How bad dietary advice can hospital patients get? This tweet from Dr. Ted Naiman shows an example that may be the worst ever.
Patient was discharged from nearby hospital and here was the official dietary advice: pic.twitter.com/PaUFZ0YNEO
— Tᕮᗪ ⚡️ ᑎᗩIᗰᗩᑎ (@tednaiman) August 11, 2016
In my opinion, every statement is either simply useless and confusing, or totally wrong (people would be better off doing the opposite).
Fat and cholesterol
Just to start with – eat food that is “low in fat and cholesterol”? Come on, nobody still believes that, do they? That’s what misinformed people used to believe in the 80s, back when the obesity epidemic got started.
Even official US dietary advice have now dumped the emphasis on total fat, and even stopped telling people to avoid dietary cholesterol. You’d think people would have to have lived in a cave for decades to still fear all natural fat and cholesterol. It’s just wrong, it’s been proven wrong. Stop repeating it.
Low-fat diets are not only useless for preventing heart disease or cancer, they are also uniquely ineffective for controlling people’s weight.
Why the emphasis on the number of kinds of healthy or unhealthy foods? Just eat more healthy food, and avoid unhealthy foods, period.
Why the obsession with serving sizes? And how does it help anyone to say “not too big or too small”? How would you know what the right size is? This is just confusing, not helpful.
A better option? How about this:
- Just eat real food, when you’re hungry.
- If you’re not hungry, don’t eat.
- If you’re sensitive to carbs (obesity, type 2 diabetes), mostly eat something else instead.
Regarding salt, here’s another area where the simplistic “less is better” mantra may be not only wrong, but even harmful. There is no proof that lower is always better, and it seems like too little salt may even be dangerous:
A moderate intake of salt, 3 to 6 grams of sodium per day (7,5 – 15 grams of salt), may be best for pretty much everyone. This matches what most people eat in developed societies.
The result of the bad advice
The result of the obsolete advice in the tweet is likely to be confusion, followed by eating even more carbs (as real food like meat, fish, eggs, butter, whole milk and everything with salt in it is supposedly “bad”).
This seems like a perfect prescription for obesity and type 2 diabetes, which is, incidentally, exactly what has happened in the world.
Sorry for the rant, but I didn’t realize people seriously handed out so useless or even harmful advice anymore.