Nutrition

12 Nutrition and Food Myths – BUSTED

Good morning guys and happy Saturday!!

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Do you ever wonder with all of that nutrition information out there, whats true and whats not? I mean the food/nutrition industry is definitely a confusing one, and there are always new breakthroughs, new facts, a new superfood or something that’ll cure all diseases or cause them. It’s hard to tell which ones are actually legit, so I’m here to shed a bit of light on whats FALSE. I have heard a few of these a million and one times and it almost makes me laugh cause some are just ridiculous. Alright lets dig in…

Myth 1: Salt should be restricted in order to lower blood pressure and reduce heart attacks/strokes

Okay it is literally so dangerous to restrict your salt intake, so DON’T DO IT.  The human body literally needs sodium to thrive, it needs sodium to transmit nerve impulses, contract/relax muscle fibres (including heart muscles), and maintain a proper fluid balance. There are studies showing that restricting your salt intake actually puts you more at risk for heart problems and had no evidence of it lowering your risk for hypertension (high blood pressure). Low salt diets = increased hormones and lipids in the blood, complications in type 2 diabetes, hyponatremia (low blood sodium) which causes lethargy, nausea, pulmonary edema (fluid retention), and if its severe enough, you’ll die without any salt in your body.

Myth 2: It’s best to eat many small meals throughout the day to boost your metabolism

This seems like it would make sense right? if your constantly eating small meals throughout the day your stimulating your metabolism keeping it on fire and burning calories? NOPE! The exact opposite is true actually. When your constantly eating small meals, your body is constantly releasing insulin, which is putting your body into absorptive phase, and prevents it from burning fat. Absorptive phase is when your body is storing the sugar in your body instead of letting enzymes in your body release sugar in order to burn fat. To actually boost your metabolism and burn more calories, you want your body to be in post-absorptive phase where your body is using the sugar as energy, and burning fat.

Myth 3: Egg Yolks should be avoided cause their high in cholesterol which contributes to heart disease

One of the myths I hear a lot of the times and is a constant controversy. Egg yolks have a bad rep because they have a high cholesterol content. But dietary cholesterol from eggs or really any other source does not increase your bodies cholesterol levels, its saturated fats and sugars that effect your bodies cholesterol levels. Plus your cells are literally made of cholesterol, so we need it to live. The truth is, whole eggs (yolk included) are actually a nutritional powerhouse, there a great source of lean protein, have heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, B6, B12, riboflavin, biotin, folate and choline and include the amino acid L-arginine thats important for the bodies production of protein and hormones. So don’t skip the yolks! There the best part anyways :).

Myth 4: Milk gives you strong bones and teeth

I have talked about this a bit before, but milk gives you the opposite of strong bones and teeth. Milk acidifies the bodies PH levels, and calcium being a good stabilizer for low pH levels in the body…. it pulls the calcium out of the bones (because thats where calcium is mostly stored) to balance the acidity from the milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it doesn’t go back into the bones, it leaves the body in the urine so its actually causing a calcium deficit, not building you strong bones and teeth.

Myth 5: Coffee is unhealthy and should be avoided

Ugggghhhhh as a big coffee lover I hate when people say “omg you shouldn’t drink that much coffee everyday its bad for you blah blah blah” No time for that. My love for coffee will never die, and it actually has many health benefits! It can help improve brain functions like memory, focus, energy, mood, vigilance, etc. Coffee boosts your metabolism helping you burn fat, it contains essential nutrients like riboflavin, manganese, vitamin B5, potassium and its loaded with antioxidants! So drink your coffee, you’ll be more sane I promise.

See my post on coffee to read more on the health benefits: Whats in your cup of coffee?

Myth 6: Skipping breakfast makes you gain weight

Such an old school myth and I believed it for literally the longest time. I mean I don’t ever skip breakfast because I fucking love it, but trust me…. skipping it won’t make you gain weight. Calories are calories, doesn’t matter what time of day you eat them. If you wake up and don’t feel hungry but eat a big breakfast anyways because thats what you feel your supposed to do, its worse for you. Don’t force yourself to eat. Eat when you feel hungry, for some people thats not until noon or 1, which is fine. Eating in a calorie deficit will make you lose weight, and eating in a calorie surplus will make you gain weight and muscle, doesn’t matter what time of day its at.

Myth 7: Eating at night is bad and will make you fat

An old one in my books, I used to hear this all the time. The thought was that when you eat at night and then go to bed, your body just stores all that food as fat, it doesn’t get used as energy or digested properly, well thats not really true. This is similar to Myth number 6. Calories are calories no matter what time of day. What matters is how much food you eat in a day and the quality of food, not WHEN your eating it. If your eating at night, and still maintaining in a calorie deficit or not going over your daily calorie intake, your not going to gain weight. This is great news because who doesn’t love a bed time snack?

Myth 8: You need to eat something before you exercise to get the most out of your workout

I have been working out in the mornings without anything for breakfast for a long time, and I get through my workout just fine without any food in me. I don’t like having a big heavy meal in my stomach when I’m trying to work out, and I have enough energy just drinking coffee and water pre-workout. Also, when you workout on an empty stomach and you’ve fasted for 12-14 hours since your last meal, it actually has a positive effect on your body. It has been shown to improve blood sugar regulation and improve insulin levels when you workout BEFORE breakfast. Also your body will burn more fat because your using more fat stores when your working out on an empty stomach, instead of the food you just ate.

Myth 9: Vegans and vegetarians don’t get enough protein

Always shaking my head at this one. Vegans and vegetarians get plenty of protein because there are a million other protein sources out there that are plant-based and not from an animal source. Some people are so close-minded and stuck in their old ways thinking meat is the ONLY way to get protein. Well…. chickpeas, lentils, peas, beans, tofu, tempeh, edamame, nutritional yeast, nuts and seeds or vegan protein powders all are vegan and all have sufficient protein in them. IF your eating a combination of these everyday you will be getting more then enough protein and all of the essential amino acids. Plus all of these vegan sources have 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, less calories, packed with fibre, antioxidants and nutrients compared to animal sources. So vegans/vegetarians are totally winning.

Myth 10: Fruit will make you gain weight because of all the sugar

I literally can’t believe people still cut out fruit because there too full of sugar and carbs. Do people not realize how many nutrients and antioxidants there missing out on when you skip out fruit? There is sugar yes, but those sugars come loaded with phytochemicals, nutrients and dietary fibre which slow down the absorption of sugar and increase satiety, making weight gain less likely. Theres also tons of water in fruit, making the sugar less concentrated then it is in processed junk foods. If your going to cut out sugar, cut out the junk food and snacks, NOT the fruit.

Myth 11: You need to cut carbs in order to lose weight

WRONG. You need to cut out bad carbs in order to lose weight. SO highly – processed foods, junk food, sugary foods all can go because they have no purpose for your body. BUT complex carbs such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole grains, quinoa, oats all are great sources of carbs with lots of vitamins, minerals and fibre to support a healthy lifestyle AND support weight loss. Your body and minds primary fuel source is glucose which comes from carbohydrates so just choose the right source of carbs and you will stay on track!

Myth 12: Foods labelled “natural” are healthier for you

Not necessarily. The truth is a lot of pre-packaged foods that are labelled “natural”, still have GMO’s, artificial flavours, added sugars and preservatives, and have little to none nutritional content. A lot of the time food companies will slap a healthy or natural label on the package just because it contains some oats or some nuts and seeds, but the rest is just high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavours. So if your thinking your being healthy by buying “natural” snacks, just hold off, and check the ingredients first. If its a long list and you see sugars, phosphates, gums, citric acids, with small amounts of real food, I would leave it on the shelf.

Talk soon friends, hope you enjoy your weekend 🙂

xo

Raquel

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