Reliable nutrition tools, new or old, are hard to come by.
This is one of my primary fields, and *I’m* getting confused: one day whole grains are good for you, the next day they are bad, gluten is the cause of all evil or is it GMOs? And now saturated fat is not so bad after all, and fat keeps you lean, or at least, satiated.
You can trace the cyclical history of diet books, in which one nutrient is blamed for the cause of many ills, at least back to Sylvester Graham and the 1820s— he invented a cracker, bread and flour, among other things.
One way to think about the shifting data, other than media exaggeration: interpretation. For example, a calorie is a calorie…true for thermodynamics, but not true for the way the body sees calories from, for example, soda versus calories from broccoli.
So I thought a list of the resources I use, both old and new, when my own head starts to spin from the press releases that are ill advised, the scientists who want some media attention, the rat studies that suddenly apply to humans, and the n=1 studies that should now be policy. Which is never.
I use the best data I can find: online, IRL, books. Here are some of the best. Disclosure: some are linked to the tool on Amazon and the site gets a commission if you buy one. I hope you do!
My favorite 5 nutrition books (warning: some are wonky and detailed)
5. Blue Zones, Second Edition: describes life patterns including nutritional components of the peoples who live the longest and happiest.
My favorite 5 factual online resources (these do not have paid advertising, in which sponsors act as experts: sure, sponsors can be experts, but when their goal is actually to sell product rather than educate, it’s often hard to tell what type of bias exists)
- www.lpi.oregonstate.edu (tremendous science: I used for my Dr Oz Show appearance)
- pubmed.gov (peer-reviewed: use their filters)
- naturaldatabase.com (regularly updated by pharmacologists and other scientists).
- wolframalpha.com : interesting comparison tool for nutritional content: look at french fries vs marshmallows, for example.
- menumodo.com: true, Google has a new googlesearch tool for restaurant menus in the U.S. But it is far away from prime time: menumodo is part of its database, and keeps up to date.
Two recommended conferences for a diversity of opinions (not strictly nutritional, but more holistic and a way to have a happier life…which is, after all, the goal):
1. TedMed: Curated by Nassim Assefi, this will be held simultaneously in Washington DC and San Francisco: sure to raise the bar. Peter Attia debuted his killer talk there last year; I hope to do a short culinary medicine demo in San Francisco on 9.12, and connect the dots between medicine, food, cooking and farming. Farmnotpharm.
2. Reversing Diabetes World Summit. Learn how hormones impact blood sugar, the thyroid-diabetes connection, how to reduce high blood pressure naturally, the cholesterol-statin controversy, and the best dietary strategies to improve blood sugar. Click to register, so that you don’t miss anything. Or just get the downloads now.