13 Nutritional Myths Debunked
Nutrition and healthy eating have become the most talked about topics in today’s society, it’s no wonder misinformation is running amock!
Kelly Lynch comes to the rescue with the truth about 13 of the most common diet and nutrition myths – are they fact or fiction? Read on to find out!
Luckily they don’t – and this has been proven! It is saturated/trans fats that cause blood cholesterol levels to rise. When it comes to nutrition eggs are VERY nutritious as they contain good quality protein and the amino acid choline, which protects the brain and nervous system. They are also a very good source of vitamin D.
2. Fat-free milk is the healthiest option when it comes to cow’s milk
The problem with fat free products is that manufacturers often add sugar or carbs to them to improve their taste. Fat-free milk often contains more sugar than low fat and full cream milk so that it still tastes like milk- as most of the fat has been removed. So although there is less fat, there are often more calories per ml! Learn how to read labels! I recommend that if you are healthy and lean, full cream milk is best. But if you have high cholesterol or need to lose some weight, low fat is the best choice. I NEVER recommend fat-free anything as it’s low on nutrition!
3. Sugar is poison!
Oh yes it is!!! Sugar is an ’empty calorie’ food which means it contains NO nutrition and only calories! Sugar creates spikes in our insulin production and insulin has been shown to promote fat storage. Sugar is ADDICTIVE and makes you crave sweet things more and more…The sooner you cut this poison out of your life the better!
4. Olive oil is the best oil to cook with
I agree! Olive oil takes the longest to change from a good fat (unsaturated fat) to a bad fat (saturated fat) when exposed to heat. This makes it a great option for cooking – but an even better option for your nutrition when eaten raw! Oils from plants like olives, avocados and coconuts are of a higher quality than oils from seeds like sunflower seeds and rape seeds (which they use to make canola oil). The only problem with coconut and avocado oils is that they contain more saturated fat than olive oil… So you decide – I choose the oil from them olives!
5. Carbs are carbs and fats are fats – ‘carbs make you fat’ and ‘fats clog your arteries’
Neither of these statements is justified. Your body processes a bowl of whole oats or brown rice much more easily than it does a white bread burger bun. Whole carbs are not the same as processed carbs, just like animal fats are not the same as plant fats. Animal fats tend to contain more saturated fat (the fat that raises our cholesterol levels and our weight – unless you believe in the Banting Philosophy), whereas plant fats normally contain the essential fatty acids necessary for nervous system development and skin health. I recommend using plant fats rather than animal fats in your daily meals e.g. olive oil. I also recommend avoiding all forms of processed carbohydrates as they are bad for your nutrition – only eat whole, unprocessed carbs like oats, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, butternut, mielies and legumes.
6. Wheat is bad for you
Wheat is only bad for you if it is refined – as it acts like sugar. Otherwise in its whole form it is perfectly safe for you to eat. A good example is a raw muesli that contains whole wheat kernels.
7. Food cravings are all in your mind
There a 3 main reasons why we crave sugary or salty foods: 1. Unbalanced eating regimes – no carbs or the wrong carbs at mealtimes create imbalances in a non-diabetic’s blood sugar levels, making sugar or salt desires strong. By not eating breakfast or missing lunch, your blood sugar levels drop and that makes you crave something ‘naughty’. 2. Emotional craving – using food to soothe your emotions. Perhaps you have a fight with your boss and all you can think of is that chocolate muffin at the coffee shop downstairs. 3. Stress- stress raises the level of a hormone called cortisol, which increases the desire for sugar and messes with our glucose regulatory system. Stress management is imperative when trying to manage your weight (and your life)!
8. There is a nutritional benefit to fasting, as fasting is a form of detox
There is NO scientifically proven reason to fast – other than for spiritual benefits (if this is your belief). Starving your body of nutrients in food entirely is not beneficial or recommended.
9. Everyone should be on a supplement
There is no need to take any supplement unless you have a nutritional deficiency – like anaemia or osteoporosis, as long as your diet is correct! Rather spend the money on healthy foods. It is however essential to keep your gut healthy so that you absorb all the nutrients from the foods you eat – so I do often recommend a probiotic supplement to my clients. I also sometimes recommend an omega 3 fatty acid supplement if clients are not eating fish 4 times a week.
10. Should we eat organic?
In the ideal world…Yes. Organic food is better for the environment and for your health but due to the cost and availability in SA, it is not always the most practical option. If you can afford to buy organic food but you are unsure what to buy, I always recommend starting with the animal products – eggs, milk, chicken and meat. Don’t waste your money buying organic vegetables when you are eating non-organic meat/animal products.
11. Multi-grain is the same as whole-grain
NO its not – whole-grain is better than multi-grain. Multi-grain products may contain more grains but they are normally in a refined form making them act more like sugar. The more whole the food, the better!
12. Brown sugar is better than white sugar
Sugar is sugar folks – there is no difference in terms of calories or how it reacts in your bloodstream. The best advice is to just AVOID all forms of refined sugar.
13. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Oh yes it is!!! Eating breakfast within the first 1-1.5hours of being awake helps kick start your metabolism – which means you burn food faster and less is converted to fat! Breakfast also energizes your body for the day ahead and it helps to get your colon working. Your colon health is essential. If your gut is not healthy, it is impossible to have a healthy body, as everything you eat has to pass through your colon before it gets into your bloodstream.
A whole food movement is going to ensure optimum health for all!