Common Sense Nutrition

Today everyone thinks of themselves a football coach, chief of finance, and prime minister. Moreover, most are all in one.

This is not that odd if we remember that we live in the age of omnipresent information. Our minds have evolved for savannah hunting, and are not yet adjusted for such flood of information. This is why we heedlessly wander through depths of internet, often taking read information for granted. It’s difficult not to fall victim to confusing information with knowledge and not to build a false self-esteem on false knowledge.

Nutriton is a classic example of this problem. I won’t exaggerate if I say that 90% of popular dietary information on the internet is digital garbage. Unfounded, sensationalist, and brand-oriented. Losing weight. Gaining muscle. Considering the insatiable hunger for silver bullets that media and the industry help feed on, I don’t see this changing any time soon.

It doesn’t help that celebrities and fitness models with suspicious dietary habits become the main diet idols. People don’t know (or neglect) the fact that the perfect body is achieved primarily through training and adequate calorie intake.

Healthy diet is another thing. With a healthy diet you can gain weight, and unhealthy diet can make you lose weight. Also, people aren’t aware that there are often (sub)clinical dietary disorders behind those perfect bodies on display. I’m not saying you can’t achieve perfect results through healthy diet. Absoutely you can. Unfortunately, that’s usually not the case, so it’s wrong to think of those types of diet as healthy.

Other than that… I eat, therefore I am a nutritionist. We all eat, every day, several times. Is there any other area of life where one might feel more qualified to preach than the diet itself?

Other than that…

Everyone knows what’s best for them, right? Except they don’t. Because if someone sometime hadn’t noticed that vegetables are essential for your health, and spread the knowledge, I would be the last one to eat them. I’d rather eat fatty sweets. My body (human body) is programmed to seek foods rich in energy, not nutrients. Savannah sought survival, not dwelling on cardiovascular disease. You were more likely to die of starvation, infection, or lion attack, than live up to the years of developing atherosclerosis.

Today the world is a different place. Lions aren’t lurking behind your office desk, your fridge is filled with cheap and tasty foods, and deadly infections are mostly thing of the past. I don’t want to sound depressing, but you are most likely to die of some „modern“ disease you can partially prevent (delay) through healthy diet. That is why you should take care of it now, while things are okay. When they’re not, it’s time for medication. Diet is an excellent prevention, but not a cure. With all due respect to Hippocrates.

Science takes giant leaps forward every day. Knowledge gets deeper and grows exponentially. But our brain capacity doesn’t (yet) grow, and the day will always have 24 hours. So let’s make peace with the fact that we don’t have the capacity or time to become an expert in every area we would like to. Let’s abandon the idea we should even try.

Instead of trying to become an expert nutritionist by watching Dr. Oz and reading tabloids, why not let an expert take care of your diet? You wouldn’t fill your tooth cavity yourself, right? Or design your house? So why try to repair your diet by yourself? I know, it’s hard to trust others. It’s your diet. Your health. Why would someone else tell you what to put in your mouth?!

However, I promise it will be healthier and less confusing to follow advice of an expert, a nutritionist. And who is really an expert in the world of all-around-experts? Unfortunately, diploma in nutrition science (as with any other area) is not a guarantee of expertise. But the lack of it is a very red flag. For starters, let that be the guideline when choosing from the abyss of dietary advice.