For every trade group, professional association or scientific organization that ties try to educate people about diet and nutrition, there are a dozen sideshow websites online offering shortcuts to health that are so caught up in clichés they stumble over their own (lack of) logic.
Here’s good example: A site called ActiveBeat.com, which claims to be “Your Daily Dose of Health Headlines” and attempts to cover nutrition, fitness, food safety, medical diagnoses, even outbreaks of contagious diseases and food-borne illnesses, recently ran a pair of “trending” lists: “10 Worst Foods to Feed Your Children” and “11 Foods That Will Make You Gain Weight.”
I’m sure you can see where this is going. Obviously, the foods that Make You Gain Weight would be foods that people trying to lose weight would be advised to avoid, right?
Even more confounding, the stories imply good things about the 11 weight gainers and bad things about the 10 worst foods—even though some foods make both lists!
Is it any wonder people get confused, even when they try to eat healthier?
Here’s what ActiveBeat said about meat: “If you are trying to gain weight, enjoy some red meat. Steak contains a ton of protein and iron. Not all steak cuts are made equal though. You want the fatty cuts where the meat is marbled. These cuts of meat will contain more calories, but they’ll also be way more delicious too! Look for rib-eye, t-bone, New York strip, and beef tenderloin.”
Nice plug, eh? Dig into a steak if you’re trying to gain weight, and the more marbling, the better.
But then the blurb goes on to state: “Red meat is high in cholesterol, so enjoy it with a healthy diet. Combining it with an unhealthy diet high in saturated fats could cause health effects.”
What “health effects” are they talking about? That’s never explained, but if eating steak is good for you—especially steak with more fat—why then is cholesterol and saturated fat suddenly a problem? I guess the message is: “Enjoy that red meat—just don’t enjoy it too much.”
Good, bad, or both?
The fat phobia continues, as ActiveBeat advises: “Nothing beats the taste of butter for cooking. It is full of flavor and good calories. Enjoy eggs fried in butter for a tasty and nutritious breakfast.”
Next sentence: “Butter does have saturated fats, so enjoy it in moderation.”