As our understanding of nutrition evolves we need to verify that what we have been told and what people use to teach may not actually be valid. Sometimes the nutrition tips we received were based on assumptions and other times it was to sell more product… either way its important that we, as individuals, educate ourselves on our own health. Here are a few Nutrition Tips that we debunk!
- Eat a lot of small meals throughout the day. Although this seems logical in that you can satisfy hunger by eating more often, for most people this is not reasonable and there is no scientific evidence that this actually works. Your better off eating 3 meals a day plus a snack and eating in an 8-9 hour window allowing your body 15-16 hours of “rest” from food. This is known as “intermittent fasting” and there is research that supports this approach!
- Eating Fat Will Make You Fat! Yes if you are eating trans fats (doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies, cakes, fried foods, etc). But if you go light on the saturated fats and focus on the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (avocados, olive oil, salmon, flax, etc) coupled with a low carb diet and you will not only feel better but you could shed a few pounds. Try to avoid poor cooking oils too such as vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.
- Eating more protein will build more muscle. The average sedentary person needs about .38 grams of protein per pound of body weight. An active person needs between .5 grams to .75 grams of protein per pound of body weight. MOST People will be able to get all the protein they need through a balanced diet, there is no need to supplement protein. The human body can only process about 8-12 grams of protein an hour. A protein rich “food” generally absorbs over 1.5-2 hours. Protein levels above this will be removed from the body through your urine. So if your drinking a 40gram protein shake you just created some expensive urine!
- You can eat what you want if you just exercise! This is FALSE, you cannot out exercise a bad diet. The whole “calories in calories out” model way over simplifies how our bodies work. You can eat more calories of healthy foods and fewer of processed or ultra-processed foods because of how your body processes these foods. Weight management is 90% diet and 10% exercise remember that!
- You have to get your calcium from dairy. This is not true; there are tons of other sources of calcium that have a far higher yield than “milk” and dairy. Items such as spinach, kale, collar greens, sardines, salmon, broccoli, okra and almonds to name a few. Additionally they provide a broader array of vitamins and minerals overall.
In short, we need to research and look into many of the nutrition claims out there and see if what they are saying is true and valid. Nutrition and the study of nutrition is still evolving but there are some simple truths that we all know will help such as avoid sugar, avoid processed foods, reduce consumption of alcohol, get a good night sleep, exercise, etc. If we follow these general guidelines we will be on the right path to healthy living!