Nutritional Science VS The World
Working in the world of nutritional sciences is a funny one. People rarely argue with chemists when they quote chemical formulas, nor do they argue with geologists when they have proven the age of a fossil through carbon dating BUT in the nutritional sciences, it is a different matter.
People are frequently unwilling to accept scientific facts about nutrition because it conflicts with their beliefs about food. Take these three examples as a tiny fraction of my frustration:
1. Last week I came across a vegan who was absolutely adamant that oranges and potatoes are a good source of protein. The scientific FACT is that potatoes and oranges, when compared with meat/fish/dairy or vegetable proteins such as soya are not a ‘good’ source of protein. You would need to eat 60 new potatoes or 60 oranges to get the same amount of protein as eating one chicken breast. The vegan’s further argument was that oranges provide us with all the different types of proteins (amino acids) that we need. He is correct BUT we would need about 120 oranges PER DAY to meet get the full dose of essential amino acids. Again, they’re just not a good source, I’m not being mean about oranges or potatoes, it is just a science fact.
Did he believe me? No, he didn’t.
2. I noticed a post about how every one should be taking magnesium supplements because they are the wonder cure for all ills. I replied the following:
Sophie Medlin: Hello! Magnesium is actually the second most abundantly available mineral in our diets and there is only one thing that causes magnesium deficiency, that is diarrhoea. Guess what magnesium supplements cause? DIARRHOEA. You have a massive following and need to take responsibility for the advice you are giving. Please only take dietary advice from dietitians everyone.
Like · Reply · 3 · 3 February at 07:36
T D: Sophie Medlin, you don’t need a dietitians advice. I don’t know what vitamin your lacking, but it’s common sense. Every comment I read made sense, and then everything went downhill when I read yours. Please don’t discourage people from using common sense. No one needs to spend loaded of money to find out they’re lacking a much needed vitamin. I can’t thank everyone personally but I do want to thank everyone for their good comments they put out here. This all makes so much sense. Thanks a million friends, each and everyone of you
Apparently I am lacking the vitamin ‘common sense’. I am not being negative, I am just telling people the scientific facts…I don’t get it!
3. I know I keep going on about the coconut oil thing but it is driving me nuts (excuse the pun). Literally what happened was that someone with no nutritional knowledge made some massively unsubstantiated claims about how great coconut oil is and now everyone thinks it is amazing even though it is no better for you than butter.
Looking at the historical data; following the big campaigns to replace butter with unsaturated oils, butter usage dropped by 41% in the UK and guess what? The incidence of heart attacks decreased by 40% too!
Imagine if all this coconut oil use increases the incidence of heart attacks again! I’ve been trying to tell everyone! I even told Jo the coconut pushing personal trainer who gets to go on This Morning and tell everyone how great it is.
Does anyone want to hear the real facts? NO!! Not even Phill and Holly!!
It seems to me that nutrition has become like politics and religion, in that it is s always controversial and people don’t like their beliefs being challenged. There is so much written about food and nutrition, it is no wonder that people get confused and struggle to differentiate facts from fiction and the back street dietitians from the registered dietitians.
…I have thought of another one!! All the ‘Skinny Teas’ that are promoted on Instagram just give people diarrhoea…literally, that’s how they work, and guess what? Diarrhoea stops the birth control pill from working so guess what? There have been a load of unwanted pregnancies from girls trying to get skinny by drinking tea they bought from Instagram…
What is the world coming to?? All opinions and advice welcome, I hate to think it is because nutrition is a science dominated by women…I shall keep fighting the good fight!