When it comes to food and nutrition, it seems like everyone has something to say, some valuable piece of advice to give, some magic potion recipe that will get rid of all your health problems, and the perfect new fad diet to lose weight. While we acknowledge the importance of discussing health and nutrition with your friends and family (we all love to talk about food), it’s important to be critical about the advice you are given. Food is said to be the best medicine, and while the majority of us go to a doctor to be prescribed medicine we also believe the need to seek professional nutritional advice to help build and maintain healthier eating habits.

It’s never too early to start with nutrition education. Starting nutrition education programs in schools, for example, opens children’s eyes up to their nutritional needs and the extent of food’s effects on their health. This is a great opportunity to help kids differentiate between healthy and unhealthy, regardless of what their eating habits at home might be. With the obesity rates in children reaching higher levels than ever, there’s no better time to start food awareness and education.

When it comes to nutrition, personalization is important. Each person’s nutritional needs and requirements will vary depending on their goals, age, sex, physical activity, and many other variable factors. A one- size fits all approach just won’t work. This is why even though your friend might swear that cutting carbohydrates out of her diet helped her lose those extra pounds, it might have no effect on you at all.

There is an international health kick which has suddenly made everyone passionately in love with yoga and kale. We couldn’t be happier that this is happening, but this also means that sadly there is so much misinformation out there and good nutrition information is getting lost in between all the nonsense. Things like adding butter to your coffee and going gluten free to lose weight are being advocated by people who, frankly, don’t know what they are talking about, and it is becoming harder to find evidence based nutritional advice.

Although food, health, and nutrition do make great dinnertime conversation topics, don’t blindly trust everything you hear, be careful about who you are taking the advice from, and be cynical about the advice you are given. Ultimately, finding a qualified, professional and trusted nutritionist to guide you, help you understand your needs and design a dietary plan that’s right for you will be your best bet.