How Do You Debunk Nutrition Myths?

How Do You Debunk Nutrition Myths?

In the ever-evolving field of nutrition, myths can often mislead clients, so we turned to the experts for clarity. From a registered dietitian teaching clients to trace the dollar, to a senior Fitness writer debunking myths on fats, carbs, and detoxes, here are four powerful accounts of nutrition professionals correcting misconceptions and transforming their clients' understanding of healthy eating.

  • Teach Clients to Trace the Dollar
  • Focus on Caloric Intake, Not Meal Timing
  • Remember Produce Doesn’t Have to Be Fresh
  • Discourage Fad Diets Like Detoxing

Teach Clients to Trace the Dollar

I feel like a huge part of my job is debunking myths and undoing negative messaging from the media and other non-dietitian health providers. A general example of adjusting my clients' perspectives is when I teach them how to 'follow the dollar' and find biases.

Anytime a 'quick fix' is guaranteed or promised, it's highly likely false. I teach clients to become detectives with healthy skepticism, and as we trace the dollar back from the source of false information to the 'why' or 'where' it started, it always opens up a client's perspective that nothing is as simple as the media makes it seem. People have their own agendas, and right now, nutrition is a booming topic of conversation and revenue generation.

Jay Patruno
Jay PatrunoRegistered Dietitian, NourishRX

Focus on Caloric Intake, Not Meal Timing

I often have clients who ask about common nutrition myths. One time, a client had heard that eating after 8 PM causes weight gain. I explained that the timing of meals has little impact on weight, as long as total calorie intake remains the same. What matters most for weight management is eating an appropriate number of calories for one's health goals.

This simple explanation helped shift my client's perspective from focusing on 'when' to eat to 'what' and 'how much' to eat for a healthy diet. Keeping it simple and fact-based can help debunk nutrition myths and set clients on the path toward sustainable healthy eating habits.

Huma Shaikh
Huma ShaikhFounder and Dietitian

Remember Produce Doesn’t Have to Be Fresh

Many of my clients reside in locations where they don't have access to fresh produce all the time, and often limit fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. They also believe the myth that only fresh produce is healthy. I love to debunk this myth with clients, and share with them how the process works.

Frozen fruits and vegetables can contain higher levels of nutrients because they are picked at their peak and frozen immediately with minimal processing. This allows them to retain their nutrients. Fresh produce is a very healthy choice, but the downside is that it can sit in a supermarket for days or weeks after being picked and can lose its valuable nutrients. Frozen fruits and vegetables are a healthy option to include in your diet, and I, myself, take advantage of the convenience that frozen has to offer. When purchasing frozen produce, always check the nutrition labels to look for added sugars and salt.

Carol Nocella
Carol NocellaRegistered Dietitian Nutrition Coach, Pivot Nutrition Coaching

Discourage Fad Diets Like Detoxing

As a nutrition professional, debunking nutrition myths is an integral part of my role. The three most common misconceptions I have to dispel are related to fats, carbs, and detox.

One client sought advice on embarking on a week-long juice cleanse to "detoxify" his body. He believed it would flush out toxins and jumpstart weight loss. I explained that our bodies have efficient detoxification systems, primarily involving the liver and kidneys, making such extreme measures unnecessary and potentially harmful. The client was initially hesitant, but ultimately relieved to learn the truth, and he appreciated the practical advice for achieving long-term health goals without resorting to fad diets.

Filip Maric
Filip MaricSenior Fitness Writer, Rucking Basics

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