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Conflicting Nutrition Information?

The New Hope Network spawns the following question this morning: Conflicting Nutrition Information? How is that affecting us? Are we absorbing it, ignoring it or just throwing up our hands in confusion?

Well, I am someone who is constantly, consistently researching the new ‘facts’ that come out daily about food and its’ nutritional value. I can tell you first hand that even I am confused by the rate that things change. 

I’m talking about sugar creating inflammation and thinking that inflammation causes disease, but then Dr. Neal Barnard comes on my screen telling me that it’s not the sugar that causes diabetes. The sugar is the calling card, to get the rest of that cookie with shortening, lard or butter into your system, which coats the cells and makes it impossible for natural sugars to go into them, and instead forcing the sugar into our blood stream. And that my friend is what we call diabetes. Different concept. Way different from ‘don’t eat sugar’ if you’re diabetic or on your way to becoming diabetic.

And why do I have those red peppers staring at you in the face? There’s more to it, I promise. But let’s first hear about the survey done telling us about what we are missing in terms of nutritional literacy and how the gluttony of information out there is making us make bad decisions.

Americans are consuming food information from more sources than ever before, yet our nutritional literacy is sorely lacking—and our health may be suffering as a result. Those are among the findings of the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 12th Annual Food and Health Survey.

“As in previous years, the Food and Health Survey has shown that Americans feel overwhelmed by conflicting food and nutrition information,” said IFIC Foundation CEO Joseph Clayton. “But this year, we’re finding troubling signs that the information glut is translating into faulty decisions about our diets and health.”

Food Confusion
The vast majority of consumers—eight in 10 (78 percent)—say that they encounter a lot of conflicting information about what to eat/avoid. More than half of those (56 percent) say the conflicting information makes them doubt the choices they make.

Almost all consumers (96 percent) seek out health benefits from what they eat and drink (the top benefits being weight loss, cardiovascular health, energy and digestive health), but out of those, only 45 percent could identify a single food or nutrient associated with those benefits.

And worse yet, we are not getting the ‘specifics’ of what to do to help our bodies process nutrients. Simple things like: Iron needs Vitamin C to process. So throw some strawberries in with your spinach salad.

So, I know that to be true. But what about the fact that some experts say we can’t mix fruits in with our vegetables … that they won’t process properly. See what I mean? Conflicting info that all sounds like it could be true.

Back to my red peppers…. in the last couple of years I cut out sugar, then alcohol, then lowered my carb intake of breads and pasta. I rarely ate beef or fish. I would say the things I ate regularly were chicken, turkey burgers, ribs, and shrimp along with rice, pasta, bread and some vegetables. 

And then I cut my ‘regulars’ to weekends only. After a year of that, I went plant based. And this is how I am personally combatting all the information, misinformation and disinformation. I eat plant based. And what are those red peppers for? If I’m not going to get to eat, I bring along a red pepper. Eating a pepper is very satisfying to me and provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I can eat it in my car or anywhere I go. I would have never thought to do that, until I became plant based. I filled peppers with tuna, but never saw peppers as fast food of a better kind.

Later I added occasional treats back in (drinks at dinner once a month, and a vegan dessert once in a while). And slowly I have watched myself morph into more energy and a healthier dress size.

When you are plant based, you really can’t go wrong, unless and if you think junk food like vegans burgers and fries are no longer junk food. Then, you may have a problem of gaining weight instead of loosing it!

Let me say as always: “Do not take what I think and put it ahead of your own good common sense and get checked out by a doctor to see what is the best choice for you”.

And of course I am hoping you will consider a world without pills to cure everything which may very well mean a plant based diet. I always say: Food is your best medicine! And so that’s what I think.

What do you think?

Healthy Happy Eating,

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