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Do you really need to spring clean your diet?

Amber Pankonin MS, RDN, CSP, LMNT

Every spring, I love to spring clean my home and I religiously go through every closet in my home to clear the clutter. But as a Registered Dietitian, I’ve noticed that consumers also want to spring clean their diets aka going on fad diets or detox cleanses in order to be ready for swimsuit season.

I’ve even seen consumers toss out every item in their pantry or refrigerator thinking that this will be a great way to get in shape for summer.  The truth is these fads only contribute to the misinformation and oversimplification of nutrition science.

And the problem with dumbing down nutrition science is that these well-intentioned lifestyle magazine or blog recommendations to get fit are rooted in low-quality science can do more harm than good.

So, instead of turning to these drastic measures, we must remember that numerous studies – including The CHOICE study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  – have repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of a balanced lifestyle, including diet beverages, as well as low-calorie sweeteners, which are in thousands of foods and beverages – in helping to reduce calorie intake.

This spring don’t forget that the key to a success is not demonizing a single nutrient or product, but balancing one’s calories among all the foods and beverages we enjoy with those we burn through physical activity and exercise.

Amber Pankonin MS, RDN, CSP, LMNT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, passionate about food, nutrition science, and agriculture. She works as a nutrition communications consultant, adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and blogger at

Tags: Health National Obesity Blog
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