What We Don’t Know: Understanding Nutrition in a Modern World

By Devin Noe

Most of us treat food in some ways like a one night stand. We don’t really prepare, we pick the most convenient and available choice, and we don’t ask many questions. When we’re done we want to forget it ever happened and move on. What you eat may not affect your health right away, but its the most important factor to your general health and longevity.

Why so much conflicting info?

Why can’t it just be clear and simple?

So why do people make nutritional science so confusing? On one hand, research and studies are changing guidelines and recommendations at a pace that seems hard to keep up with. It might make you think “well, everything gives you cancer” or the good ‘ole “YOLO” and “Treat-yo-self” method. But let’s break it down to understand why it’s become so complicated. image-11

In a way, Nutrition represents the beauty of Science at its core. You see, science takes all the ideas — good, bad, and indifferent — and has a playoff using a particular method to determine winners. According to Precision Nutrition “that’s precisely why nutrition science is so confusing at times. We haven’t had the hundreds, even thousands, of years for the best ones to emerge.”

Nutrition is still young. Macronutrients (fats, carbs, proteins) weren’t even discovered until the mid 1800’s with Vitamins coming around the 1900’s. For a long time food study was driven by problems like malnutrition and starvation, but we don’t often face those today as industrial countries (however, they are still a problem in many other parts of the world). Today most funding goes to disease treatment, not preventative nutrition and is funded by interested parties who skew information. Other studies are observational, which is hard to track within the scientific realm of a control group. You can see how all of this poses a problem.

The good thing is, nutrition will evolve and over time the scientific method will weed out all the smokes and mirrors. Science will run its course. In order to look, feel, and live better in the long run we need to eat better and have an understanding of what that actually means.

In future editions of Able + Well News we’ll discuss just that, exploring topics such as: dietary preferences, metabolism, exercise, nutrition, and more.