Low fat was all the rage for years - and yes, cutting fat is still important, that hasn't changed, but knowledge regarding the types of fat we ingest has. And, lo and behold, it's science itself that steered us down the wrong path!
Remember when nuts and avocados were on the "no-no" list? And red wine was "bad" and chocolate taboo? Well, now nuts and avocados are recognized as sources of healthy fats. Red wine is considered good for your heart in moderate amounts. Chocolate finds itself now on the right side of nutrition science.
But when science really let us down was with the margarine hype. We were told to stop eating butter because of saturated fat and start eating margarine - but that margarine has trans fat which, we now know, is far worse that saturated fat. Something never did sit right about margarine: Butter is natural, margarine was man-made. That instinct was right so our suggestion to you now is, when in doubt, stick to the most natural food products; ignore the hype from nutrition science. It's not always accurate.
There are other risks for heart disease you can lower, too. If you smoke, you can stop. If you are under a lot of stress, you can learn to relax. And you can do simple things to be more active. Being physically active helps lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and control your weight. Plus, it helps you feel better.
Avoid the Nutrition Science Trap
Following the ups and downs of nutrition science is enough to give you whiplash. Here are a few tips to help you ride the wave of nutrition science and make the most of your diet and health.
- Don't change your diet in any significant way based on a single study.
- When considering a study, find out where the information came from. Did anyone, such as a food or supplement company, benefit from the study results?
- Look for a reputable source for nutrition information. See what a leading health organization NOT FUNDED WITH TAX MONIES has to say about the subject.
- Look at the numbers closely - are amount of participants in studies very small?
- Be wary of some diet books or websites that may encourage you to make drastic dietary changes without scientific basis.
- Remember that food makers sell products to generate income. Some advertising and marketing claims may not be entirely grounded in science.
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