As you know, nutrition is a relatively recent scientific field. Nutrition is also a deeply personal subject that we don’t like being corrected on.
Because of this, nutrition is a subject that is almost entirely ‘up for grabs’ and the folks with the flashiest videos, the ‘shreddiest’ abs and the most secret ‘one simple secret’ get to influence the masses the most.
Here’s my humble contribution to help right the ship and steer us back in a more healthy direction.
I’m surprised that so many people haven’t heard about this foolishness but would you believe that there are many prominent voices lobbying people to add other foods to their black gold each morning?
People are adding butter to their coffee
People are adding coconut oil to their coffee
People are adding Shepard’s Pie to their coffee.
Ok, the last one is a joke. The previous two are not.
What’s worse is the reasoning behind why people are adding energy dense fat sources to coffee.
It’s because ‘it burns more fat’. If we say it altogether, maybe people will start to turn from this viewpoint.
'Eating more fat will not help us burn more fat (as in body fat)'
If we are adding coconut oil and butter to coffee and not being aware of the overall energy intake that is coming from this beverage, it is likely that ‘fat burning’ will not occur.
The ‘fat burning’ being referred to here, is the loss of body fat leading to an individual’s idea physique. In the instances of adding fat sources to beverages, it is believed that one will use stored body fat as the being ‘burned’ off.
In reality however, you are utilising the fat that is being added to your coffee, not body fat. At the very least, you’ll be replacing any fat being oxidised by the fat from your 1,500kcal coffee.
‘The carnivore diet’
‘The cabbage soup diet’
‘The alfalfa sprouts diet’
There’s been a recent re-trending of binary dietary foolishness in recent years. While some of these approaches have existed for a long time now, we clearly have yet to learn from previous iterations.
Let’s be perfectly clear here: Building a nutrition approach around only one thing is rarely a good thing, particular when it is at the cost of eliminating other foods that we know are actually very good for you.
Take the ‘darling’ diet of the Peterson household, the ‘Carnivore diet’. It advocates for a meat-only approach. Quite literally, the only thing on the menu is meat and meat accessories. Your protein requirements will likely be covered and some essential nutrients but outside of these, your overall dietary quality will be quite poor and your food choices very limited.
Now, we all know why this is ‘trending’ among the masses (and this is part of a more widespread issue). A popular public figure has hat tipped his improved body composition and mental acuity to the unproven effects of this diet. He is successful, therefore his dietary pattern must also be successful.
We then all follow along with 'blank faces, calm as Hindu cows'
This is a dangerous game that we play with our health. We are willing to outsource our nutrition advice to someone with a field of expertise OUTSIDE OF NUTRITION. Or no expertise at all.
We’ve danced like this before and we will likely dance like this again.
As much as we have learned about nutrition in the last decade, the basics of what matters for staying healthy, for the present and the future is still lost on us.
We continue to peddle the same recycled information that has been with us for years (and likely longer). The basics of utilising nutrition for health is based around not consuming too much food, prioritising vegetables and protein sources and making the majority of your diet whole-food based.
If nutritional silver bullets existed, the previous four points should be in the chamber at all times.
For whatever reason, doing the aforementioned and including them in our daily habitual dietary intake is seen as boring and ‘not enough’. This very ‘laissez faire’ attitude has kept the door open for ‘nutrition wizards’ to come in, assuage our fears and fill our ears with fictional nutrition promises.
The trend of superfoods is one ‘silver bullet’ that’s sparked an entire market of products. Yet there is zero evidence that any food confers any property worth of the ‘super’ label. But we hear about them, read about them and listen to people wax lyrical about the inclusion of ‘super foods’ making all the difference to their health and ‘wellbeing’.
Another ‘silver bullet’? Look no further than the rebirth of the ketogenic diet and the subsequent rise in ‘keto’ products.
I hope that one day we will all be able to grasp the fundamentals of a solid nutrition base. While I fear that real nutrition will never be mainstream, I do believe that more people will be pointed in the right direction.
Until that time though, I, and many others, will keep doing what needs to be done.