It is normal to consider dietitians and nutritionists as experts in all aspects of nutrition as a science. This is their specialty, after all. Just as we would ask a dentist we just met at a party what type of toothbrush to use so that our gums do not bleed, so we would do with food and nutritionists. So, when we meet a nutrition expert at a social event or somewhere unrelated to their business, we almost feel compelled to ask them about our diet!
As a result, dietitians and nutritionists often listen to any kind of nutrition question, mostly about the best trends that become popular worldwide. In fact, some of the phrases a nutritionist will listen to are enough to annoy them or make them feel very uncomfortable in regard to their specialty. Let’s see which these phrases are!
• “I don’t eat any carbohydrates!”: This is a phrase that reflects everyday reality. However, some people (lack of basic nutrition knowledge) do not know that carbohydrates are also found in foods that they consume anyway. For example, fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates, as do dairy products. Therefore, it would be better to claim that you do not eat processed carbohydrates or carbohydrates found in specific foods, such as bread, pasta etc – although I totally disagree with, but this was already posted in another blog post.
• “I’m going on a detox diet!”: Another phrase that has become very cliché. A detox from what? Being hungry or completely avoiding any type of solid food is not just detoxification, but a disaster to our body, if you are not on a specific medical program for your reasons. On the contrary, you should start with what we call an everyday healthy diet or just say that you are going on a “detox” from meat, or heavily processed foods or sweets!
• “I totally avoid gluten!”: Another new trend is avoiding gluten. Everyone believes that avoiding gluten without having a medical problem will automatically help them lose weight. However, this is not true. Many gluten-free products are extremely high in calories and very unhealthy. Ask yourself the real reason you should be avoiding gluten.
• “I Never Eat Processed Foods!”: Another myth that people tend to express, is that they avoid all processed foods. The truth is that almost every food is processed. Think of a plain salad. Even by cutting vegetables, it makes the salad being processed. The size and composition of the processing is what makes the food healthier or unhealthier. In contrast, yogurt and milk, nuts and quinoa are all processed. So you better say that you don’t eat too much processed foods or heavily processed foods, like foods with hydrogenated fats.
• “I’m going on a diet tomorrow.. or on Monday!”: This is very annoying for a nutritionist. We can’t start something we are supposed to want to incorporate into our daily lives forever… tomorrow! By changing our eating habits, we agree to change our lifestyle. Therefore, it is not possible to speak about a healthy diet as something transient and not as part of our general lifestyle.
• “I never eat … (insert whatever food you like!) – It is very bad!”: Finally, we should admit that yes, we tend to eat some unhealthy foods and that’s allright. Avoiding your beloved foods will only get you to the wrong results in the long term. Instead, include every food, whether healthy or unhealthy, in your daily diet. As you already know, unhealthy choices should be enjoyed less frequently and healthier choices more often, these are the general nutrition rules I suggest, being all about balance.
These are the phrases that can turn a nutrition expert into a not so friendly person. Therefore, if you really care about your relationship to this person, think about it twice before you just throw these general and cliché questions or phrases to a professional nutrition expert. Just to be on the safe side.
Best of Health,