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This Is What Nutrition Confusion Looks Like In America And Getting Clear On What Is Healthy

Nutrition Diet Health

Thanks to the internet, there is no longer only one opinion on what food is nutritious. Multiple opinions on nutrition, it seems, have managed to confuse Americans about what they should and shouldn't eat. Therefore, in searching for the healthiest food for humans to eat beckons a myriad of answers.


What Is The Healthiest Food For Humans To Eat?

Findings from the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 12th annual Food and Health Survey are giving Americans a failing grade in nutrition. Sadly, many Americans are confused about what a healthful diet is.

Most Americans Confused About Nutrition

Eight out of ten respondents of the IFIC survey asserted there’s a lot of conflicting advice given about what foods to eat or not eat. What is more, the conflicting information makes them doubt their own food choices. According to survey results, that doubt is likely magnified when we turn to friends and family, who are just as confused as we are about what they’re eating and pass along information they may have heard or read about.

The survey also found:

  • People aged eighteen to forty-nine, are more concerned about weight loss as a health benefit, but preventing cardiovascular disease is more important after age fifty.
  • Opinions about added sugars and artificial sweeteners are more divided since 2016, with many choosing one to specifically avoid the other. Friends and family are a big influence on this topic.
    • Three out of four respondents seek non-GMO labels because they believe these foods are more healthful, safer and better for the environment.

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    We Are Insecure About What We’re Eating

    With all the food we have in this country we live with food insecurity – not in terms of lack, but in terms of truth. Intuitively we know our diets are not correct – we’re either overweight and can’t control it, addicted to our food, or chronically ill. Inherently we seek correct advice because we want answers, and most importantly, we want to be well.

    We seek advice from nutrition professionals, but also from the internet, health coaches, personal trainers, television commercials, government agencies and through clever marketing by food companies. We have information coming at us from all directions, yet we’re listening to everyone but our own bodies. Sadly, we have become unable to determine what’s best for us.

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    Friends and Family Ignored For Nutritional Advice

    In the survey, most people listen to their practitioners for information on what to eat or eliminate from their diet, with friends and family trailing behind as nutrition advisors. Not surprisingly, friends and family, although well intentioned, ranked low on the trustworthiness scale (health providers rated high) for information on what foods to eat and eliminate from the diet.

    Internet Most Trusted For Information

    Respondents put a fair amount of trust in news articles and headlines, which often report on new scientific studies. Incidentally, scientific studies ranked high as a source of trustworthy information among millennials aged 18-34. That being said, scientific studies only zoom in on one aspect of a nutrition topic and not the overall context of it, which may not be helpful. For example, if a study came out hailing the benefits of peas in the diet, while that would help boost your nutrition, eating only peas wouldn’t help much to improve your overall health since peas are only one aspect of a greater whole of what’s necessary to keep you healthy.

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    What Does Healthful Mean?

    Survey respondents weren’t clear on what the word “healthful” meant since it meant different things to different people. To illustrate, decisions about price, brand name, ingredient list and place of purchase (natural or whole foods stores vs. standard chain supermarket) were measures for healthfulness despite the nutrition information on the food being identical. An example would be the never ending debate over conventionally grown GMO foods and organic and non-GMO foods. Respondents also felt that fresh food products were more healthful than frozen or canned foods.

    Nutrition Has Gone Astray

    A point often overlooked is that we are eating food that shouldn’t be classified as food. To put it mildly, we’re being groomed by clever marketing, then lured by deviated appetites toward foods that are made specifically for the purpose of addicting us and violating our health. The marketing model for getting you, and your children, to believe processed and junk foods are healthful should be nothing less than criminal. Eating high amounts of these foods have become a national bad habit.

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    Healthful Eating Is Part Common Sense And Instinct.

    The healthiest food for humans to eat includes more plant-based foods, such as vitamin and mineral-rich fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Taking food back into the kitchen as opposed to frequent dining at restaurants is a more healthful option and gives you control over what you’re putting into your body. Eating only natural sugars with a nutritional benefit, like those from abundant amounts of fruits and vegetables, is far more beneficial against illness and disease than eating processed junk.

    Listening to your body and natural instincts about what’s good for your health is key in achieving it. Eating moderately and in a balance manor, as well as avoiding food trends and fads and instead keeping it basic, (i.e., natural) is what your body needs to thrive.

    Nutrition science is useful but isn’t everything and it certainly isn't the last word on what's best to eat – nature is everything, and you are a part of nature. Once you understand this, you will no longer feel confused. If you find you have a health-related nutritional deficiency or health issue, work with a competent Integrative or Functional Practitioner, Naturopath or Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner to create a diet that works for and heals you. Once you see the benefits of being nourished you will be better able to navigate the food aisles with certainty.