I’m just going to be honest with you, because someone has to do it…
Now I’m not trying to trick you, think of this more like a treat!
Truth is, there’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to the topic of nutrition.
I mean, let’s think about it for a second…
- Your Doctor didn’t go to school for dietetics.
- Your Personal Trainer and that fit guy or gal at the gym knows only what works well for them.
- Your Nutritionist doesn’t understand your lifestyle.
Do you want to know the worst one, because I’m about to tell you…
- Your School Teachers & College Professors were paid to lie to you about what proper nutrition really is!
How can I make a statement like that?
Because I’m a little bit crazy? Nope, that’s not it.
Because I was one of those professors.
That’s right, I was bound by contract and forced into brainwashing my students… Any forward thinking or deviation from my government issued teachers edition textbook was let’s just say, forbidden.
(Insert spooky music here)
But I’ve had enough and I can’t hold in these secrets in any longer.
So I’m here to set the record straight…
Once and for all.
HERE ARE THE TOP SIX SCARIEST NUTRITION LIES EVER TOLD!
1. Eggs Are Unhealthy
If there’s one thing that nutrition professionals are remarkably good at… It’s publicly demonizing healthy foods.
The worst example of this is eggs, which happen to contain a large amount of cholesterol and were for the longest time considered to increase the risk of heart disease and as a result, banished from our grocery lists for years.
(I’m sure you’ve heard that before right?)
However, the verdict on eggs is actually quite the opposite. Believe it or not, cholesterol in your diet doesn’t necessarily raise the cholesterol in your blood. In fact, eggs primarily raise our “good” cholesterol (HDL) and are NOT associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Really what we’re left with, is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. 🙂
Eggs are high in all sorts of nutrients along with unique antioxidants that protect our eyes. To top it all of, despite being a “high fat” food, eating eggs for breakfast is proven to cause significant weight / fat loss as compared to bagels, cereals, or any other conventional options.
What You Need to Know: Eggs do not cause heart disease and are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight!
2. Saturated Fat is Bad For You
A few decades ago it was decided that the epidemic of heart disease was caused by eating too much fat (saturated fat in particular).
These claims, were based on highly flawed studies and political decisions that have since been proven to be completely wrong.
The idea that saturated fat raised the risk of heart disease was an unproven theory that somehow became conventional wisdom. Actually, eating saturated fat will raise the amount of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the blood and changes the LDL from small, dense LDL (very bad) to Large LDL, which is benign.
Pretty cool right?
It’s quite the shame though, because as a nation… We still haven’t recovered, and we probably never will.
Properly sourced meat, coconut oil, avocados, cheese, and butter have no adverse health risks (unless you have an allergy) and are personally okay to consume if you’re concerned about your figure.
What You Need to Know: Newer studies have proven that saturated fat does not cause heart disease. Depending on your goals, natural foods that are high in saturated fat could quite possibly be good for you.
3. Everyone’s Diet Should Revolve Around Eating “Whole Grains”
The idea that humans should be basing their diets on “whole grains” has never really made sense to me.
Genetically modified grains (because that’s what most of them are now) are drastically lower in nutrients as compared to other real foods like fruits & vegetables. They are also rich in a substance called phytic acid which binds to essential minerals in the intestine and prevents them from being digested & absorbed.
It’s true…Google it. 🙂
The most common grain in the western diet, is by far, wheat.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but wheat can cause a host of health problems, both minor and serious if not taken care of. Modern wheat contains a large amount of a protein called gluten, and there’s strong evidence that a significant portion of the population may be sensitive to it.
(Read “The Wheat Belly” and tell me if you still want that Subway sandwich)
Truth be told, gluten can damage your intestinal lining, cause pain, bloating, stool inconsistency and overall fatigue. Gluten consumption has also been associated with schizophrenia and cerebellar ataxia (physical deterioration), both serious disorders of the brain.
What You Need to Know: Grains are relatively low in nutrients as compared to other real carbohydrates like fruits & vegetables. Genetically modified “grains” & gluten in particular may lead to a variety of health problems.
4. Excess Protein Consumption is Bad For Your Bones and Kidneys
It’s no secret (especially in the mainstream media) that a high protein diet has been claimed to cause both osteoporosis and kidney disease.
It’s a poor understanding of the research that has led us to develop these thoughts. 🙁
It is true that eating protein increases calcium excretion from the bones in the short term, but long term studies (which really matter) actually show the opposite effect.
Over time, adequate protein has a strong association with improved bone health, lower risk of fracture, and increased skeletal muscle mass. Additionally, studies don’t show any association of high protein with kidney disease in otherwise healthy people.
In fact, two of the main risk factors for kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure…
Not protein consumption.
What You Need to Know: Eating a high protein diet is associated with improved bone health, lower risk of fracture, and increased skeletal muscle mass. Higher protein diets also lower blood pressure and improve diabetes symptoms, which can lower the risk of kidney failure.
5. Low-Fat Foods Are Good For You
Do you know what regular food tastes like when all the fat has been taken out of it? Well, it tastes like cardboard.
No one would want to eat it, I mean no one.
Not even your weird Uncle Bob, and Uncle Bob eats anything.
The food manufacturers know this and therefore they add other things to compensate for the lack of fat. Usually these are sweeteners… sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients like aspartame.
We’ll save sugar for a whole other post, but I’d just like to point out that even though artificial sweeteners don’t have calories, the evidence does NOT suggest that they are better for you than sugar. 🙁
In fact, many observational studies on artificial sweeteners show a consistent, highly significant association with various diseases like obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, premature delivery and depression.
Ultimately with these low-fat products, healthy natural fats are being replaced with substances that are extremely harmful to your health.
What You Need to Know: When you see Low-fat, think “High chemicals.” Low-fat foods are usually highly processed products loaded with sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.
6. All Fitness Enthusiasts Should Eat Small Meals Throughout The Day
The idea that you should eat many small meals throughout the day in order to “keep your metabolism high” is a persistent myth that doesn’t quite add up.
Now, it is true that eating raises your metabolism slightly while you’re digesting the meal, but it’s the total amount of food that determines energy usage, NOT the number or frequency of meals.
This misinformation most likely came from the world of bodybuilding & performance training.
These types of athletes train multiple times per day, and consequently need more food for fuel.
In order to meet the energy demands of their sports, they needed to eat more food, more frequently. Thus, a new dietary practice was mistakenly born for the masses.
In controlled studies where one group eats many small meals and the other the same amount of food in fewer meals show that there is literally no difference between the two in weight or fat loss.
Not only is eating so often practically useless for most of the people out there, it may even be harmful. It isn’t natural for the human body to be constantly in the fed state.
However, it is natural to eat well balanced & thoughtfully timed meals as it pertains to your individualized goals.
What You Need to Know: For the general population there is no evidence that eating many small meals throughout the day is better than fewer, bigger meals (It’s more of a quality & quantity debate). Not eating from time to time can be good for you (as long as when you do eat, your meals are properly balanced).
So I’ll have to stop the list at six, just because we’d be here all day if I listed them all out for you!
Use these truths to help you form an opinion and find out what’s best for you and your body. Know that everyone is different, and what works for you won’t work for someone else.
Riley Phelps, MS CSCS