First Blog Post! Nutrition Myth Busting
Updated: Mar 18, 2019
Nutrition is a part of every day life and is something we should all have a good understanding of. However, the media these days deliver stacks of misinformation, new diets and fads people should try and it is becoming very hard to find reliable nutrition information.
In our first ever blog! We are going to discuss and breakdown 5 (out of many) Nutrition myths out there and deliver the correct nutrition information.
1. Carbohydrates are bad for you
Carbohydrates are a very debated subject which has left many people confused about them. There are many forms of carbohydrates and not all of them are the same. It is the type, quantity and quality of these carbohydrates that matter the most to our health.
Why are they important for your body?
Firstly, they are our main source of energy. There are two types of carbohydrates:
The difference between them is in how quickly they are digested and absorbed into our bodies, as well as its chemical structure.
Simple carbs: These are found in fruits, vegetables, milk products, sugar, honey, soft drinks etc. They are broken down quickly in the body and raise blood glucose levels quickly.
Complex carbs: These are found high fibre, starchy foods such as; whole wheat pasta, brown rice, potatoes. They are higher in fibre and digest more slowly. The majority of your carbohydrate should come from complex carbs and naturally occurring sugars, rather than processed or refined sugars which have little nutritional value.
Whilst it is not good to cut out carbohydrates, it is good to get your carbs from healthy sources such as higher fibre starchy foods, vegetables, fruits and legumes. These foods also contain an important source of nutrients such as calcium, iron and B vitamins.
Reducing carbohydrate intake from your diet could put you at an increased risk of deficiency in certain nutrients. Instead, try to limit the amount of sugary foods you eat every day.
So, are carbs bad for you?
The Truth: As long as you do not overindulge, there is nothing inherently harmful about carbohydrates.
2. Egg yolks are bad for you
For some time, egg yolks have been demonized as causing cholesterol levels to increase. This misconception mostly came from incorrect conclusions drawn from early research that dietary cholesterol contributes to higher blood cholesterol.
Cholesterol in foods does not result in an increase in blood cholesterol. In fact, trans fats have a much greater effect on blood cholesterol. Whole eggs have almost every essential vitamin and mineral our bodies need to function normally. Just eating the whites of an egg, you are only getting 3.5g of protein and missing out on many nutritional benefits that the yolk has.
In conclusion, eating whole eggs in moderation is not bad for your health.
The Truth: Not only are eggs a great source of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but they contain some important nutrients for our health.
3. To lose weight, do not eat before bed
One of the reasons why late-night eating has been associated with gaining weight is because you are more likely to snack of an evening time. Which are additional calories to what you have already eaten in the day. For example, once the evening has come around you would have usually already had your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Truth: It doesn’t matter what time you eat of a day, whether you eat at 11pm or 5pm. The thing that matters most is the number of calories you are having across the day and the quality of those calories.
4. Red meat is bad for you
One common reoccurring comment about red meat is that it causes cancer.. cancer is very hard to discuss in absolutes. Most things we eat have the potential to be involved with cancer development, yet red meat has been made the devil of them all.
Red meat is a good source of protein and provides vitamins and minerals including iron. It is recommended that people who eat a lot of red meat (more than 90g per day) should cut down this amount to 70g a day as it has been linked with cardiovascular disease and bowel cancer. It is not necessary to completely give it up, but if you are eating a lot then you may need to cut down. This does not mean it’s bad for you! Try aiming for lean cuts of red meat, or 5% lean mince and trim off excess fat before cooking. However, if you would like to reduce your red meat intake, start with decreasing cured, smoked, or highly processed red meat.
The Truth: fears around red meat are very exaggerated, especially in the media. Making sure you install healthy lifestyle choices such as staying a healthy weight, not smoking etc is more important than watching your red meat intake.
5. Detoxing makes you lose weight
‘Detox’ is a popular word in the dieting world.. with the idea that we need to clear the ‘toxic waste’ from our bodies in order to stay healthy. Some of the claims made in relation to detoxing are; magical weight loss, improved digestion, boosted immune system, glowing hair and skin etc. These kinds of diets can last anything from one day to a month and can involve; consuming only fruits and vegetables, cutting out certain foods, fasting for short periods of time, avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
Partaking in these diets’ limits energy intake and important nutrients that are needed in our bodies to live and survive. These diets make you lose weight rapidly, but this weight loss is water, glycogen (carbohydrate stores), and muscle rather than fat. You will feel like you have less energy, you may feel fatigued and dizzy. When you stop using these detox diets or teas and return to your usual eating habits, the weight that you have lost will go straight back on and you will be back to square one.
The Truth: In short, detox diets are marketing myths rather than nutritional reality. There is no such thing as ‘detoxing’. Diet and exercise is the only way to get healthy.