To stay on top of all the latest nutrition news requires lots of reading, but also lots of sorting through the marketing hype of the latest super food or breakthrough study. I subscribe to many magazines, newsletters, web sites, and blogs to keep up with the latest and greatest so I can pass that information on to my clients. I read what the people I agree with say and I read what the people I don’t agree with say – my form of spying!
Every now and then I come across something that truly amazes me. This occurs when an author is so blinded by either their personal bias or the bias of the publication; they do not even see the inconsistency and hypocrisy of their own writing. I’ve written about the American Diabetes Association on my blog. Here, I’d like to bring your attention to the Nutrition Action Newsletter, November 2009 edition.
To their credit, they do have an occasional useful article. That is where I learned how people are walking out of their favorite coffee shop with sometimes over 700 calories in their cup! But, at the same time they’ve told me that aspartame is poison, but sucralose (Splenda) is safe. I’ve even learned which the best margarines to eat are. Guess if you’re going to poison yourself you should do it with the best!
Back in June I wrote a column entitled The Truth about Soy. If you’d like to read it you can find it on my blog at http://brwellness.blogspot.com/2009/06/truth-about-soy.html. So, where am I going with this? An article titled, Soy What? The jury’s still out on soy’s benefits. It looks at six areas where some have claimed that soy is beneficial – bones, prostate cancer, breast cancer, cognition, hot flashes, and heart disease. Each section discusses the latest research and then ends with what they call “The Bottom Line.” In each case “The Bottom Line” is a statement to make you think soy is healthy, even when the evidence cited basically says the opposite.
They have a quote that tells us, “Soy is a good food.” Yet, that is followed by, “But we can’t say right now that it has a positive effect on bones.” Or this one, “The idea that soy can stop prostate cancer is a wonderful hypothesis that hasn’t yet been adequately tested in men.” How about, “It’s unclear if any soy food reduce breast cancer risk.”
The true “Bottom Line” that they won’t come out and say is that there is not convincing evidence for any of the claims being made on behalf of soy. In fact, the FDA has been reviewing claims made for soy benefits and some of them are no longer allowed!
What does this mean to you and how does it tie to the Supermarket? There are so many health claims on all the boxes of packaged foods that are misleading and deceptive. Crackers are presented as “whole grain” or “multi-grain” and the main ingredient is white flour. Margarines say “Zero grams trans-fat” yet contain partially or hydrogenated oil. “Low fat” foods contain artificial sweeteners and more carbohydrates than the full fat versions which in your body actually produces more fat! “Natural” appears all over everything, but as I like to say – my wooden table is natural but that doesn’t mean I want to eat it!
If you like the information in these articles and have a Facebook account I’d encourage you to become a fan of Rosen Wellness. On a typical day I get many e-mails with all kinds of information about health and nutrition. The best ones I link to the Rosen Wellness Facebook page.
One other note – a book recommendation: Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home, and Planet – One Room at a Time by Beth Greer. It provides useful tips for lifestyle shifts to enhance your health. “This practical guide offers page after page of tips for making the safest, healthiest choices in all kinds of goods including cosmetics, personal care products, household cleaners, furniture, food, and water.”
Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.