How to Ruin a Date with a Dietitian

My colleague LeahMcGrath recently pitched a question out to a few registered dietitians on Twitter using this hashtag: #5wordstoruinadatewithadietitian Knowing Leah, we all were aware it was a tongue and cheek question and got a kick out of it.

While we didn’t quite follow the 5 words rule, we easily rattled off a myriad of responses. Here are just a few of them:

“I quit sugar”

“I don’t eat food with chemicals”

“I’ve got this gastrointestinal problem”

“Is this good for you?

“Is this bad for you?”

“detox, cleanse, clean eating,”

“I don’t eat carbs”

“Thought dietitians only eat salad.” (“YOU are going to eat THAT?!”)

“I’ll have the Paleo Cheesecake”

“I’ve gone gluten-free”

“Don’t artificial sweeteners cause cancer?”

“Sugar is as addictive as cocaine” (or “Sugar is the new heroine”)

“Do you watch Dr Oz?”

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 10.14.28 AMWe got quite a kick out of our exchange and I know I laughed out loud a few times. You see, as I often share, eating for good health should be enjoyable. Yes, you should choose healthy foods to sustain your body and keep it working. Yes I believe in adopting a diet such as the DASH Diet (since it’s sensible, includes a variety of foods, and is proven to improve health) but it’s okay to enjoy a meal.

The dietitians that chimed in with this #5wordstoruinadatewithadietitian hashtag, are science-based RDs. We are very aware of the most recent research about diet and health, as well as the historical research. We are aware of the clinical data collection tools used for diet research as well as the subjectivity of many of them. We generally want people to eat more plants, but we don’t tell them which ones to choose (there are alternatives to kale), nor do we expect you to absolutely exclude pleasurable foods (foods that may be high in fat or sugar).

There are however some dietitians, doctors, naturopaths, and nutritionists who make claims based on emotion or opinion, not science.  They don’t like an ingredient, so they claim it’s unhealthy or unsafe. They may only be concerned with book sales or they want a big spotlight, so they’ll “say anything” (Think: Dr Oz or Dr Hymen).

Check out the hashtag for a laugh (and to follow some science-based dietitians who have a sense of humor). And remember that your body has it’s own unique set of nutrition requirements. See a registered dietitian to find out what they are before ruling out entire food groups or using a “detox” approach that isn’t necessary or valid. Cheers!

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