If you want to be fitter and wiser, then you should stop believing these 10 biggest nutrition lies.
Mainstream nutrition is full of crap.
More and more people today are getting hammered left and right by false information and bad advice. The worst thing is, a lot of them usually come from “experts.”
I’m not saying that these people are lying to you. It just so happens that these notions, the stuff that we’ve been taught and have picked up along the way, were wrong to begin with. And since we never question them and no one told us differently, sadly, we accept false information as truths and they become part of the norm.
It’s now time to decipher fact from fiction. Find out the 10 biggest nutrition lies first before putting anything inside your mouth!
Here are the 10 biggest nutrition lies that are holding you back from reaching your fitness goals:
Lie #1: You have to eat 4-6 meals per day to boost your metabolism
For years, I believed the idea of eating 6 meals or more a day in boosting the metabolism. Since most of us don’t really understand the body’s mechanism for digesting food, it just made so much sense to think that having “plenty” of small meals throughout the day burns more calories. That’s because digesting food requires energy.
This myth was exposed in a study that was done at the University of Ottawa. The study concluded that there was no weight loss advantage in splitting calories into 6 meals rather than the usual 3.
Another study even found that having small, frequent meals actually just made people want to eat more because they make it harder for us to feel full, potentially leading us to indulge later on.
Bottomline: It is not true that eating smaller, frequent meals leads to an increase in the body’s metabolism. The amount of energy it takes for our body to digest the food is proportional to the amount of food we consume. So it doesn’t matter if you eat once a day or 10 meals a day, your body will still burn the same calories.
Lie #2: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
I’ve already touched this in my previous article but will expound it a bit more here to really hammer it into your head.
If you believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you, or the one who told you, or the one who told the one who told you, is more likely a victim of an ad campaign designed in 1944 to sell more cereal.
Sorry. There’s nothing magical about breakfast — as evidently shown in my strategy here.
The idea of losing muscle if you skip breakfast is a myth, the same with eating 4-6 meals a day. After a large high-protein meal, amino acids flow into our blood stream for several hours. How many hours? Who knows. But there are fitness gurus out there who even recommend a 24-hour fast once in a while.
As long as you’re working out and not skipping meals for 3 days straight, I think you’ll be fine.
But what about those studies that show students who eat breakfast behave and perform better in school? That has more to do with hunger. It’s not hard to imagine that anyone who’s hungry will do better if they are fed, right? But it’s not the same for people who can’t stomach eating breakfast.
So what is the most important meal of the day? I would say, the meal after your workout. If you’re not working out or if you don’t have a workout that day, it really doesn’t matter what time you eat.
Bottomline: If you like breakfast, have it. If not, skip it. Just don’t go longer than three days without a meal. You might die.
Lie #3: Eating late at night will cause you to gain weight
So does eating at morning or noon or any time of the day.
We’ve been taught wrong again. This myth also made sense because of our ignorance in this area made us think that since we’re less active at night, calories that are consumed are likely to be stored as fat.
That’s not how the body works.
The truth is, there’s not much big difference in how much calories the body burns when we’re awake versus when we’re asleep. If you have a habit of eating at night like it’s your last meal, it’s not the timing of the meal, but your overeating that’s sabotaging your weight-loss efforts.
Bottom Line: How much you eat–the total calories consumed–is far more important than when you eat. So go ahead. Eat late at night.
Lie #4: High protein diets are bad for your kidneys
I always hear this from my Mom and my grandma, and I always respond by just nodding my head to pretend that I agree with them.
It is often said that consuming high amounts of protein in our diet puts a strain on the kidneys and increases the risk of kidney failure.
Is it true?
Unless you have an existing problem with your kidneys, you shouldn’t worry about this.
The latest research tells us that although it is true that people with established kidney disease should cut back on protein, this is definitely not true for healthy people.
A study examining bodybuilders with high protein intake vs. athletes with moderate protein intake revealed no significant differences in kidney function between the groups.
If high protein diets are bad for the kidneys, we would’ve been alarmed long ago by the number of bodybuilders who would’ve have died for this reason.
Plus, for some of you who don’t know, getting protein from diets are quite difficult.
Our kidneys are incredibly efficient at filtering toxic substances from the body, and consuming a high-protein diet is not a problem for them. They are built to handle this kind of stress anyway.
Bottom Line: Eating lots of protein is perfectly safe. I suggest getting at least 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.
Lie #5: Egg yolks are bad for you
If there’s one thing the mainstream media, internet, and neighborhood gossips are good at, it’s scaring you away from these harmless foods.
Whole eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on Earth, and most of its nutrients are found in that yellow circle people are scared off. Telling someone to throw the yolks away is ridiculous.
There has been numerous research and studies that show the innocence of egg yolks with regards to cardiovascular health and increasing cholesterol. In fact, some of the studies concluded that they only increase “good” cholesterol, and they don’t increase the risk of heart disease.
Unless you have a pre-existing health condition like diabetes or any heart disease, don’t bother throwing the yolks away.
Bottom Line: Egg yolks are not evil. Yes, they have cholesterol in them but so protein, vitamins, minerals, and loads of other nutrients. Just because a food has high cholesterol in it doesn’t mean it will translate to an increased cholesterol in your blood.
Lie #6: Fat will make you fat
*Fat/s with capital F used as a macronutrient
This one’s very logical. If we eat Fat, we get fat. It’s the same word, right?
Well, yeah. Fat will make you fat, so as carbohydrates and protein. What we should be concerned about is the total calories we consume each day.
If for a week you only eat FATTY foods but you don’t consume more calories than you burn, you will still lose weight.
Likewise, if for a week you don’t eat FAT and just consume carbs and protein but you take in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight!
The only reason Fat has the potential to make us fatter is because it has more calories than the other two macronutrients.
1g of Fat has 9 calories vs. 4 calories for 1g of Protein/Carbs.
That said, Fat is more filling than carbs, especially simple carbs like sweets and other sugary foods. You’re more likely to get fat on carbs than it is get fat on Fats.
In addition, Fats paired with lean protein sources are very good for fighting off cravings.
Bottomline: Don’t be afraid of Fat. Moderate amounts of Fats in a diet have been shown to be more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets.
Lie #7: Eat fruits if you want to lose weight
Yes, fruits are healthy. They’re packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. And since many of us believe that if a food is healthy, you should eat more of it. The problem with this is, fruits — like all food — they contain calories. And consuming more calories will just make you fat.
In addition, eating plenty of fruits, with regards to the calories being absorbed, is the same as eating plenty of ice cream. They both contain high amounts of sugars.
When we eat sugars, our body releases the hormone insulin, which tells us that we’ve had enough or we’re full already. The bad thing about these fruit sugars, or fructose, is that they don’t trigger an insulin response in our brain unlike other sugars. Our brain doesn’t get the “you’re full” message, so there’s a high tendency to eat more.
This could explain why, despite the healthy lifestyle of people, they’re getting fatter and fatter.
Bottomline: Yes, you can still eat fruits even if your goal is to lose weight. The main point I’m trying to make here is that fruits are not calorie-free foods. Don’t treat them that way.
Lie #8: Diet sodas are bad for you
Aspartame, the famous artificial sweetener found in diet sodas, is claimed to be unhealthy by some “experts.” Truth is, it is completely safe, and drinking diet sodas won’t negatively affect your health.
I’ll leave all the scientific explanation to this recent article by Menno Henselmans — Is Aspartame Safe?
Bottomline: It’s okay to consume diet sodas or anything that has aspartame in it. This may even help you lose weight because aspartame contains ZERO calories.
Lie #9: Salt will make you fat
For simplicity’s sake, let’s use sodium and salt interchangeably.
I’ve been hearing bad things about sodium/salt lately. Some of them are:
“Salty foods will make you fat.”
“Salty foods will make you look bloated.”
Of these two, the latter is true.
Sodium will not make you fat. Sodium will make you “look” fat.
Diets high in sodium will cause water retention–that is, will make your body hold more water, make you look bloated, and make you gain weight, but only temporarily.
Weight gain from water retention is different from weight gain from building up extra fatty tissues. So don’t freak out if you find yourself heavier than yesterday because you ate too much salty foods! It’s only water weight, baby. Relax.
Unless you’re a bodybuilder or someone preparing for a photoshoot or a show, my advice is not to stress yourself about this.
Bottomline: Salt doesn’t make you fat. The weight gain you experience after eating salty foods is more of a water weight. This doesn’t mean that you should eat plenty of salty foods either. Too much sodium can lead to a chock of problems that last longer than bloating does.
Lie #10: Detox to cleanse your system and lose weight
There’s no such thing as “detoxing.” In medical terms, it’s bullcrap. It’s a scam. I’m sorry to tell you this, but it’s true.
The idea that you can wash toxins away from your body by eating just this and that is the perfect excuse for having a fast-food and alcohol-indulgence lifestyle.
Remember, our body has kidneys, liver, lungs, colon, and skin that are cleansing our system this very moment. These built-in, clean-up babies are already powerful and no fad diet can outwork them.
And since the body is always in a natural state of “detoxification,” we don’t need to do a juice cleanse or follow any liquid detox diet to be healthy.
With regards to weight loss, if there’s any way that a detox/cleansing diet causes you to lose weight, that’s because of their huge food restrictions. People who go to a detox diet consume less calories than they normally have, so they lose weight. There’s nothing mystical about it.
Once they go back to their normal eating habits, most likely they will get all the weight back again.
What about those detox products?
Most of the detox products I know have laxative and diuretic ingredients in them. These ingredients don’t do anything except dehydrate you and flush away minerals, electrolytes, and fiber. You may lose weight this way of course, but that would be just water weight. Don’t bother with them.
Bottomline: The best ‘detox’ strategy is a proper diet, regular exercise, limiting alcohol intake, and not smoking.
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