Saturday, February 14, 2009

Who to Believe?!

Eggs are bad for you. No wait, now they're good. Well, only eat the whites. Go ahead and eat the whole darn egg, they're good for you...

Oh, the confusion of it all!! I understand why people get frustrated with all of the conflicting health stories in the news. I am going to try to help you figure out when and when not to believe what you hear and give you some tools to find out the truth.

Research studies are being conducted all of the time. I know that if I was in the field of Clinical Research, I would be looking for the next big nutrition-related medical breakthrough. In a way, I don't blame them for constantly reaching new conclusions, but it does nothing but confuse the American public (as well as Dietitians sometimes!).

But how does the public decipher nonsense such as, "It is no longer necessary to drink 8 cups of water a day" or "Is coffee actually good for you? Find out after the break..."

No wonder people tend to just do what they want nutritionally- why should you listen to people that seem to have no idea what they are talking about?

Well, that's where Dietitians come in. We (and I use that term lightly since I am a new RD) are the Food and Nutrition experts. We have the knowledge, tools, and resources to help sort out the mess of information thrown at you by the media. I want to share some of these tools with you so that you are able to check the validity of the claims: This is the official website for the American Dietetic Association. Here you will find a Tip of the Day, Food and Nutrition Information, and can even locate a Nutrition Professional near you. There are a few areas that are restricted to members only; these will have a key next to them. However, if you have a question that you desperately need answered and are unable to find it in the tools I provide, you can ask me or contact a Dietitian near you. This is such a great website because it allows you to tailor a nutrition plan for yourself based on your age, weight, height, and physical activity. If you click on "My Pyramid Plan" it will customize the Food Pyramid to help you gain a better understanding of how much of each food group you should aim for each day. It also has special features for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as for children. If you click on "For Kids" there is a My Pyramid Blast Off Game that I have played with a class full of 5th graders that had a blast playing the game (sorry but I couldn't resist a corny joke!).

Another feature that the new and updated Pyramid includes is physical activity, which is wonderful since it goes hand-in-hand with nutrition. This website, operated by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), is a fun, interactive, and informative tool that I hope you will enjoy and share with your family. : This is another website brought to you by the USDA. It is a wealth of information for all things nutrition. You can find out What's in Food, Calorie and nutrient info for specific foods, weight management tools, grocery shopping/meal planning help, and much more! They also have a list of other Government Sites that may be of interest to you.

I could go on and on about the availability of information on the internet. But as we have already established, it can be difficult to know what is true, valid info. My only advice is to look for pages that are operated by large, credible organizations like the USDA, ADA, FDA, or even your local Health Department.

Good luck to you on your quest for true, honest, nutrition and health information that you can live by!

1 comment:

  1. i like the new format. looks good. and i only eat the whites of the eggs, i dont like the yolks. eew.