Following trends in nutrition science can seem confusing, frustrating, and even pointless. A lot of nutrition research is funded by big players in the food industry which can lead to published results that are potentially biased and misleading.
However, I like to encourage people not to give up on nutrition science altogether. Like anything else, it is imperfect, and more experts are dedicating their research to understanding the beneficial aspects of specific foods every day.
I am a big fan of the research conducted at the North Carolina Research Campus, where scientists focus on specific fruits and vegetables (F&V), their different components, and what these components can do for specific bodily functions. But today I refer to a recent review of nutrition studies published by the American College of Cardiology, where leading experts are focusing on digging through the controversy and returning with a “bottom line.” For example, are eggs good for you because they contain protein or bad for you because they are high in cholesterol? You have probably heard both arguments, and the contradiction can be confusing enough to make you want to forget about “trying to be healthy” all together because of the way nutrition “experts” cannot seem to agree on a dependable, official standard.
There is still a large volume of knowledge that scientists have yet to access concerning the nutritional components of F&V and other healthy foods and how they work to heal the body and prevent disease, so do not expect the recent review to be a flawless and timeless new guide to eating right. Instead, take it in as a reliable source and an accurate representation of the body of work that encompasses nutrition research.
If you decide make a lifestyle change because of the information the review has to offer, that is great, but if you continue to shun the idea of altering your eating habits because of the possibility of the information changing in the future, that is your decision. But come on, should the essential message present in the review, that relying on a mostly plant-based diet is the best way to prevent disease, really come as a surprise to you?
The review discusses different diet patterns including fads and trends, problems with modern nutrition research, and controversies about the consumption of different foods. I am going explore each topic one by one, but I also encourage you to check out the review for yourself. It is easy to read. For even lighter reading, here is a press release about the review from the American College of Cardiology. Stay tuned.