Nutrition Science: Why isn't there a right answer to "What to eat?"?

After billions of dollars and hundreds of years why hasn't Nutrition Science produced one formal answer on what to eat? I understand that we don't know everything, and that science is ever evolving, but that means there should be a solution that is being updated. Anything would be better than the word-of-mouth culture that exists right now. My cat gets 100% of her nutrition from one food alone. Ok, humans are more complicated, so give us the more complicated answer. Not "Don't eat this", but rather, "Do eat 1 X for breakfast, 2 Y for lunch, and 1 Z for dinner." There shouldn't be a hundred schools of thought on the subject, cause the result is that right now people are living on Doritos and Mountain Dew. Even a flawed answer would be better than leaving us all to our own devices.


Thanks for all the answers, but this is exactly what I am talking about. There are too many schools of thought, so people just give up and eat whatever's available. Maybe everything in moderation is the answer, maybe ancient diets are the answer, but if science is going to bother to give any advice at all then it needs to just throw down and put that advice in the form of a finished product. The alternative would be to confess that we don't know anything useful yet, and all those invested resources have been a waste.

It would be easy enough to tailor multiple diets to people with specific conditions. Doctors tailor people's diets all the time on a one-on-one basis.

I would define "best" as what contributes overall to generalized well being. Some balance between improving quality and quantity of life. Taste would be disregarded as a factor.

It just seems like we have 10,000 research projects all going off in their own direction, not really working towards a common purpose.

4 Answers

  • Alyce
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Oh - several reasons i can come up with.

    1. What we called "optimal nutrition" 100, 50 or even 10 years ago is much different from what we know today. Our knowledge of physiology and how we interact with food is constantly expanding. So what we science would have said was a good breakfast in 1950 isn't even close to what we would say so now.

    2. Everyone is different - and diseases and conditions affect large groups of people - but those keep changing. 40 years ago, we didn't have near the number of people who are diabetic. So what we recommended to eat back then would be different now that diabetes is a risk for the majority of the populate.

    3. Food is changing too. They breed animals to produce optimum results for maximize profit. So they breed beef to have more fat/marbling in it, as an example. So nutrition recommendations have to be updated for the food currently available.

    4. There isn't one definition of what is "best" for you - do you want to live the longest, or have the best quality of life? The two often aren't compatible.

    5. People often wont or can't adhere to some of the dietary recommendations. So for those - recommendations have to be a half way point between what is good to eat and what they WILL eat.

    6. Finally - POLITICS. Farmers and growers are heavily subsidized by the government. So regardless of what science recommends - the government will temper it to be in the best interests of the farming industry. Take Milk - it isn't the best food, but the dairy industry has a huge influence in the government - as a result, every dietary recommendation includes dairy.

    Man - we could discuss this one for hours! There is much more than just that.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Depends on school of thought and a person's health status! For instance, I'm diabetic so get my advice and recipes from for low- or sugar-free items. Most people should get off the Doritos and Mountain Dew though, and our obesity problem might disappear.



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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you want to eat and live don't follow science !

    Follow your ancestors

    If you read about prophet Mohamed dietary laws your will be astonished how early people were more advanced than were are !

    I don't ask you to flow prophet Mohamed but to follow your own ancestors !

    What science had created rather than dangerous hydrogenated oil and synthetic carcinogen flavors or color ??

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think "everything in moderation" is a safe bet.

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