The Food Police Keep Giving Us Conflicting Advice

By Ana Veciana-Suarez
The Miami Herald.

I am so confused.

If I weren’t always so ravenous by mealtime, I’d probably be paralyzed by the conflicting information nutrition experts feed us.

Seems to me that the Food Police need to be reprimanded for periodic flip-flops. Make up your mind, already.

Can I start spreading butter on my whole grain bun again? Must I forgo my morning chocolate because it won’t help my heart after all? Should I swear off refined sugar for life?

Oh my, ay Dios and oy vey. What’s a person to eat?

In case you missed it: A study published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association casts doubt on the dearly held belief that a compound found in chocolates (mmm!) and red wine (yes!) may not be as beneficial to our health as originally thought.

Resveratrol, the magical antioxidant that had been my excuse to indulge, apparently does not reduce inflammation as previously touted by the medical community. Nor does it have any beneficial effect on heart disease or cancer.

Now they tell me! You have no idea how many times I’ve toasted to resveratrol during happy hour. And when others have judged my dependence on chocolate, I’d savor a delicious moment of self-righteousness when I spouted the science.

Now what? I have no intention of stopping either habit, life is short and hard enough without such small pleasures, but I can’t help but be disappointed at the people I trust for guidance.

The demotion of resveratrol is only the latest conflicting tidbit in a platter full of nutritional contradictions. I wonder if an eat-this-not-that philosophy hasn’t influenced our collective inability to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity has tripled in the past five decades as research on nutrition, and the number of diet books, has grown exponentially.

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