It’s human nature: Moms want the best for their families. But it’s hard to know what to put on the kitchen table when there’s contradictory advice about what to eat and not eat. Nutritionist Jonny Bowden, Ph.D. helped health and lifestyle bloggers decipher the trends and analyze what’s truly needed in a healthy diet when he presented at the Mom’s Meet Southern California WOW Summit. Bowden, the author of the “150 Healthiest Foods on Earth” and “Smart Fat”, included Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil in his list of top healthy cooking oils.
Bowden is passionate about helping people cut through the myths about healthy eating. From his website: “My mission is to help everyone become their own ‘Nutrition Myth Buster’. I want to help you examine ‘conventional wisdom’ by asking the right questions and making the right distinctions. I want to help you become the leader of your own health care team. I want to help you live in a body you can be proud of and that serves you well, even if it doesn’t belong on the cover of Vogue.”
Bowden explained that some diets are defined by what’s not consumed, such as the vegan diet, and others are focused on what you do eat, such as the keto diet. There are myths about both of these eating styles, such as:
- A vegan diet is always healthy
- You can get everything you need from a vegan diet
- You can get everything you need from a keto diet
- A keto diet is unhealthy because it’s high in fat
Bowden explained that blindly following either diet may not give your body everything it needs to thrive. For example, omega-3 fatty acids support heart, brain and immune health. Of the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids, ALA, DHA and EPA, only AHA is found in plants. DHA and EPA are found in fish and other seafood. Our bodies can only convert a small amount of AHA to DHA and EPA. Eating omega-3 rich seafood or taking supplements are the only practical ways of boosting these nutrient levels in the body.
When discussing the low-carb keto diet, Bowden asked the audience: Is fat bad? Many people consider this nutrient a negative despite clinical evidence showing the opposite. Fats are an important part of a healthy diet. Bowden shared a list of healthy cooking oils. Malaysian palm oil was at the top of his list because it contains vitamin E tocotrienols, a super potent antioxidant, and doesn’t break down into dangerous chemicals at high heat. And, unlike most other common cooking oils, Malaysian palm oil is non-GMO.
Bowden ended his presentation by telling the audience to “look with new eyes” at health information being presented. Nutrition is an evolving science. Information learned in your formative years may no longer be considered accurate.