Saturday, May 11, 2019

Three Health & Nutrition Headlines You Should Ignore
. . . or at least take with a grain of salt!

1.    Headline: “30 Foods You Should Never Eat Over the Age of 30”
Reality: Unless you're allergic, you should never ban any food that you like from your eating plan.
This was the most recent headline I’ve seen in the “Don’t ever eat this” genre. Don’t click on this click bait! Sure, the foods that they typically warn you about usually aren’t healthy to begin with but do you really need someone to tell you that Oreos and alcohol aren’t health foods? The idea that any food is completely off limits, barring a true food allergy, is absurd and can lead to unhealthy all-or-nothing thinking about food. Some of the other foods they banned if you’re over 30 included beer, veggie burgers, and iced coffee.

2.    Headline: “9 Foods that Fight Wrinkles”
Reality: No food has been shown to fight wrinkles - or cause wrinkles.
Despite what some “health experts” may claim, gluten, sugar, and dairy foods will not increase wrinkles. Fatty acids from salmon and nuts will not prevent dry skin and wrinkles. The best way to avoid wrinkles? Avoid the sun. Products like Retin A and Niacinamide creams can actually reduce the appearance of fine lines and have the research to back up that claim. Don’t get me wrong, eating salmon and cutting back on added sugar are healthy habits but don’t expect smooth skin as a result.
3.    Headline: “5 Foods That Reverse the Aging         Process”
Reality: Ponce de Leon couldn't do it - and neither can you.
We cannot reverse the aging process. Can we age more healthfully? Of course – but no single food is going to do that. Yet foods like beets and blueberries are often touted for their anti-aging effects. In fact, the two best health habits for aging well are weight control and exercise. There may be some specific meal patterns – like the MIND Diet that could benefit your brain but the evidence is far from conclusive!

Beth Kitchin, PhD, RDN
Assistant Professor, Nutrition Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham 

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