9.16.2011

Mythbusting

Original work. Background from lifelessnormal.com
Here it is. My first post as a registered dietitian. Wow. I need to moment to process this.

Many might think that as a RD, I just tell people what to eat and stay an arm's length away from. I've been thought of as a food police, nutrition nut, and someone who "hates red meat and loves V8" (someone did say that, verbatim). Through working as a nutrition educator, I realized I'm a mythbuster more than anything else. My worst enemies are those who think they have 2 cents about nutrition and crank out unscientific, fru fru advice. Then I have to go in and clean up their verbal poo. To those folks: STOP IT.

Here's the debunking of 4 common nutrition myths:
  1. Organic is always better. Even if it's organic Cheeto, organic chicken nugget, etc. Choosing organic is to support sustainable agricultural practice. Research is still inconclusive about the health effects of organic products. Of course, I feel safer eating a piece of fruit that wasn't sprayed with synthetic chemicals. But eating an organic deep fried donut drizzled with sugary glaze topped with nitrate-free bacon bits is still eating a glazed donut topped with bacon.

  2. I want to be healthier so I'm going to be a vegan/vegetarian.
    Even without animal products, there are still plenty of unhealthful foods for vegans and vegetarians. Cherry coke, Froot Loops, Twizlers, and Nutter Butter are all vegan. Health doesn't hinge on a meaningless label. It's about the food choices that the eater makes.

  3. Lose weight with low fat, low calorie, low carb products.
    Americans are fat phobic. Fat is undesirable in food or on the body. Hence the logic that eat low fat foods, and we'll be healthier. Well, it hasn't worked as planned. In fact, a new "low" pervades every few years: we started with low fat, transcended into low calorie, and now we're at low carb. In case you haven't noticed, Americans aren't getting any healthier or slimmer. These "diet" foods play tricks with our minds and fullness and sometimes propel us to eat even more because we're left UNsatisfied. Not exactly the effect we're hoping for. What to do then? Listen to your body needs and make balanced choices. The body's a lot smarter than we give it credit for.

  4. I don't have money to eat healthfully. 
    It's usually about time, not money. Raw ingredients are inexpensive, but they take time to prepare. And there's a misconception that cheap food means junk food. I have traded fresh produce with friends and relatives, vendors at farmers markets have given me discounts or extra pieces of fruit, and coupons are a wallet's friend.
To echo Myth #4, I've recruited some fellow social and food conscious friends to come together and conquer Slow Food USA's $5 Challenge in the form of a potluck! Stay tuned for photos and recap of the event! 

5 comments:

suzyhomemaker said...

Congrats on passing the RD exam. Hopefully more RDs will follow your lead and not just repeat what they have learned in school.

HEALing Foodie said...

Thanks, Suzy!

Liz - Meal Makeover Mom said...

Congratulations on becoming an RD. How exciting!I just read an interesting article by Mark Bittman titled, Is Junk Food Really Cheaper. If you haven't read it yet, you may want to take a look. It ties in nicely with your Myth #4.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/opinion/sunday/is-junk-food-really-cheaper.html?_r=3

HEALing Foodie said...

Thanks, Liz! I read Mark's article as well and couldn't agree more with his insight! Especially "food choices are not black and white; the alternative to fast food is not necessarily organic food." Love!

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

Ah Congratulations! Where did you do your internship?

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