Thursday, 20 September 2012

So called "healthy" habits

Nothing gets my goat like pseudo nutrition advice - and unfortunately the most damage is caused by people who are believed to be "experts" with no actual knowledge. Case in point: bodybuilding and workout "gurus".

In the past, I have been involved in the "workout" or "bodybuilding" world. I have since decided to focus on other domains of nutrition partly because somethings just never sat right for me with this area of "nutrition". 

Firstly, there is not much of an opening for dietitians. Too many trainers take over the role of dietitians, psychologist and even doctors. Unfortunately, they do not have actual knowledge to back up their advice. And no, anecdotal or single case studies do not count as science based facts. Because dietitians believe in balanced meals, the consumption of all 3 macronutrients and that all foods can fit into a healthy diet- we are less dazzling. We are less "interesting" than people who taut amazing, too good to be true, miracle, quick results and this is because dietitians are regulated by an Order that helps to ensure that we are qualified to give nutrition advice and that our knowledge is based on science. 

Secondly, for people who claim to love their bodies and want to be super healthy, its a mystery to me why they rely on so many powders (i.e. protein powders and so called "vegetable" greens), processed foods (meal replacement bars, protein bars, fibre bars), and unnatural "natural" supplements (garlic capsules and plant enzymes). Of course, not all weightlifters or bodybuilders use these products but many do and many more are being encouraged/pressured everyday. The money spent on these products is unbelievable. The worst part is, they are not regulated and often come with a bunch of untested health claims. It's beyond my comprehension why dietitian's suggestions to eat high fibre foods, add real garlic and food fats to recipes and to include lean protein rich foods daily is not taken more often. I can tell you that a glass of chocolate milk tastes better and is much cheaper than a protein powder drink.

Lastly, the lack of variety of the types of foods eaten continues to astonish me. Every book or diet warns of a different "bad" food and promises the superpowers of a different food. None of the diets admit to how crazy their recommendations really are and they all apparently have "proof" of how and why they "work". I compare this lack of insight to someone who believes in fairies finding the idea that Santa Claus exists ridiculous. In other words, with these diets you are merely trading one food myth/misconception for another. From a dietitians point of view, a healthy diet includes a variety of food from all the food groups. Boiled chicken, eggs, sweet potatoes and oatmeal are only a few of the many healthy choices. Anything otherwise is just untrue.

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