– Well+Good

While the importance of nutrition has always been a factor to our health but it has been elevated to trendy status since health and wellness have become more popular throughout the decades. There are positives and negatives to this. Positive: More people are learning about the subject. Cons: There’s a wealth of excellent and less-than-great nutrition tips available all over the internet (online and in books, podcasts and social media) This is the reason it’s vital to be aware of fundamentals of nutrition in order to distinguish between what’s popular and what’s really good advice.

To gauge how well-versed in nutrition you are, take the test on nutrition IQ, which tests your knowledge of nutrition-related facts. It’s a tad bit of a surprise that the test isn’t easy, and this is coming from someone who earns an income by interviewing nutritionists as well as writing on it.

The good thing is that regardless of your score there’s always room for improvement. When you’ve taken the 10 minute test to determine your nutrition IQ (it’s absolutely free! ) then learn from an RD’s advice on how you can improve your nutrition IQ, and the most important thing is, how to use the information to reap the advantages.

An RD’s suggestions for improving your score on the test for nutrition intelligence

Choose your sources carefully

From trainers to influencers to health and wellness experts There is an abundance of information within the realm of nutrition and especially on the internet. To this end, Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, founder Director of Real Nutrition, strongly advises to look for sources that rely on research that is based on empirical evidence, which means when they post nutrition-related information, they refer or provide links research studies which back the claims they make.

If reading is your preferred learning way of life, Shapiro suggests reading science-backed publications and articles that are reputable websites like Healthline, Pubmed, or Well+Good (shameless plug). Podcasts are another excellent method to absorb (no no pun meant) information about nutrition when you’re doing other things and the same suggestion applies to this. “Listen to the people who have interviewed credentialed persons who are based on evidence and facts rather than using theories,” Shapiro says.

All over the place, “avoid [sources] who sell a product with promises of quick fixes or results,” Shapiro says, that usually do not work for long-term results.

Be aware of your goals

Each person’s body is unique and the advice for nutrition does not work for everyone. For instance eating a gluten-free diet could be beneficial for those with an allergy to gluten however this doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate for all. This is the reason why Shapiro stresses the importance of being aware of your body, its your symptoms, and the goals. Do not feel pressured to be the first to adopt the latest diet trend or hot topic simply because everyone does it. In general, Shapiro says advice that requires you to eliminate all food groups or drink/consume their particular product on a regular basis may not be the most beneficial for you.

Get help from an experienced professional

When you’re not sure when you’re not sure, seek out individualized nutrition advice from experts according to your particular symptoms and objectives. Although anyone can claim to claim to be a nutritionist Shapiro states that registered dietitians undergo years of education and training, they assist with your diet based upon research and evidence-based practices, possess an authorization, and have to keep up with continuing education in order to maintain their license. “They can interpret your lab tests and help you sort through your symptoms, and assist you develop a plan which is healthy for you while ensuring that you remain healthy and at your peak through the entire process,” she says of RDs. Make sure you do your research and identify a qualified professional.

Shapiro suggests that you get your blood tests done to help you determine your nutrition needs. “Ask your physician for every lab test, including the thyroid panel, hormone panel markers for inflammation cholesterol, blood glucose and triglycerides” she suggests. It’s all about identifying the nutritional data that can benefit you in particular.

How do you implement nutrition-related knowledge?

Beyond that, the implementation of nutritional knowledge to boost your overall well-being is the most important thing. Like any other type of change it’s never easy. The answer is to implement only one change at a. “Do not attempt to alter your entire lifestyle, diet and lifestyle simultaneously,” Shapiro says. “Start something then let it become a habit and build upon the first. Healthy habits are often the catalyst for other healthier habits.”

Another tip to consider is pairing the new habit you’re trying to adopt with the habit you already have or habit stacking. For example, Shapiro says, if you’re aiming to begin taking vitamins, placing your vitamins near your toothbrush could be a good reminder. If you’re looking to drink more fluid water prior to the morning coffee, you can place glasses or a bottle of water on top of the coffee maker. These little tweaks will set you up for success.

Most importantly, ensure that you are and most importantly, be consistent. “You won’t get any improvement even with the most promising products orprograms unless you’re constant,” Shapiro says. Her suggestion? Make a commitment to three months of adopting the changes and review at the close of the period. Be aware that changes take time, she says and it is the consistency that makes the difference.

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Experts’ References