Nutritionists Don’t Have it All Figured Out

As a Fort Collins nutritionist, I’ll be the first to admit that we don’t have it all figured out. Nutrition is a complex science that is ever evolving.

In the 1990’s, the low-fat craze swept the nation fueled by some preliminary research that diets high in fat were linked to a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease and other chronic disease. It turns out that animal-based saturated fats and the extremely unnatural partially hydrogenated trans fats are to blame, and in fact mono- and polyunsaturated fats are actually heart protective and quite healthy. So while the American public went on a low-fat diet, it turns out that the food manufacturers needed to make foods taste good so people would eat them and filled the tasty fat gap with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. As a result, as a nation we got fatter and sicker. This is just one example of many that shows how the latest nutrition finding can actually steer us in the wrong direction.

If you’re confused about nutrition and what you should eat, join the club. Did you know that the term “vitamins” was coined in 1912 as vital amines or  width=vitamines? In 1912, Casimir Funk did not know what vitamins are and called them a name that made sense at the time but turned out to be wrong. So they dropped the “e” and life was good. Yeah, 1912—you read that right. Your great grandparents were probably older than vitamins. The fields of nutrition and health are rapidly changing. We assume that the scientists and experts have it all figured out. They don’t.

Something that hasn’t changed since your great grandparents grew up is food—real food. Well, it has and it hasn’t but we’ll get to that in a later post.

If you throw the latest fad diet out with your notion that certain food groups are “bad” and others are “good”, eating will get a whole lot simpler and more healthy at the same time. You see, nutritionists don’t have it all figured out and food is still food. Look for fresh high quality produce filled with vitamins and minerals, lean meats, beans and legumes, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. Make that the foundation of your diet and you’ll be relying on what your body needs and wants. That way, your body will have what it needs to heal, your crazy cravings will go away, and you’ll naturally return to your ideal weight. Now that’s smart nutrition.

Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

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