A very important lesson from my MSc in Human Nutrition..

I have chosen to write this post about something extremely important which I have learnt from studying Nutrition at University this past year which I want to share on this blog…

THE most important thing I have learnt is how important it is to focus on EVIDENCE BASED NUTRITION, this means when something is scientifically proven with a whole body of research behind the claim or guideline about whether something works or not or even if it could cause you any harm, none of this fuddy duddy faddy nutrition BS. It is vital as health professionals (nutritionist and dieticians etc) give out advice based upon solid evidence and sound research- btw the alkaline diet is total rubbish and has no scientific evidence behind it (the guy behind it is now in prison…) , turmeric probably does not cure cancer, and apple cider vinegar (ACV) probably only helps with weight loss because if you have it first thing in the AM you feel sick and don’t want to eat again until lunch, chilli does not speed up your metabolism and the keto diet isn’t the holy grail for weight loss- it actually can be pretty dangerous unless you have epilepsy that does not respond to medication, which is what it was designed for in the 1920’s. Lemon water does not alkalise your body, if it did you would die, and drinking lemon water too often could actually wreck your teeth as it’s super acidic and can strip away enamel. OMG I could go on forever, I’m in my element!!

When advising people about what to eat we need to remember that as a health professional we have a huge responsibility and these people are putting their trust in us that we know what we are talking about and that we are giving out the correct advice, not telling them micky mouse bullshit and trying to sell ‘the dream’ short term fix. All too often I see Instagram influencers or ‘wellness guru’s (I think that’s what they call themsevles..) dishing out dangerous and flat out WRONG advice based on no science whatsoever- the latest I heard was that when you eat sugar your bones have to leach out minerals to help digest it or some rubbish along those lines…

The scary thing is some people believe everything they read and don’t question it or go and find the research paper and see what the authors actually found! I am going to admit that before I started my Masters I was one of those people who believed what I read and became gluten free because ‘gluten is like sandpaper for your gut’ (i’m not going to name and shame because that’s mean but this quote was taken off a well known nutritional therapists website/blog). Some really interesting research came out a few weeks ago from Edinburugh University that sums up what I’m saying quite nicely; it was found that social media influencers give out incorrect diet advice 8 times out of 9 and only 1 out of 9 bloggers give out correct, trustworthy and credible information about weight loss and health. Personally, I find that stat really quite damning and terrifying considering this ‘information’ is so widely available and easily accessible to everyone. The blogger which gave out correct advice was a registered nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition (Afn), to be registered with the Afn you have to follow precise guidelines and be bound by a strict code of ethics, ultimately to protect the public and ensure you are giving credible evidence based advice. Basically, it’s all about evidence based on science, and science is super cool cos it can prove or disprove hypotheses/ theories about whether something works or not or even if it could potentially cause harm. One thing I cannot stress enough is ask for the evidence or go and find it out for yourself. So, next time you hear or read any health claim, someone tells you to do something crazy like putting butter or coconut oil in your coffee ask them WHY because aside from the fact its gross there’s f**k all evidence to suggest that this is ever a good idea.

Okay, rant over and time to wrap this up because i’m hungry and want to go make my breakfast (avo & eggs on wholemeal toast because i’m hashtag basic) and I hope you can take away from this post a few important things: take stuff you read on instagram at face value because it’s probably not true or its skewed and not totally reliable. Question everything!!!! don’t blindly accept and trust everything you read, if something is too good to be true then it probably is.

With regards to who to trust when taking nutritional advice- ask for EVIDENCE (there’s that word again!) and you are looking for QUALIFICATIONS; Registered Dieticians (RD) and Nutritionists who are registered with the Afn (ANutr or RNutr) look for those letters after their name and your onto a winner. These are the people who have studied really hard to gain these qualifications to be able to give out credible advice, so in future when someone starts to dish out some nutritional ‘advice’ such as PT’s (ps these guys should DEFO not be giving out diet advice in any shape of form, in fact they should just refer you to the eatwell plate as their training does NOT qualify them to advise people on diet so they should stick to what they know, (they will just tell you to eat a shit ton of protein and super low carb and low fat- this I will touch upon in a later post because I learnt and will explain why a super high protein diet is not always the best idea..). You don’t see nutritionists trying to dish out specialized exercise advice, so stick to your job description and what you know people!!!

ANYWAY rant truly over now, I hope you learnt something or at least found this interesting and kinda helpful!!

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