This past week two different people told me “the trainer at the gym told me not to eat fruit after 2 PM because it will turn into fat”.
Hold on….. WHAT??? Ok, I did hear that correctly.
Both times I think my blood pressure rose way beyond healthy levels. Seriously. This is so very WRONG on many different levels:
1) Like the adventurous eater told us, no ONE food (or for that matter ONE meal or ONE day) will make us gain weight. It is the repetition of overeating and not paying attention to our hunger cues over a period of time that can cause this.
2) There is no research to support what this trainer said and I’m doubting he/she has had years of training in nutritional sciences.
3) It’s ridiculous to say that fruits, which are high in nutrients, low in energy, and high in fiber, are the culprit of weight gain.
The moral of the story: Be a nutrition information critic. There are so many harmful fad diets and false “health” claims out there. If you are told one food will make or break your health, you should probably forget the information you heard. If a product’s health claim sounds to good to be true, chances are it probably is.
How can you combat so much misinformation?
Be an informed consumer:
*Talk to a registered dietitian. Registered Dietitians (RD) are nutrition experts and have access to the current nutrition research. Find one who can help you in the particular area of nutrition you need assistance. (i.e. sports, weight management, cardiovascular health).
*When in doubt, remember that whole foods usually provide the most nutrients. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, dairy, lean meats, and whole grains.
*Know that no one food, one meal, or one day makes or breaks your health (or weight).
*Check your source. Is there a body of research to support the claim or does the claim sound too good to be true? And, remember, just because a doctor or trainer said it on television doesn’t make it true.
Have you been the victim of nutrition misinformation lately? I sure hope not, but it seems that it is almost inevitable. But, we can be skeptics and increase our ability to recognize false information when we see or hear it!
Check out Washington, DC-based dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield’s post on nutrition misinformation in the media as well!
This post is by Janet Zimmerman, a University of Memphis Nutrition Student and Schilling Nutrition Therapy, LLC Intern. You can follow Janet on Twitter as well at http://twitter.com/JanetZimmerman