Saturday, 7 June 2014

8 Things People Say That, As A Dietitian, I Hate!

Food is one of those things that everyone knows, because everyone eats! Unfortunately for Dietitian’s like me, who have studied hard for four years at university in a highly competitive and academically challenging degree, this also seems to automatically make everyone an expert on food, nutrition and health. It comes with the job. But sometimes people say things that just really get to me. Here’s my top eight (and my rebuttals- I used to be on the debating team, alright?):

      1. "I know this [insert fad diet here] works because my [insert acquaintance, celebrity, or random person on the internet, here] did it and lost so much weight!"
Ah, Dr Google. What would we do without you? Well, not have people waste money and effort on weird diets that only work while you’re on them, then cause repeated cycles of shame and food envy, for one. Fad diets are just that- passing fads. If they were really that miraculous for our health and weight, we’d all be on them. And then they wouldn’t be called diets, they’d just be called eating.

Bloated and not sure why? Just ask
Dr  Google, he'll know.

2. "Carbohydrates are evil… especially after 5pm."
Anyone who claims a food group is evil has obviously no idea what the word ‘evil’ means. So let me set the record straight. Carbohydrates are not evil. They will not hide in you pantry til you’re asleep and happy and come into your room to stab you in the eye with one of their pointy edges (spaghetti? Here’s looking at you), or call you names, or even make you fat! Wholegrain carbohydrates (and even the regular white kind, in moderation) are an essential part of our diets, providing us with energy, fibre and a whole range of vitamins and minerals. As for the ‘no carbs after 5pm’ rule? Absolutely. Unfounded. Rubbish.

      3. "I’ve been eating terribly lately so I’m going to do a detox to cleanse my liver."
The liver is an amazing organ. Its main job is to filter out toxins. In fact, it’s been doing it perfectly well every day since you were born, so what makes you think it needs your help now? Really want to show your liver and kidneys a little TLC? How about just eat well in the first place.
'Detoxing' is marketing genius- create a problem that doesn't
even exist, tell people about it, then tell them you can fix it
with your amazing product!
      4. "Coconut oil is so good for you. So I use it for everything- I even eat it by the spoonful because I heard it prevents [insert horrible diseases here]."
While I would personally prefer to choose unsaturated oils like olive and canola that are backed by copious amounts of scientific research, I have nothing against coconut oil in moderation. But, and to quote a recent blog post I read and loved (click here) “when has it ever been a good idea to eat oil by the spoonful?”.

      5. "I’m intolerant to gluten" [when they have never had a single test and don’t even really know what gluten is- see youtube clip, above]
Coeliac disease is a serious condition. Even the tiniest amount of gluten can make a person with it very sick and result in them not absorbing important nutrients properly. They have to use separate toasters, avoid storing gluten-containing and gluten-free foods together and be extremely vigilant when eating out or buying their groceries. It is not a disease I would wish upon anyone, so why would you willingly want to subject yourself to its treatment? What’s more, eliminating gluten will not help you lose weight or make you healthier. In many cases it does the opposite, because many gluten free products are loaded with extra sugar and fat to make them taste better, and often lack the fibre of the gluten-containing versions.
Clean eating? Sure the idea is good, but
who came up with that name?!
      6.  #cleaneating
I really don’t understand the premise of clean eating. Like, does that mean all other food is dirty? That said, if your ‘clean eating’ just means you are cutting out junk and overly processed foods and replacing them with whole fruits, veg, grains etc then go for it! But the hashtag should really just be #eatinglikeanormalhealthyperson.

      7.  [In an article or conversation about obesity and the rise in lifestyle diseases] "Obesity is a growing concern and rates of type 1 and 2 diabetes are also rising."
Type 1 diabetes has NOTHING to do with obesity. It is an autoimmune disease, not a lifestyle disease. The two types are very different and I find it very insulting to lump sick (and often skinny!) kids and adults, who have no choice when it comes to getting diabetes, in with the type 2 diabetics who have diabetes because of poor lifestyle choices (and even that is not everyone- there are many risk factors for diabetes, not all of them lifestyle-related). So get your facts straight journo’s.

      8. "I object to vaccinations so my kids will never get them."
Ok, so this may not be nutrition related, but its science related, and people who take an anti-vaccination stance really bug me. It’s fine to have your own opinion but please don’t put the health and safety of your child AND every child who ever comes in contact with your child, at risk of terrible diseases that science has the ability to prevent.

If all else fails, just eat real food (and for goodness sake,
ask a professional about your health issues!)

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