best of which is water. What you should avoid is food with saturated and trans fats, lots of added sugars and salt. The easy way to do this is to avoid food shaped in factories and to favor food that is recognizable as coming from a farm. You should go easy on alcohol, and the rest, as they say, is commentary.

This is not exciting advice and following it does not make any food manufacturer rich. It inconveniently suggests that that many foods that we love to eat, including hamburgers, French fries and mocha lattes with whipped cream, should not be on our daily or even weekly menus. It suggests that the word “apple” should bring to mind something red and juicy and not just a computer.

So why is nutrition advice so confusing and contradictory? Legitimate scientist work hard to understand the details of what in our
Open Document