The internet is a wonderful tool. I often wonder how in the world we were able to survive without it 20 odd years ago. It provides a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, and we can find the answer to almost any question with the stroke of a key. Unfortunately, while the web has a lot of solid information about various topics, it also has a vast amount of bogus information. This is markedly evident when looking for answers to nutrition questions. I can’t tell you how many clients (as well as many of my friends and family), tell me about the latest diet or miracle food that they found out about online. Inevitably, there is very little truth to these food myths.
Here are some examples of the misinformation one can find online:
- Carbohydrates make you fat/gain weight.
- Bananas are not as nutritious as other fruits.
- Foods that are high in dietary cholesterol cause high blood cholesterol.
- Foods that contain fat will make you fat.
Given our thirst for immediate information, many of us turn to the web to help us figure out what is true and false. The problem is that these diet myths are almost always written by individuals who are not nutrition professionals. What is truly scary is that nutrition information is not policed on the internet. Anyone can write almost anything and call it truth, and then millions of people can read it and be misinformed.
The moral of the story? Don’t believe everything you read online about nutrition! Unless the person writing it is a registered dietitian and has peer-reviewed, valid research to back it up, it is very likely that this nutrition information is false. If you have questions about what foods will make you healthier, talk to your friendly registered dietitian, as he or she has been trained in nutrition and is qualified to answer your questions. Be a savvy internet-user, and don’t believe the hype!