Clearing Up Nutrition Confusion


Today’s post introduces Robyn Priebe, RD, our wonderfully capable registered dietitian who helps the women who come to our healthy weight loss spa sort through their confusion about healthy eating, to go home with a plan for eating that works for them.

I recently noticed an article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association titled “Staying Passionate about Dietetics.” I thought was interesting that as much as it’s possible for a dietitian to get burnt out on nutrition, it has to be far worse for the average person sifting through the ever-changing nutrition rules thrown at them each day.  I bet if we all took the time to jot down each piece of advice or snippet of nutrition information we heard/read in the course of one day, we’d all come up with incredibly diverse and perhaps even comical lists.  I encourage anyone to do this and post it; I’d love to see what you come up with.

My point is that everyone has their own take on what’s healthy or nutritious and what isn’t.  It’s frustrating for me as a dietitian when I read a study that contradicts one I read just a week before.  I imagine that all the conflicting information is just as frustrating for many of you out there, too. At a certain point you just need to “go with your gut” when deciding about what is a good choice for you and what isn’t.  My instincts tell me that loading up on protein powders, mega-vitamins supplements, and processed foods seem like a bad idea for me.  I also know from past experiences that I feel better with a higher carbohydrate intake than perhaps other people prefer.  We are all different.

Reflecting on how food affects us personally will help us weed through the nutrition rules we encounter every day. How nice it is to be able to say to someone, “Yes, I understand that way of eating works for you, but I know from my experience that the way I eat works well for me.”  Or, “Yes, I see that avoiding sweets is a good decision for you, but I know that I do better if I can have something sweet here or there; it has a better outcome for me.”  How wonderful to actually mean it because you have taken the time to figure out what does work for you.  If you are having difficulty figuring out where to start or difficulty deciphering all the claims you hear about different ways of eating, our article on clearing up nutrition confusion may give you a place to start.

So what did the article I mentioned say about us passionate dietitians?  It actually suggested that people further along in their career are more passionate than those newer to the field of dietetics.  Surprising?  A little, but maybe at a certain point you get better at sifting through all the noise and getting back to enjoying food and all the wonderful things it can do for us.

What does your instinct tell you is a supportive way for you to eat?  Have you heard any nutrition advice lately that made you think, “That sounds like a bad idea!”?

8 responses to “Clearing Up Nutrition Confusion”

  1. Nutrition science undergrad says:

    Thanks for this post, it was really helpful!
    I have to admit, I get burned out on nutrition stuff, maybe it is because I am only 22?
    Great job, Robyn.

  2. Gina says:

    You spoke right to my heart in this post. I get SO ANNOYED at all the false information out there. Mainly because some people sell their idea/product so well, that even I believe it for a millisecond. I tweeted about this article you posted, it’s very helpful.

  3. I absolutely agree that each person needs to be introspective and determine for him/herself what works best. No two people are alike, which is why RDs like myself use very individualized programs for each client. People who have a “one size fits all” approach are missing the boat.
    .-= Nutritioulicious’s last blog post..Make It a Healthy Slice =-.

  4. Heather says:

    I had gestational diabetes and had to go to a “nutrition” class to learn how to manage my blood sugar. I was HORRIFIED by the lack of uh, knowledge the nutritionist had. She recommended Yoplait Light Yogurt! With high fructose corn syrup as the second ingredient! I asked her about it, and she said that because it had less than 15g of carbs, it was a good choice. Reminds me of the Smart Choices program for sure. Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  5. Betsy says:

    Yes, there is so many conflicting opinions out there it’s hard to really determine what is the right choice. I agree that you should “go with your gut”.

  6. It is very confusing! First you have to sort out all the complete falsehoods from people trying to sell you something. And then it seems conflicting opinions exist on every food it seems. Should you drink milk? Should you not drink milk? Should you drink milk substitutes? Etc. All are valid and seem to have decent points which is when it comes down to using personal past experience to decide what is best for us. It’s confusing but I think listening to our bodies over the thousands of voices about what is “right” eating will do the job.
    .-= Mary :: A Merry Life’s last blog post..Cape Cod & Boston, Recap & Photos! =-.

  7. Robyn says:

    Thanks for the feedback everyone; I’m glad you all agree. Gina, I get annoyed too when you see someone selling something that you just KNOW is a bad idea, if not dangerous, but they are just out to make a buck. Infomercials make me crazy! Ironically enough, the day before this posted I got a call from a past participant of Green Mountain’s program who wanted to run some dietary advice she’d been given by me first. What was ironic was that she said “my gut tells me this is a bad idea” and I thought that was so funny since this post was coming out the next day; she was thinking the same way I was.

  8. […] You’ve written about the confusion surrounding nutritional advice. Most of this advice comes from reputable experts, including […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

View Author Page