In the ever fluid world of nutrition, the last decade has brought to light new information and studies proving many accepted concepts to be incorrect. Most of us by now know that eggs are great for us to eat and not to be avoided but what other facts might you not be aware of based on new information? At the end of the day I think we’re all being led to find moderation in our food and nutrition intakes, which is the most sensible way to do things.
Check out my list of myths below:
#1 – Salt Is Not Bad For You
For quite some time Americans have been stepping away from the salt shaker. It’s hard to find a restaurant that will deliciously pre-salt your french fries anymore. But it turns out that all of that stepping away and counting sodium mg has been unnecessary and perhaps even harmful if you have been keeping your salt too low. Even the CDC recommendations for salt have recently been found to be too low for your health. It appears that our natural inclinations to moderate salt use is precisely where we should be on this product. For more specifics, see the article below.
#2 – Eating Fat Does Not Cause Heart Disease
We have seriously come a long way on the understanding of what causes Heart Disease, but have you looked at the new information? If you are someone who is still reaching for the “low-fat” foods in the grocery store, please know that you are doing yourself and your health a disservice. More and more studies are beginning to prove that it is inflammation, not fat that is causing not just Heart Disease but many illnesses and your “low-fat” and highly processed food is part of the problem. A “mega” study was just done on this topic and conclusively proves that not only are fats not terrible for your heart but many fats are actually good and prevent heart disease. Once again, moderation is the key here, I’m not proposing a big, fatty diet but that fat has it’s health benefits so consider having a reasonable amount in your diet. If you want to know how we got bamboozled into believing low-fat was good for us, check out this video about how we got to our “low-fat” destination:
#3 – Skipping Breakfast Is Good For Weight Loss
Forever we’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you knew where that came from originally you would shake your head in disbelief. If you’re curious, check out the story of how that came to be here… So it’s through marketing that a big bacon and eggs breakfast came to be and that’s fine if you have your weight under control but it turns out if you’d like to lose weight, skipping or perhaps just eating a light breakfast is the way to make it happen. I know this goes against so much that we have grown up with but much information is flowing about the real facts on this topic. I recently wrote about how a couple low calorie days a week is transforming my body, jump back and read that article here.
#4 – Drinking Diet Soda Increases Your Belly Fat!!
I know many of you will cheer at this topic and others groan, but the facts are out on this issue. In a recent study, folks drinking diet soda gained 4X the belly fat as those who didn’t in the same period. Additionally, drinking diet soda creates an increased desire for sweets and increases the risk factors for diabetes (ie insulin resistance and glucose intolerance). So step away from these fake calories and moderate with real sugar. I know that seems counter-intuitive but research now says otherwise!
#5 – Fish Oil Does Not Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
In doing the research for this blog, I kept running into the news above and was completely devastated! I have been a religious taker of Fish Oil for FOREVER but it turns out that it really isn’t doing anything for me. It appears through much of the research that our bodies simply don’t absorb this supplement enough to be an effective tool for our health, which makes me sad but is unfortunately true. I’ll instead be switching to a twice a week meal of fish which provides significantly better results!
#6 – If You Are Non-Celiac It Is Not Likely You Are Gluten Sensitive
Once again, this is terrible news for all who have been working to be Gluten free at home. I’m not writing this to discourage those who have found this an effective tool for their children with issues including ADD and more, if it is working for you, keep it up. And I want to be clear that in the case of Celiacs disease this is very real. But for those with self-diagnosed “Gluten Sensitivities,” it may just be that you’re wasting your time and money by severely adjusting your diet. The original doctor who found the issue of Gluten Intolerance has recently proven his theory incorrect. For the details on this, read this. So save yourself some time and money by truly assessing whether this is a dietary change that is necessary for you.
#7 – You Do Not Have To Drink 8 Glasses Of Water A Day To Be Healthy
I know we’ve been told this forever but it turns out it was NEVER truly a recommendation even from the beginning. How did this myth come to fruition? Well, it turns out that in 1945 when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended approximately “1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food,” which amounts to 64 to 80 ounces per day, their next sentence said “Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.” Which has been commonly omitted! What that means is that simply by eating our meals, we were achieving this recommendation. However, this information was grabbed up and distributed by the world as a requirement to drink that much water. I do believe water is important to drink still, but mostly I recommend you listen to the dryness of your mouth and other signals in the body that you need something to drink. Otherwise, you can throw away that ounce-counting bottle and just consume what you actually need.
#8 – Eating Late At Night May Not Make You Gain Weight
This was another myth that I was surprised to come across. I have personally always avoided the late night meal for fear that it would end up on my waist. But it turns out all of that stressing over late night meals was unnecessary! It turns out that your total intake for the day plays a far greater role in weight issues than the time of day you consume your calories. It some ways it makes sense because I definitely know skinny late-night eaters and it obviously has no effect on them. So don’t gorge yourself at midnight because that big meal adds up, but if you have to eat late because of life, stop letting it stress you out!
#9 – Calories In Vs Calories Burned Is Not The Only Way To Lose Weight
I’ve done a TON of research on this myth and if you’re a person who’s struggled with their weight and yet counted your calories like your doctor told you, you’ve known this is a myth for quite some time. A calorie is not a calorie, what you choose to eat and how your body handles it makes all the difference in the world. A multitude of doctors have exposed this myth to the world, my personal favorites are Dr Robert Lustig and Dr Gary Taubes. They have great books, are in many documentaries and educational videos on the subject, check them out to learn more. But know that the types of foods you choose will have a distinct effect not just on your weight, but on hormones like Leptin and Insulin that determine how your body manages those calories. Stop wasting your time with a calorie counter and find better ways to manage your food choices for success!
#10 – Drinking Multiple Cups Of Coffee Is Not Bad
I don’t know about you but even though I don’t seem to ever have issues with caffeine, I constantly feel it necessary to watch the number of cups of coffee that I drink each day. There is a limit, for the record, but it is way higher than I expected! Per the Mayo Clinic, “Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two “energy shot” drinks.” So it’s ok to allow yourself that extra coffee at 3pm to get your through your workday, it isn’t doing as much damage as you may think it is!
So at the end of the day, how about some nice moderation! Eat some fish, a little gluten, have your coffee and skip the diet soda (and breakfast). I think at the end of the day if you are listening to your body, you’re aware of most of this.