Could some nutrition practices be doing your health a disservice? Sometimes, it’s all in your head.
Inevitably, when I talk with people, we may be in the middle of talking about pineapple upside down cake, and there it is! They tell me about what they eat, their health and their nutrition. This is expected, and I don’t mind. I became a Registered Dietitian because I love helping people enjoy making healthy choices that are flavorful and tasty.
But what’s not expected is my ears wiggle when I hear some of the habits people have adopted that might be undermining their health and well-being.
My job as a Registered Dietitian is also to help people make sense of the sometimes conflicting information they find on the Internet. Hey, we all do it. We feel a lack of energy or something else, and with a few searches we have an idea of what might be draining or mojo. And, a few more searches finds “Three Best Foods for Energy”.
Top three foods, only three? That might be enough information for a quick fix, but how do you sustain energy with just three foods? And how do those foods work into packed lunches or nightly dinners? And what about any underlying nutritional issues behind this complaint? Finding answers and strategies to these questions is why people need my expertise.
When my ears wiggle, I am reminded of the nutrition information overload that bombards us everyday as we make our dinner, shop for food, watch TV, search online, even as we hang out and talk with friends. Force fed or by osmosis, it’s all getting into our heads. And how it comes out is as misinformation, skewed perspectives and health beliefs and practices that aren’t always evidence based…and aren’t always good for health and well-being.
Lists are fun, especially when my ears wiggle. Here are 10 things I’ve heard from people lately. Find out if your nutrition mind set need a reset. Read on, maybe your ears will wiggle, too.
- Reading success stories based on restriction, elimination and miracle cures can be convincing, especially with a before and after picture. Avoid being lured into a misinformation rabbit-hole by following recommendations that are evidence-based.
- Going vegan by simply cutting out all animal proteins and products? Work with a registered dietitian to learn what foods you need to get nutrients you need to avoid deficiencies.
- “If only I could lose weight, then…” Weight loss doesn’t solve all problems. But if you are carrying extra weight and are managing any risk factors for one or more health issues, losing weight can help. Adopting healthful eating and regular movement leads to better health.
- Processed foods are bad-right? Not so fast. Processed foods like canned tuna or frozen vegetables have simply been preserved for our convenience. Cheese and natural nut or seed butters are also processed foods. Focus less of the processed foods with a lot of added salt, saturated fat, added sugar and food additives.
- If you’ve been avoiding carbs to lose weight, you might be eliminating your BFF—best friend FIBER!Science shows that eating enough fiber from fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes helps with weight loss. How much fiber you need?
- Don’t be fooled into avoiding all white foods. Cauliflower, potatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, parsnips, beans and yogurt have nutrients important for building protein, lowering cholesterol and strengthening the immunity. Generalized statements are often easily shared and spread misinformation.
- Plant based burgers CAN be better than beef burgers. But some are made with coconut oil, which per tablespoon has 13 grams of saturated fat. Be sure to read the label. “Plant-based burgers made with coconut oil can have higher amounts of saturated fat than regular burgers,” says Joan Salge Blake. Ouch!
- Black and white, good and bad, right and wrong…micro-judging every food choice by unrealistic standards can be hurtful. Keep your eye on the long-term goal. (Don’t have one? Find one.) Ditch statements of “I was bad today…” and “I should…” for a non-diet lifestyle—which means focusing on ongoing habits, not every diet behavior.
- If protein has dominated the center of your plate or the scoop in your shake, you may be surprised to learn that all the amino acids we need for building and repairing muscle are in whole grains, legumes, starchy vegetables like potatoes and peas, nuts, seeds, and yes, fruits and vegetables!
- A healthy lifestyle should be enjoyed. Over thinking your food and food behaviors can be oppressive. If obeying your dieting rules means you can’t eat with others, you might want to lighten up. Flexibility is the key to sustainability.
It’s a lifestyle—which means ongoing habits, not a diet. Find your goal for the long run. Make choices that support your goals over time. Know you are moving in the right direction an accept your body now.
Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to lean how working with me can improve your health. I’m looking forward to talking with you!