DIETITIANS ADVICE TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES & POTENTIAL FUTURE REVERSAL OF THINKING ABOUT DIETARY SATURATED FATS
DIETITIANS LOOK BACK AND GIVE THEMSELVES ADVICE. In an article for Under Armor’s MyFitnessPal blog written by Julia Malakoff, eight professionals share “what they wish they could have told themselves 10 years ago, "about what it really means to eat healthy”.
HAVING BEEN TRAINED IN DIETETICS AND WORKED AS A REGISTERED DIETITIAN for 3 years I wondered what I would have answered if asked this question. I can’t claim to have the same perspective as those who have practiced in the field for a decade or more.
But I can look back after my medical and pathology training, years of work as a surgical and then pediatric/placental pathologist, decades of research focused on learning about the origins of preterm delivery, and attempt it. After all, I had learned about and observed the effects of diseases on the body, including those with a dietary component like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, with a knowledge of and interest in nutrition.
First off, I read the 10 points in the article and found that these fitness-centered dietitians had opinions very similar to mine. The points made are solid and can provide guidance for most individuals hoping to make dietary changes that will contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
The entire article is worth a thorough read; some highlights include: 1) nutrition advice which points to one food or food type as bad, to be totally avoided, or good and emphasized above all others, should be questioned. Foods are best enjoyed in moderation/small amounts; 2) a nutrition plan that works for one person is not necessarily going to fit all; extensive experimentation may be required to determine best practices for individuals; 3) setting extreme goals and instituting extreme dietary changes isn’t likely to be a successful strategy for weight loss or maintenance. Earned Runs thinks this applies to physical activity and exercise plans to achieve weight loss as well.
My contribution as a former dietitian and longtime pathologist builds on points #1 by Amy Goodson that no one food is bad, and #9 by Hannah Meier R.D who reminds us that there is more to a healthy diet than consuming fresh produce. “Our bodies perform best with a balance of fruits, vegetables, proteins and healthy fats, and this balance can look different for every person and every culture” she is quoted as saying in the article.
Although there’s a tendency to concentrate on eating habits that would help us to attain a slim and trim form, strength and function are important from youth to old age. Daily protein requirements have been set to insure intake is sufficient to build and maintain muscle and bone as well as all other body components and structures. Essential fats and vitamins vital to the proper functioning of many physiological systems are found in protein sources. Meat, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy products should not be shunned because they are thought to be inherently ‘bad’ foods.
Plant sources complemented by other foods can provide complete proteins, but are not the only healthy alternatives. Philosophical, religious, and cultural preferences might guide our choice of protein sources, but misconceptions should not.
In recent years, the decades-long US emphasis on low-fat diets for the promotion of cardiovascular health have come under increasing scrutiny. Some experts contend that a move to lower dietary fat in America and the rest of the world may have led to unhealthy increases in the amount of sugar and calories in food, originating from processing changes, and to obesity (as in the Snackwell's Effect). Studies, like PURE, which involved 18 countries in five continents, are providing new information that may change our thinking and practices. It revealed that “total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality.”
Current RDA Guidelines call for 0.8 grams of high quality protein per kilogram of body weight for both men and women. It is difficult to find a reference or health article that doesn’t caution against too getting much protein, and doesn’t recommend limiting total fat and saturated fat in the diet.
But higher levels may be needed with aging when intestinal absorption is reduced and lean muscle mass is lost (sarcopenia), in part related to decreased physical activity. Bone strength diminishes with age, especially in women. Because of the finding of newer scientific investigations like PURE and that realization that American obesity rates haven’t been reduced by the actions of government and health organizations to lower dietary fat, hopefully we will see more discussion on the topic of saturated fat and the protein sources in which it is found.
You heard it here!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Lancet. 2017 Nov 4;390(10107):2050-2062. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32252-3. Epub 2017 Aug 29. “Associations of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 18 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study.”
“Interpretation: High carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality. Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular disease mortality, whereas saturated fat had an inverse association with stroke. Global dietary guidelines should be reconsidered in light of these findings.”
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
New! Search Box
Earned Runs is now searchable! Check it out...