April Fools’ Day has a history that many believe goes back to the late 1500’s. Historians have suggested that when calendars switched from the Julian to the Gregorian, moving the first of the year to January 1, not April 1, some people missed the switch. Missing the switch, many continued to celebrate the first of the year on April 1, making them “April Fools”. Ever since then, April Fools’ Day has been about practical jokes. As we hit April 1, it is a good time to look at some “nutrition hoaxes.”
Food and nutrition information is easy to find on the web. A quick search brings up more than six hundred million options. Few people will check-out all those articles, making it hard to know what to read and what to believe. When articles contradict each other, it can be an easy “ red flag” but knowing which sources to believe isn’t as simple as it might seem. A few tips can help you find nutrition facts that reflect the evidence and nutrition information that is focused on health promotion. Check the education of the person giving the advice. If it is not a four-year degree or there is no mention of supervised practical experience, you might want to move on. Another tip is to see if the guidance given aligns with reputable medical groups and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Finding the Reliable Nutritional Information
Another step in sorting through the nutritional information minefield is to review the “10 Red Flags of Junk Science” These 10 guidelines reflect the work of the Food and Nutrition Alliance, a partnership of professional groups including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American College of Nutrition and the American society of Nutrition. These red flags help you know when to think twice about nutrition information.
You can ensure that you get food and nutrition information that reflects the science by contacting a Registered Dietitian (RD). A Registered Dietitian has education and training in the body of evidence around food and nutrition. Learn more by checking out this video. When you view the video, you will learn about the many areas of practice. As well as all the things that RD’s can help you with in terms of health, meal planning, dining out and more. In addition, at about 31 seconds in you will see a clip of my very sweet puppy, who actually applied for and received, a nutritionist certificate demonstrating that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. If you are curious to see more about my background visit this link.
Trust an RD to Avoid an April Fools’ Day Food Myth!
If you want to avoid the many pitfalls of questionable online nutrition information the best bet is to Find An Expert through the referral service that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides. With this link you can find RD’s in your area. You can also see what areas of practice they provide and if insurance covers your visits with the RD. With this information you can decide the best RD for your needs. Don’t get caught by an April Fools Day food myth – get nutrition facts you can trust, feel comfortable with and easily implement.
About Connie – Connie is a Registered Dietitian with extensive experience communicating in the food and nutrition space. Taking the science of food and nutrition and translating it to simple messages, new products, or exciting menus is her expertise. Making nutrition messages clear, accurate, and engaging aids all consumers.