Over the past month or so I’ve been guest posting a set of articles related to helping you improve your diet, whether you’re looking to slim down for the summer or just improve the overall healthfulness of what you’re putting into your body. So far we’ve covered three things:
- Recalibrate the way you think about your diet;
- Get a better handle on your diet by measuring what you’re eating; and
- Clean out your house to clean up your diet.
And your desk. And your car. You get the point. Just FYI, to implement all of this into your own diet – i.e., sure, but what should I EAT? – you can visit my blog for fabulous food, dishes, and recipes. That’s what I mostly write about, but now and again I like to step back and talk about the science, too, as I’m doing now. So in the fourth part of the series today, I’m encouraging you to think carefully about where you’re getting your dietary advice in your quest for optimal health.
In a nutshell? Nutrition is a science. Look to credible sources for dietary advice. But how do you know who’s credible and who’s not? Keep reading!
Science Makes the World Go ‘Round
Know the tune “Love makes the world go ’round”? It’s a song from the musical Carnival. It’s a metaphor, I know, but I nonetheless feel the need to point out that while love, art, and sport may make life more pleasant, ’tis science that makes the world go ’round. For all of you reading this here on Share It Fitness, you may not know that my one of my hobbies is theater – I grew up singing and dancing onstage and founded a nonprofit theater company 15 years ago. I tell you this to warn you that on occasion I reference theater. Surely there are some of you out there that like theater? We do dramas as well as musicals, so no, I’m not just a musical theater geek. I’m a science geek, too, after all. But I digress, and I’m losing you, I fear. Please keep reading. There’s a point, I promise.
So, sure, science makes the world go ’round, not love. You don’t need to be an astronomer to figure that one out. I’m not trying to be overly analytical, I simply like to say this when the occasion presents itself to remind people that science should not be overlooked. Like oxygen in the air, science is essential yet we don’t always see its role or stop to appreciate its value. As well, alternative explanations to explain the world are frequently delivered from charismatic personalities with louder voices. My own discipline is no exception, as the world is replete with individuals proselytizing nutrition who have no scientific expertise whatsoever. I do not want you to fall prey to such smoke and mirrors – I’m reminded of the Wizard of Oz – which brings me to my fourth strategy for you to consider when thinking about diet, nutrition, and weight: Look to Science.
Learn to Distinguish Science From Anti-science
Look to science, she says. Easier said than done in today’s day and age. Identifying scientifically sound guidance – what health professionals and physicians often refer to as “evidence-based” as it relies on rigorous scientific studies and research– can be rather tricky given the constant flow of (mis)information spewing from all sources. This is why how science is perceived, presented, and discussed by popular writers, politicos, and comedians is a theme I discuss on my blog now and again to help readers differentiate between nutrition fact and myth.
The good news? There are 10 tips to guide you in your quest for accurate information from the internet and other media sources, so click here for the full article.
And here’s to your health!
Dr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator – and serious cook and foodie – who writes and vlogs about food, cooking, health, science, and sustainability on her blog Play a Good Knife and Fork. You can follow her on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, or check out her food porn on Pinterest.