Friday, February 10, 2017

Busting Nutrition Myths

The health industry, much to my dismay, is filled with misinformation and myths. There is an overabundance of sources nowadays with social media and the internet, leaving it very hard for the majority of people to decipher fact from fiction. 

There are quite a few nutrition myths that I consistently see spread to the masses but because this is a blog not a novel, I will give you my top 5 nutrition myths that need to be debunked. I was inspired to write this blog after a conversation with my aunt the other day about fruit so we’ll start with that…

Myth #1
Eat all the fruit you want. 
No, don’t do it. I get it - fruit is tasty and it is natural and many varieties are loaded with good vitamins and antioxidants and fiber. But the reason it tastes so good is because it is loaded with SUGAR!! I’m not saying don’t eat fruit at all, I’m telling you if you want to trim down, eat fruit in moderation and put it in your breakfast or lunch, not your bedtime snack when your body will be inactive and therefore, not burning it, just storing it as…fat. Another fact that many people don’t realize is that not all fruits are created equal. For instance, pineapple has substantially more sugar per serving than raspberries or blackberries. Always go for the berries or grapefruit over the more sugary fruits. 

Myth #2
Cutting Calories = Cutting Weight
While this is true in the sense that we need to burn more calories than we consume in order to lose weight, cutting to extremes (1200 or less) will work in the short term but it will cause your metabolism to bottom out. Getting your metabolism to recover from this can take a very long time. The reason many people on very low calorie diets eventually start gaining weight is because they have ruined their metabolism. Instead of dropping your calories to a ridiculously low level, take a look at your foods and make sure you are eating nutrient-dense foods and not consuming a lot of empty calories (hold the whip on that mocha). 

Myth #3
Fat makes you fat.
This is an oldie but still as true as ever. It’s not fat that makes us fat, it’s the type of fat and the quantity. In our hurried society we are often reliant on convenience foods for our meals. Often times these are the foods that are loaded with fats like creams and butters. These are not the good fats. Omega 3 and 6 - salmon, eggs, avocado, nut butters, nuts, coconut oil, EVOO, to name a few. A diet with healthy fats will not only keep your body functioning well but it will also aid weight loss. Yep, that’s right!!

Myth #4
If it’s organic it must be healthier
Nope. It’s not. It’s more expensive but that’s about it. I get it - some people like to know that the food they’re putting in their bodies is organic. Totally cool, I get that. It won’t make a person healthier, live longer or lose weight faster. So if you are in the camp that just doesn’t have the budget for organic foods, fret not! 

Myth #5
Eating late at night will make you fat
Dear Oprah, take it back!! I think I heard Oprah say this back when I was in high school and it is something that has never died and it is one of the biggest myths and it is still preached today in the health industry. It is not true. False false falsity false. You will not gain weight just because you eat right before bed. If however, you eat ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream every night before bed, you probably will. A “small meal” (200-300 calories) containing protein and fat is a great thing to eat before bed. This will keep your metabolism cranking throughout the night. 

I realize it’s hard to separate fact from fiction, especially these days. Hopefully this helps make sense of some things you’ve heard or read. I would also caution you to keep in mind that many things you will see online are “click bait” and so they share information that isn’t necessarily true but it peaks your interest and you click. Always double check your sources. 

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