Don’t diet based on what’s ‘trending’ online
Selfies and detritus of millions of users’ fleeting thoughts dominate social media, but some experts encourage patients to be wary of what’s trending online—especially when it comes to diet and nutrition.
In response to extensive online coverage of a study published in Cell Metabolism that found that adults age 50-65 who ate more protein were associated with “increased cancer, diabetes, and overall mortality,” Mark Haub, associate professor and head of the human nutrition department Kansas State University warned, “The problem is when the headlines come across in social media, they allude to cause and effect, so if somebody is only looking at the headlines or the first paragraph, they may see that and think they need to avoid protein, when in fact due to the weaknesses of the study, that’ s not going to be the case for everybody.”
“When people read headlines such as ‘Eat chocolate to get thin’ or they see what celebrities are doing to shed pounds, they may get the wrong impression,” says Tricia Ligon, manager of Advocate Condell Medical Center’s Weight Management Program. “It’s always important to consult a medical expert before you begin any weight loss program. Further, you need to balance what you eat with healthy exercise.”
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “The key is to moderate, not eliminate. Watching portion sizes is an easy way to cut back without cutting out. If you want to cut back on sugar, drink water instead of sugary drinks and eat desserts less often.”
Additionally, they recommend:
- Downsize Your Dishes. Use smaller plates and bowls to help you eat less.
- Savor Your Meals. Eating slowly helps you consume only what your body needs to feel satisfied. Eating too quickly, in less than 20 to 30 minutes, leads to overeating and feeling uncomfortably full afterwards.
- Don’t Eat Out of a Bag or Box. When you eat out of a package, you are likely to keep eating until it’s all gone – no matter how many servings the package actually contains. Pour one serving into a small bowl.
- Rethink Your Drinks. High-calorie beverages like soft drinks, juice drinks, energy drinks, specialty coffees and alcohol add calories just like solid foods.
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