Welcome to Nutrition Advance.
Here is some information about the Nutrition Advance website, our content, the creation process, our focus on accuracy and objectivity, and the purpose of the content.
Firstly, the aim of this website is to provide accurate, simple-to-understand information on a variety of foods and nutritional topics in an accurate, balanced, and evidence-based manner.
What does ‘evidence-based’ mean?
Evidence-based is an often misappropriated term, especially in the world of diet books and nutrition articles. This term does not mean simply supporting your opinions with a scientific study reference, regardless of its quality or the existence of other studies that directly contradict it.
In this regard, it is easy to find studies (of varying quality) that support almost any given assertion, and simply looking to prove what you already believe is known as “cherry-picking.”
Instead, ‘evidence-based’ should mean that we analyze the totality of the evidence, pick out the valid benefits and drawbacks of particular foods and diets, and summarize the potential pros and cons in an objective and bias-free manner, using all relevant high-quality research.
In this context, all nutritional claims should be supported with scientific evidence from peer-reviewed studies. Ideally, these studies be high on the evidence hierarchy, such as randomized controlled trials involving human participants and systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the existing evidence.
In other words, to provide reliable and trustworthy information, it is important to look at both sides of the story and focus on high-quality research. In contrast, a single study done in a test tube or a rodent tells us little about what effect something might have on the human body.
The truth is that no food or diet is 100% “good” or “bad,” and such nuance can seem rather boring. Answers such as “it’s complicated and nuanced, but….” aren’t quite as popular as unique positions and bold assertions, but they are mostly more accurate. And people deserve factual, objective information.
Nutrition Advance does not advocate for or push any particular way of eating, and we believe in the “no one-size diet fits all” approach.
In every article, you will find numerical links to supporting studies in parentheses (1) like this whenever a study is referenced or nutritional data provided. I encourage you to click through to the studies if you wish to learn more or see the supportive evidence via the primary literature.
Wherever possible, these supporting references will be to the highest quality evidence; systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and randomized controlled trials.
Nutrition Advance has no products to sell, we accept no money from industry, and we are not sponsored in any way or form.
The sole aim of Nutrition Advance is to provide accurate and reliable information on food and nutritional topics to help people.
Nutrition is such an important topic, and there is a lot of misinformation out there.
Nutrition Advance aims to distill nutritional information into a friendly format and summarize the take-home points in an objective, bias-free manner to help educate people.
Nutrition Advance articles may feature ads, which are managed and selected by an advertising agency. These ads provide funding to help in the running of the website, but in no circumstances do they influence editorial content.
Being funded by ads in this way allows Nutrition Advance to operate independently; the website sells no product, pushes no particular foods or diets, and has no external influences on editorial content.
About Michael Joseph
Most of the articles on Nutrition Advance have been written by Michael Joseph.
Nutrition is both his professional interest and personal passion.
Michael works as a nutrition educator in a community setting and holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Aberdeen.
He also has a further Master’s in Nutrition Education and years of professional experience working in a nutrition educator role in a community setting. Over his years of working in community education programs, he has seen first-hand how useful information presented in the right way can be.
You can find him on Twitter.
Trustworthy Content Policy
In our commitment to provide trustworthy content, Nutrition Advance has a strict focus on backing up all claims with the highest quality of scientific evidence.
Evidence will always be provided for all nutrition facts and claims via references to appropriate nutritional databases and peer-reviewed studies.
Focus on Accuracy
All nutritional data that we use, such as the calorie or vitamin and mineral profile of foods, come from reputable nutritional databases.
The primary nutritional database we use is the USDA’s FoodData Central nutrition database.
However, on occasions where the USDA does not have data for a particular food, we may use other reputable databases, such as the University of Minnesota’s NCC Food and Nutrient Database.
Wherever possible, we strive to look at the highest level of evidence from systematic reviews and double-blind randomized controlled trials.
Why is the quality of evidence important?
First, because many claims about nutrition use evidence that has been taken out of context.
For example, a small trial using cell cultures or mice might show that a high-strength extract of a compound synthesized from fruit has a beneficial effect in fighting a certain health condition. However, this does not mean that eating the whole fruit has the same benefits as a high-strength extract, and nor does it mean the extract would be beneficial for humans.
Furthermore, just because a trial shows an effect in cells or mice does not mean that we would expect to see the same effect in human trials. Therefore, randomized controlled trials—studies that actually test a theory on human participants—are the most accurate evidence for determining cause and effect.
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are also very reliable as they aggregate, examine, and help to communicate the totality of the evidence.
We encourage feedback on our articles.
Is there something useful that we could add to make it more informative? Did you notice a mistake, or is there something you feel isn’t quite right?
Leave a comment or contact us.