When it comes to getting health advice, it’s all about quality information and thinking critically about what is being delivered to you. If you haven’t studied nutrition, it is extremely easy to get caught up in the word of those with credentials that come after their names.
When we see the abbreviation, M.D. at the end of someone’s name it often puts them on a pedestal and we turn to them to answer all of our health questions. It is difficult for us to question the information coming from a doctor because the healthcare systems have been created in such a way that places the highest value on the word of the doctor.
What most people don’t know is that doctors only get anywhere from 6 hours to a couple of weeks of nutrition training at the very best. Much of the information taught in medical school regarding nutrition is industry influenced. This goes for dietitians and some nutritionists as well. Lecture notes on meat and dairy consumption are often sponsored by the meat and dairy industries.
Knowing that corporations can highly influence the information taught to these students who eventually become healthcare professionals, thinking critically about the advice we get regarding nutrition is essential.
This isn’t to blame all doctors and dietitians or to position them as evil. It is simply to educate the public on what their scope of practice is and the environment in which they were trained. It would be unrealistic to expect a doctor who supports their family financially to question the nature of their practice at the drop of a hat.
So this means that the regular individual seeking nutritional help needs to learn to think critically no matter what credential follows someone’s name. Some tips to help you navigate the world:
1. Question everything you read, even this!
You can’t take everything you read as the ultimate truth. So take in the information, determine how it fits into your schema, do some more research and determine if you want to incorporate the information into your perspective
2. Determine the credibility of the source
This is especially important when it comes to scientific studies which are presented as the gold standard of research. Many studies are sponsored and funded by big corporations that are looking for a certain result in the study in order to make their product seem more desirable.
3. You are your best researcher
When it comes to new food trends and health hacks, try things out and see how they feel. If the internet is saying what the best way to destress is and your unsure of it’s validity, try it out! If it works, you’ve just been de-stressed, if it doesn’t, no harm no foul!
Don’t know where to start? Learning about nature’s principle of consumption and doing your own trial and error by giving up the lethal recipe is the best way to learn what the best road to optimal health is for you. This is just the beginning and it can help to give you some perspective in the ever-changing trendy world of health and wellness.