Going on a diet is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions that Americans make. Whether it’s for weight loss, more energy, or just better overall health, there are a lot of options, and tons of information out there. Unfortunately, that information is often conflicting or it changes, and it’s hard to know what to trust.
That’s exactly the challenge nutrition scientist, author, and adjunct associate professor at Harvard University P.K. Newby set out to address in her new book, Food and Nutrition: What Everyone Needs to Know.
“Listen to science, and don't listen to other stuff,” Newby told Living Lab Radio.
When it comes to receiving nutrition advice from the internet, Newby noted that people should clean up their news feeds and make sure they don’t get sucked into click bait. She also recommended that people rely upon science communicators and others with scientific backgrounds to help weed out misinformation.
So, how about the headlines that one day tell us bacon is good, and the next that it’s bad? That’s “single study sensationalism,” Newby said.
“No person and certainly no scientist is looking at an individual study and saying we should now change our diets. That's not how science works.”
And it’s not how dietary guidelines are created. They’re based on thousands and thousands of studies from around the world.
Newby emphasized that food is meant to be enjoyed and celebrated.
“It’s not just let food be thy medicine. It's also key to culture and tradition and all kinds of good stuff.” She added, “it's the whole diet that matters most.”