10 Popular Nutrition Myths Debunked
10 Popular Nutrition Myths Debunked. By now I have heard the craziest claims about nutrition, food and fat loss.
The most surprising thing is that a lot of people just take these random claims as truth!
Here is a list of the most common (and ridiculous) myths that a lot of people still believe. Don’t fall for these popular myths!
It is important to know what is real and what is fake when it comes to nutrition. This can make dieting and healthy eating a whole lot easier!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Something I hear a lot of people says is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And honestly, it isn’t. You can live a totally happen and healthy life without breakfast.
There might actually be some benefits to skipping breakfast. People who follow an approach called intermittent fasting (most often) skip breakfast while being perfectly healthy.
To be totally clear, with breakfast I mean a meal that you eat in the first 3 hours after waking.
The common thought is that eating something first thing in the morning will boost your metabolism. You don’t need to do this, your metabolism works 24/7 and does not slow down when you fast for a while.
Studies found that when you skip breakfast you are likely to consume a meal with more calories at lunch, than if you had eaten breakfast.
But this makes sense because our bodies are hungrier because they have fasted for a while. Yet the choices in food quality stayed the same. (x)
2. Eating after 8 pm will make you fat
One myth that I hear way too often is that eating after a certain time (I don’t know why but often 8 pm) will make you fat.
Let me explain this as easy as possible. A calorie is a calorie. One calorie at 7 pm contains just as much energy as a calorie at 8 pm.
This idea probably comes from the fact that most people are less active at night. But it is not the case that your metabolism just stops when you sit down.
Your metabolism is the thing that burns calories and your body (it does some more stuff but that is not important right now). And it is a process that happens 24/7.
Yes, also when you are asleep you still burn calories. This energy is necessary for your breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure. Otherwise, we would all die the second we go to sleep!
So, you might burn fewer calories at night but it is all about the total calorie intake, not meal timing!
3. Fruit will make you fat
The myth that fruit will make you fat is ridiculous but started when the demonizing of sugar started.
A lot of people are convinced that sugar makes you fat, so, therefore, fruits will have the same effect as well.
I wrote an entire blog post about sugar and it’s health effects, that you can check out here if you’d like.
Sugar is not inherently fattening, a calorie surplus is. This means you consume more calories than you burn.
It is true that it is easier to be in a calorie surplus when you only consume foods high in sugar. Since they are not really satiating.
But fruits only contain natural sugars, no added sugars. Next, to that, they are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. All good things that your body needs.
Just to be clear, I am talking about whole foods here. Not the juice, smoothies or dried fruits. These are all a lot more calorie dense. And therefore easier to contribute to weight gain.
So, don’t be afraid of fruits, they will not make you fat. (x)
I am just going to take all superfoods together here. From goji berries to quinoa to chia seeds.
Yes, these foods are great, healthy and really nutritious. But the term superfoods gives it a sound that it can magically cure all problems in the world.
Superfoods is just a term used by incredibly smart marketers to be able to drive the price of normal products up.
When you look up a list of superfoods even the most normal stuff like kale and blueberries make it to the list.
Don’t fall for this marketing trick and save yourself a lot of money by just buying healthy and nutritious foods. You can be perfectly healthy without spending tons on magic berries or powders.
5 You need to cut carbs to lose weight
Carbohydrates have gotten such a bad reputation over the past few years. And especially when talking about sugars.
They would make you fat, and some people even claim that sugars will kill you. Because there has been so much going on about sugar lately, that I wrote a full blog post about it.
However, there are also people that claim that just all carbohydrates will make you fat. Even when they come from very nutritious sources like potatoes, oats or rice.
It is very easy to determine if carbohydrates are making you fat. You just have to answer one simple question: Do they put you in a calorie surplus?
If the answer is no than congratulations go on and eat your carbs.
If the answer is yes then you still don’t have to throw out all carbs from your diet, just enough to avoid the calorie surplus.
6. Eggs are bad for you
The media is incredibly good at scaring people away from perfectly healthy foods with claims like eggs, and especially the egg yolks are bad for you.
The egg yolks contain a high amount of cholesterol, yes that is true. But that is not necessarily bad for you.
Since for most people, it is not linked to an increased risk of high blood cholesterol levels. (x)
Those yolks are also packed with nutrients by the way!
So in research, there has been no association between egg intake and cardiovascular disease. With a rare exception of some people who have specific pre-existing conditions as hyperglycemia or diabetes.
7 Fat burners
Fat burners are the biggest joke of the entire weight loss industry. It sounds too good to be true, take a pill and lose weight. No more effort required.
So why does it sound too good to be true? Well, because it is. They will not give you the results you are looking for.
The only thing that fat burners will make lighter is your wallet.
Most fat burners have the main ingredient caffeine, which can decrease your appetite. Therefore it can help you get into a calorie deficit and lose fat.
The thing is that there are way cheaper (and safer) options out there to get caffeine in. A cup of coffee for example, or a caffeine pill.
Doing this is a lot safer because you will not get the other b*llshit that is added to fat burners.
8. Frozen fruits are less nutritious than fresh
Fresh produce often have the appeal. Because it sounds better and healthier than frozen foods. But the fact that it is not fresh does not mean it lost its nutrition!
With fresh fruits and vegetables we mean the products that are postharvest ripened or vine-ripened. So ripened during transport or picked and sold ripely.
The products that you find in the freezer of your supermarket are vine-ripened. And often have minimal processing before freezing.
Most just undergo blanching in hot water before they get frozen. This is to be sure enzymes are inactive and there won’t be changes in color, flavor or smell. (x)
Overall fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables have similar nutritional content. There can be some differences in some nutrients with specific fruits and veggies. (x)
9. Gluten-free is the healthy option
We all know someone who buys everything that has the label ‘Gluten-free’ or ‘natural’. And for some people, this is absolutely the best option.
When you have celiac disease you need to eat gluten-free, and you probably know that by now. But when you don’t have this disease, and your stomach does not get upset by eating gluten, you’re fine.
Gluten-free does not equal healthy. That is important to understand. You can have a cake or cookie that is gluten-free, but that doesn’t mean it is healthy for you all of a sudden.
Finding the right option for you can be hard. But when you don’t have any problems with digesting foods containing gluten. You don’t need to buy anything special.
Gluten-free products are made for two reasons. First, for the people with an intolerance, and that makes sense.
But lately there has been a second reason and that is marketing. Gluten-free seems to be the new health hype and companies are really happy to jump in on that.
They make their products gluten-free, which is great for those with an intolerance, and start to up their prices.
10. Anabolic protein window
One of the funniest myths I’ve seen is that you need to consume protein in a window of 30 minutes after working out.
The idea is that you NEED to consume protein in this state, the anabolic state of your body, in order to gain muscle.
Protein can be seen as the building blocks of our body, and yes, you need it after a workout to make sure you recover properly.
But you don’t need it so soon. There is no difference in consuming protein right after, or a few hours afterward.
Just make sure you are not fasting for another 6+ hours after your workout. If you workout late at night you might want to have a protein shake if you’re not able to eat or cook an entire meal. (x)
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