Nutrition myths and healthy dietary advice in clinical practice

Lenard I. Lesser, Mary Carol Mazza, Sean C. Lucan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Healthy dietary intake is important for the maintenance of general health and wellness, the prevention of chronic illness, the optimization of life expectancy, and the clinical management of virtually all disease states. Dietary myths (i.e., concepts about nutrition that are poorly supported or contradicted by scientific evidence) may stand in the way of healthy dietary intake. Dietary myths exist about micronutrients, macronutrients, non-nutrients, and food energy. Representative myths of each type include that patients need to focus on consuming enough calcium to ensure bone health, dietary fat leads to obesity and is detrimental to vascular health, all fiber (whether naturally occurring or artificially added) is beneficial, and food calories translate to pounds of body weight through a linear relationship and simple arithmetic. A common theme for dietary myths is a reductionist view of diet that emphasizes selected food constituents as opposed to whole foods. Healthy dietary advice takes a more holistic view; consistent evidence supports recommendations to limit the consumption of ultraprocessed foods and to eat whole or minimally processed foods, generally in a form that is as close to what occurs in nature as possible. Family physicians can help dispel myths for patients and give sound nutritional advice by focusing on actual foods and broader dietary patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-638
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Volume91
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2015

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Food
Health
Micronutrients
Dietary Fats
Family Physicians
Life Expectancy
Blood Vessels
Chronic Disease
Obesity
Body Weight
Diet
Calcium
Bone and Bones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

Cite this

Nutrition myths and healthy dietary advice in clinical practice. / Lesser, Lenard I.; Mazza, Mary Carol; Lucan, Sean C.

In: American Family Physician, Vol. 91, No. 9, 2015, p. 634-638.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lesser, Lenard I. ; Mazza, Mary Carol ; Lucan, Sean C. / Nutrition myths and healthy dietary advice in clinical practice. In: American Family Physician. 2015 ; Vol. 91, No. 9. pp. 634-638.
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