When it comes to nutrition, everyone’s an expert.
Am I right? We are constantly being bombarded with nutrition information (true, false, or indifferent), which often leads people to believe they know what’s up with nutrition, or assume that what worked for them is what will work for everyone…which is not the case.
The thing is, nutrition research is incredibly complex, always changing, and it kind of feels like a moving target while trying to keep up with how fast it changes.
That being said, it doesn’t stop people from asserting their opinions into conversations about nutrition or likening their personal experiences to generalized nutrition advice for all.
So…what do you do if you end up in a conversation with someone who either a) is sharing incorrect nutrition information or b) refuses to acknowledge the science that supports the facts?
Well, as a dietitian, you may have guessed I run into these situations All. The. Time. And I’ve learned a few ways for how to handle them in a non-contentious manner.
1. Calmly explain that their claim is not evidenced-based. If they continue to argue, I like to ask what journal publication featured the study, or ask them to elaborate on the study design. We all know there is PLENTY of nutrition research out there. So maybe it was a legit study! But honestly, a small study with a sample size of 5 people does qualify as being able to give us generalizable advice.
2. Which leads me to point #2! A gentle reminder that nutrition is individual (this is always my go-to), and just because Keto worked for Karen, doesn’t mean keto is right for you (or anyone, but that’s for another blog post…).
3. Respectfully state you will have to agree to disagree. Sometimes, the fight is just not worth it, and the best option is to acknowledge that you will have to agree to disagree on this topic, understanding that sometimes it’s better to abandon the battle.
As a dietitian, it is my responsibility to be the nutrition expert. It is my goal to share with you evidenced-based information, clarify fact from fiction, and if you work with me 1 on 1, provide you with individualized nutrition advice and guidance that will help you reach whatever health or wellness goals you are chasing. Nutrition is not always black and white. And it’s important to remember that! But it’s also just as important to remember, just because it worked for me, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you! Happy myth busting!