Why Nutrition Is So Confusing – Part 2 – Nutrition Science and the Food Industry
Hi, it’s Anne Ricci and you are watching Anne’s
Healthy Kitchen TV. And today is part two of my videos about why
nutrition is so confusing. So, if you missed part one, you can watch
it by clicking here. So today we’re going to dive a little deeper
and we’re going to talk about nutrition science and the food industry.
So the first thing you need to understand is what nutrition science really is.
Science, in its original sense, is a word for a type of knowledge which people can communicate
to each other and share. It is a “knowledge about the natural world based on facts learned
through experiments and observation”. In plain English, this means that nutrition
science does not have to be tied to a laboratory. It is basically what we humans know about
nutrition. So, let’s take the example of duck fat. If
we have observed that the people who eat the most of it in the South of France are also
the people who have the least coronary heart disease in the whole country, this is science.
Now, if we have a study that tells us that coronary heart disease is caused by eating
too much duck fat, this is science, too. And this is where it becomes confusing.
So, I’ll show you a great example, directly from my course to become a dietician.
It’s precisely about saturated fat, and it says:
“Saturated fats have no known negative effects and some of them even have positive effects
on our health.” And a few pages later, in the same course,
it says: “Studies have shown that a diet high in saturated fat can cause coronary heart
disease.” So this is confusing. But this shows you that
there is a built-in contradiction within nutrition science, because there will always be contradictions
between laboratory experiments, laboratory studies and observation studies.
And if you as a consumer are confused, you should know that nutritionists and dieticians
can also be confused. Because these professionals have to deal with all these contradictions,
too. And what makes it a lot worse is the food
industry. The food industry is my favorite scapegoat.
I’m talking about Big Food here. The food industry will tell you that their
products are healthy. They make a ton of health claims, and consumers are more confused than
ever. I’m gonna give you a great example: breakfast
cereals. Can you imagine that I was giving my first
son breakfast cereals? Ok it didn’t last long, because I soon realized
that this was actually the worst breakfast for a kid. But I got caught by all these health
claims and I got caught by health authorities who were saying that these foods were healthy
for kids. Here is what happens, look at this:
This is for children, and it says Whole Grain guaranteed, as if this was necessarily better
for our health. And then, good source of calcium and vitamin D.
So now we look at the ingredients, and here is what we see: whole grain corn. That’s corn!
And then, sugar! It’s the second ingredient on the list, which means there’s a lot of
it. Then, more corn, more sugar (the corn syrup) and a bunch of additives that are definitely
not good for our kid’s health. Plus a bunch of added vitamins and minerals, that are synthetic
and not natural at all. These cereals are basically corn, sugar plus chemical substances.
We are far away from the health claims on the package.
Here we have another example, these cereals are also for children, and it says “can help
lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease”. But when you look at the ingredients,
you basically have whole oats and sugar, plus again lots of chemical substances.
So, on one hand we have nutrition science, that’s confusing because studies can lead
to contradictory or incomplete conclusions. And on the other hand, we have the food industry
that keeps using this contradictory nutrition science to make health claims on products
that contain lots of unhealthy ingredients. Now I’m sure you see why nutrition is so confusing.
So here is the takeaway for you today: science doesn’t have to come from a laboratory;
it can come from observation, experience, and traditional diets. And we don’t know everything
about the human body and about nutrition yet; far from it. So, always take nutrition information
with a grain of salt. And you can go back to my advice in video one, about using your
own reason and your own common sense. then, always remember that the #1 goal of
the food industry is to make profits. It’s absolutely not about keeping you healthy.
So that’s it for this 2 part video about why nutrition is so confusing. I hope you liked
it. If so, please share it with your friends. And if you want more healthy eating and weight
loss tips, click this link here to my website. Thank you so much for watching and I will
see you next time on Anne’s Healthy Kitchen TV.