In the last decade, nutrition, health, and wellness have become a huge topic of discussion, and everyone seems to have a different opinion on what is best for overall health, well-being, and weight loss! But how much of this information is rooted in fact? Between vilified foods, strict diets, and excessive exercise regimes, it’s hard to decipher what is valuable nutritional information , and what is mainstream nonsense. Here are several “facts” from mainstream nutrition that you should reconsider:
1. “I can eat as much as I want, as long as it’s healthy!”
Sure- avocados, oatmeal, nut butters, and savoury sweet trail mixes are indeed healthy… but they are still high in calories! Eating 200 calories of oatmeal is far better than eating 200 calories of a sleeve of Oreos, but that doesn’t mean you should eat whatever you want! The most important thing to remember: Nutritious or not, portion size counts with every food. If you find it hard to measure or track your caloric intake, or sticking to reasonable portion sizes, look for portion-controlled packages and prepared meals
2. “Red meat is unhealthy, and the cause of many health problems and heart diseases!”
Red meat and beef in particular, is the number 1 vilified protein because of it’s saturated fat content. But the problem with red meat is actually the extent to which North Americans are eating it, more so than the meat itself. The key is “every thing in moderation,” to see the benefits of this protein! Red meat can actually aid with weight loss, decrease inflammation, and boost energy when consumed 2-3 times per week. Red meat
is chalked full of omega-3 fatty acids (good for insulin resistance, and helps carry fat out of the body), and iron- which will boost the power and intensity of your workouts, and aid your metabolism.
3. “All fat makes you fat.”
This is one of the silliest myths out there- your body needs dietary fat to lose weight and for the body to function properly! It’s why many fats are called “essential.” Many people opt for “low-fat” products, mistakenly thinking they are “health foods.” The problem is, these foods taste horrible with the fat removed, so manufacturers add tons of sugar instead to make “low fat” snacks tasty. Large amounts of sugar is far more harmful than naturally occurring fats! Fat helps you absorb vitamins and nutrients, provide a boost of energy, and is vital for proper functioning of the nerves and brain. Instead of cutting fat, choose “good” fats.
These can include things like olive oil while making meals, some avocado in your salad, a handful of nuts for a snack, or adding peanut butter to your morning smoothie!
4. “Brown eggs are better for you than white eggs”
Who came up with this one? Eggs are an amazing source of fat and protein, especially if you’re vegetarian
! The nutritional values are the exact same for white and brown egg shells. It turns out the color of the eggshell is a question of the hen’s genetics, and actually has nothing to do with the nutritional value.
5. “Canned and frozen vegetables are stripped of all their nutrients, and aren’t good for you.”
Never fear- research has debunked this myth, and canning and freezing vegetables actually retains most of their nutrients! In fact, canning or freezing can actually preserve some nutrients, and the content of vitamins actually decreases during normal refrigeration. Additionally, frozen fruits and vegetables are often frozen at the point of harvest, meaning that they preserve their nutrients. Many “fresh” foods may have been in storage for days or even weeks before they make it to supermarket shelves. Looking to save a little cash?
Frozen and canned food is usually a little more economical too!
6. “Diet soda and Splenda in my coffee will reduce my sugar intake and keep me slim!”
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Artificial sweeteners used in soda’s and in Splenda packets- aspartame and sucralose, to name a few- lead to huge urges and cravings later on in the day. Studies show that more overweight/obese adults drink soda than healthy-weight adults, and of these overweight individuals studied, those who consume diet soda also eat far more calories than those who consume normal/sweetened soda. The bottom line: avoid soda in general, and cut out those artificial sweeteners!
7. “Foods labelled as “Natural” are better for you”
Unfortunately, the word “natural” is not defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and can mean just about anything. Even products labeled “all natural” can be highly processed and contain high fructose corn syrup, a manufactured sugar that some researchers think is a contributor to the spike in obesity. The word “organic”? Now that’s regulated by the USDA and means the food is made without most conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, and antibiotics.
Are there any food trends that you’d like to know more about? Let us know what you think!