Be critical of nutrition advice – what to think about 

Have you ever thought about all the nutrition advice you see in magazines or on television on a daily basis?

Some say you should eat low carb, some say you should eat paleo others say that raw food is the best type of diet and others say that a diet high in fat and low in carbs is the best. If you were to follow all the advice given you would end up only being able to consume water and maybe some organic salad leaves, but then of course the salad has to be homegrown and the water has to be clear of any chemicals and have lots of minerals.

It is a jungle of nutrition information and hard to know what is true or what advice to follow. My best advice when hearing or reading about nutrition advice is to Be critical.

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When you read about nutrition advice or the latest trend or you hear someone talking about a certain diet and why that diet is the best and will make you live forever think about who is giving the advice and why?

Most often people giving nutrition advice and are on TV or have written a trendy article also have a book to sell. They want to sell their book with their way of eating and so that is the advice they will give.

The fact is that you can pretty much find a source to back up any nutrition claim you have. It is MUCH HARDER to prove that the person is wrong and is giving wrong nutrition advice than it is to just find any source to back up what you believe.

Even when it comes to scientific articles and research you need to be wary. Because research is done on the diets/nutrition that will bring in money. Often research can be sponsored by a company and is then biased research as the company selling the product wants a nutrition fact or statement that is align with what they are selling.


Source: HERE

For example Coca cola which funds alot of research within exercise as well as sponsors different exercise events to try to put focus on exercise is healthy and take away from the fact that they are selling bottled sugar. Also many of the studies and research that Coca Cola has funded has shown that “sugar is not bad and that exercise is the most important when it comes to health and weightloss”, when infact most other studies show that too much sugar and a bad diet is what leads to illness and weight gain and that while exercise is important it is not the most important and has very little effect on whether a person loses weight or not. You can read more about it HERE

So even if scientific research should be unbiased that is not always the case. So it is important to look at who wrote the article/conducted the study, why they conducted the study and if there are any companies sponsoring the research. Of course most normal people don’t do this type of extra critical thinking, instead they will read a summary of the important parts of the new research which some daily magazine has written and never mentioned that the research was funded by a certain brand or company.

There is alot of fake and bad nutrition advice being spread through social media and even in magazines and TV. It is so important to be critical and not just spread nutrition information without knowing where it actually came from. Just because someone has done a 6 week PT training course doesn’t mean that the nutrition advice they give is accurate, or just because someone has 1 million followers on instagram doesn’t mean they can give the correct nutrition advice. I mean even registered dietitians might make mistakes and nutrition advice is individual and can be trial and error.

Even be critical of the advice i give. However i would like to think i am rather unbiased. Because sure i am vegan and that is the diet that i think works best for ME, but i know that a plant based diet isn’t for everyone and i will take that into consideration when giving nutrition advice to people. I also don’t believe that a plant based diet is healthiest for everyone, even if i believe that it is ethically the right choice to make, it definitely isn’t always healthiest and it is important to keep those in mind. Not to mention that what is healthy for one person isn’t necessarily healthy for another.

So next time you read or hear nutrition advice, be critical of the source. Google the information and see who else gives the advice, is there any scientific study or evidence that backs up the claim, not to mention question why the person is giving the advice and whether the advice is individual or meant for everyone and whether the advice is “This worked for me and will work for everyone else”… because those type of claims are not ok to make. It’s ok to say that a form of nutrition or way of eating has worked for YOU but it is not ok to then tell everyone else to do the same thing.

I hope this helps you all and is a little reminder to be wary and critical of nutrition advice you read/hear/see, but also other information! Sometimes getting an extra opinion or fact checking can help to see what advice is true or false!


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Lily says:

    Nice post, thank you:)When I was really down in my ED I used to read every single article about healthy diets, and there were cases when I found controversial information on one single site, and even though I know now better, it’s nice to be reminded about the impossibility of these health advice


    1. I’m glad you liked the post 🙂 There is definitely a lot of contradicting information out there and it is impossible to follow all the advice, instead trying to be conscious of who is giving the advice and why and whether they have the right cridentials to give the advice!


  2. Fredrika says:

    Jag stör mig också väldigt mycket på alla dåligt underbyggda kostråd som finns överallt. Och jag AVSKYR att varje gång det handlar om hälsa eller nyttig mat så förutsätts det att alla människor behöver minska sitt energiintag. Senast igår läste jag en artikel om hur bra det är med periodisk fasta och en av fördelarna som framhölls var att de flesta människor minskar sitt kaloriintag vid periodisk fasta. Men hallå! Det finns mängder av normalviktiga aktiva människor som inte alls behöver minska sitt kaloriintag! Som snarare skulle må dåligt av det, bli frusna, ledsna, energilösa och lättirriterade.


    1. Jo precis, typ all kostråd i tidningar är antingen för kvinnor som vill gå ner i vikt eller killar som vill bygga muskler. Ingenting om bara vara hälsosam. Känns också som råd i tidningar kan glömma bort att äta hälsosamt är för alla och inte bara för dem som behöver gå ner i vikt… hälsosamt mat måste inte vara tråkigt, och man behver inte äta 1200kcal för att gå ner i vikt. Men det är rubriker som “gå ner xkg i x veckor” som säljs eftersom så många vill bara ha snabba resultat och bryr sig inte om det är hållbart eller hälsosamt. Men jag tycker de behövs mer källkritik och vetenskaplig kostråd inte bara pseduovetenskap och hittepå!


  3. I think it is definitely up to us to become rather more responsible when it comes to taking nutritional advice and not just believe everything that is written or claimed just because the magazine/paper says so. So yes, do your own research if you are interested in taking some advice. Thing is, not enough people are prepared to do this which is why I also think that it is time magazines stopped printing their “miracle diets” that promise all things from weight loss to slowing down the ageing process!
    It really is a jungle out there, and it is hard to know who to believe. Great post Izzy – and quite an eye opener about Coca-Cola!


    1. Very true… it’s up to the magazines and articles to not spread false information, however as they do… or sometimes it is biased information it is also important for people to be a little critical of the source. Sometimes i read certain magazines or articles just to see what the “pseudoscience” people are saying… what are they claiming so that i can be aware and have actual information for when people ask me whether certain myths or nutrition facts are true or not. It sucks sometimes because it is so easy to say something false about nutrition but it takes so much longer to defalsify the statement, hahaha. I just wish people cared about other peoples health and not just money, because magazines and researchers can spread false information just because they get money for making those statements or sharing those results 😦


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