Nutrition myths are widespread and harmful. They waste time and money. They sidetrack you from developing a healthy way of eating that keeps you lean and gives you all the energy you need. This article will expose some common nutrition myths and tell you what science says to do instead.
Myth #1: Drinking fruits and vegetables is just as healthy as eating them.
From V-8 to Bolthouse Farms, juice companies will tell you that juice is the perfect alternative for people who don’t like fruits and veggies. In fact, diabetes risk increases in people who drink their produce instead of eating it, likely because juice doesn’t contain fiber and the sugar spikes blood sugar, altering insulin sensitivity over time.
Myth #2: Vitamins provide energy to the body.
Vitamins are very important for the body and they allow for the production of enzymes involved in energy metabolism, but they don’t directly provide energy to the body. That’s what calorie-containing foods like carbs, fat, and to a lesser degree, protein, are for.
Myth #3: Whole fat dairy is unhealthy and is associated with obesity.
In mainstream nutrition, it’s practically gospel that low-fat dairy is healthy, but whole-fat dairy is bad for you. In fact, recent studies show reduced-fat dairy has none of the benefits of whole-fat dairy, such as lowering triglycerides, decreasing calorie intake, and improving insulin sensitivity. Plus, people who eat whole-fat dairy tend to be leaner those who go for the low-fat version.
Myth #4: Low-carb diets are dangerous.
Whether it’s that they damage your kidneys, harm your bones, or are bad for your brain, there’s no end to myths about low-carb diets. None of these claims are true! Done correctly, low-carb diets are completely safe and can be useful for optimizing body composition and achieving better metabolic health.
Myth #5: Salt causes high blood pressure.
Recent studies suggest there is NO association between salt consumption and the development of hypertension, a condition characterized by high blood pressure. Instead, evidence indicates that lack of physical activity and a high body weight, as measured by BMI, are more closely linked with high blood pressure.
Myth #6: High cholesterol foods raise your blood cholesterol levels.
Dietary cholesterol, which comes in food, and blood cholesterol levels, which are associated with heart disease, are not the same thing. Blood cholesterol comes from cholesterol that is manufactured by the liver and it is auto-regulated, so if blood levels rise, less will be produced. Eating foods that contain cholesterol are barely influenced by dietary cholesterol. For healthy cholesterol levels, worry about the big picture: Eat a healthy, balanced diet and get plenty of physical activity.
Myth #7: Egg whites are healthier than the whole egg.
Although the egg whites are a great source of protein, it’s the yolk that provides powerful antioxidants that can lower inflammation in the body. The yolk also provides the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K that are necessary for healthy bones. Therefore, there’s no reason to be afraid of eggs! There is zero scientific data showing that eating whole eggs increases blood cholesterol or raises heart disease risk.
Myth #8: You can only absorb 30 grams of protein at a time.
It is true that 20 to 30 grams of protein is the amount that will maximally trigger protein synthesis. If you eat more than this, your body will still absorb it and use it for purposes such as building enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and so on. After that, any extra turns into glucose via the liver, which you can burn for energy.
Myth #9: Eating carbs in the morning will give you energy for the day.
Carbohydrates stimulate production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which aids in sleep. This makes nighttime the best time for higher carb foods, whereas morning is primetime for protein, which elevates the energizing chemical messengers dopamine and acetylcholine so you have a productive day.
Myth #10: Healthy sweeteners are better for you than regular sugar.
The body doesn’t differentiate between high-fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane sugar, agave, or table sugar. It all turns into glucose in the bloodstream, or fructose, which gets processed by the liver. And the end result is the same: Any extra calories from sweeteners get stored as fat.