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Don't Fall for This Dated Nutrition Advice

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    Don't Eat Too Much Protein

    "When I was a nutrition student, we learned that we only need about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For me, that worked out to be less than 50 grams—basically just one chicken breast! I also was scared to eat any more than that, worried that too much protein would damage my kidneys. And while those numbers are grounded in science and are still recommended as the official dietary reference intake for maintaining health, we now know that they're likely not enough for optimal health. We also know that a high-protein diet is not likely to damage kidneys in a normal healthy population. In reality, protein is incredibly satiating and can be a great tool for those looking to manage their weight and blood sugars, and boost lean muscle. So in contrast to my student-self, I now recommend aiming for 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal." —Abbey Sharp, R.D., Food & Nutrition Blogger at Abbey's Kitchen

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    Restrict What You Like

    "After a work placement during school, I was convinced by the dietitian I shadowed that 0% milk fat, no-sugar-added yogurt was the best choice. Once I started working, my colleagues and I set up a blind taste test with yogurts. After testing the low-fat, sugar-free brands against 1 to 3% milk fat with regular fruit and sugar added, I was surprised at how much more satisfying the non-diet yogurts were! After years of seeing the success of encouraging clients to eat foods that both taste good and are healthy, I am so grateful for that blind taste test! Eating foods that satisfy both the mind and the body is so important for a healthy relationship with food." —Lisa Rutledge, R.D.N., blogger at Lisa Rutledge

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    Carbs Are the Devil

    "Before going to school for nutrition science, I would eat mostly protein and very little carbohydrates thinking this was best for my active body. Now that I have been educated and understand the importance that vegetables and whole grains play in exercise and general health, I eat and recommend a much more healthful and balanced diet." —Madeline Basler, R.D.N., blogger at Real You Nutrition

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    Health Is a Simple Equation

    "I have been in practice for over 20 years. At the beginning, I believed the theory of 'calories in/calories out' when working with someone who was trying to lose weight. I now know that this doesn't work most of the time to achieve healthy permanent weight loss. Calories matter, but not as much as the quality and balance of foods we eat." —Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, M.S., R.D., of NJ Nutritionist

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    There Are Good and Bad Foods

    "During my early years as a hospital-based registered dietitian, I would provide patients with "choose and avoid" lists of the foods for weight loss. As I transitioned to out-patient counseling, I realized that the food lists were not teaching a healthy approach to food. Depriving a person of their favorite food typically leads to overindulgence and uncontrolled portion intake of that food in the future. I now try to teach my clients how to create a balanced dietary intake that focuses on nutrient-dense foods, but may include some of their favorite unhealthier foods on occasion." —Kristen Smith, M.S., R.D.N., L.D., Founder of 360FamilyNutrition

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    Low-Fat Is Always Best

    "When I became a dietitian in the mid 1990s, we were in the middle of the fat-free craze. Bagels, fat-free frozen yogurt, and Snackwell cookies were all the rage. Our hospital diet materials recommended limiting nuts because of their fat content and limiting shellfish because of their cholesterol. Now, we know much more about the health benefits of fats derived from nuts and seeds, and we've also learned that high-sugar, fat-free foods are not nutritious choices. Unfortunately, people have long memories and to this day, so many of my patients are afraid to eat shrimp if they have elevated cholesterol. It's exciting to work in a field with ever-evolving research." —Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N., Nutrition Starring You

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    No Full-Fat Dairy

    "I used to eat only fat-free dairy. However, once I began to research the topic of fat-containing dairy, I found that studies show that eating it alongside a healthful diet may actually be beneficial to weight. Preliminary research links it with both lower body weight and decreased risk of abdominal obesity. Also, personally, the creaminess of fat-containing dairy is so satisfying to me! I love Greek yogurt and eat the whole-milk plain variety many mornings. I combine it with berries, nut butter, and cinnamon for a satiating breakfast that sticks with me for hours." —Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition

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    Limit Calories

    "When I was in college, I remember being obsessed with those '100-calorie packs' of cookies and crackers. I thought they were a great option—less than 100 calories for all of those tiny wafers!! Little did I know those calories were being replaced with chemicals and unnatural ingredients. These days, now that I am older and wiser, I am less concerned with calories and more concerned with the quality of my food—whole fruit and nuts are my current go-to snacks!" —Emily Cope, M.S., R.D.N., Owner & Consulting Dietitian at Emily Kyle Nutrition

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    Forget Rich, Creamy Foods

    "One food I used to omit from my diet was avocado. I have to preface, I didn't like the texture, but also feared the calories and fat based on what I came to know in my early days of studying nutrition from the media. I felt like everything I read always said to lighten up your salads or sandwiches by asking for the dressing, avocado and cheese to be removed. With changing times and the research that now supports the health benefits of including monounsaturated fat in your diet, I recognize the nutrient-dense value of avocados and the wonderful source of fat, protein ,and fiber they provide. Never again will you hear me say, 'omit the avocado, please!'" —Elizabeth Shaw, R.D., M.S., C.L.T., Shaw's Simple Swaps

  • Beef Is Bad

    "In the past, I thought beef was really high in fat so I recommended limiting intake and choosing more chicken. However, in the past few years I've become a huge proponent of lean beef! Beef is surprisingly comprised of about 50 percent monounsaturated fats—the good fat we find in olive oil—and it's packed with ZIP: zinc, iron, and protein. Plus, it tastes amazing!" —Shannon Garcia, M.D.S., R.D., L.D., KISS in the Kitchen


Abbey Sharp, RD

Abbey Sharp is a Media Registered Dietitian (RD), national spokesperson, TV and radio personality, YouTuber, food writer and blogger, recipe developer, and the founder of Abbey's Kitchen Inc.  More →

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