The 10 Most Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told!

Gym-MythsIf you follow mainstream nutrition guidelines you will almost certainly have come into contact with some nutrition lies over time. I thought I would write a short blog piece about the most destructive nutrition lies ever told. But, in my experience, these lies are only the beginning.

1. Eggs are not good for you

One of my biggest pet peeves is the way that certain nutrition professionals have demonized foods which are incredibly good for you. The worst example of this which comes to mind has to do with eggs. Because eggs contain cholesterol, at some point in time, nutritionists thought it was best to tell people not to eat them in order to decrease their risk for developing heart disease.

eggs-harmful-effectsRecently, however, research has shown that eggs’ cholesterol really does not raise the LDL (bad) cholesterol in human beings. In fact, new research shows that eggs raise the HDL (good) cholesterol and HDL cholesterol is highly linked to reduced risk for developing heart disease.

So, when you really consider eggs, you soon discover that they are one of the best nutritious foods you can eat. They contain many, many nutrients along with some unique antioxidants which help protect the human eye. Recent studies have also shown that people who eat eggs for breakfast lose considerably more weight than those who eat a bagel for breakfast.

2. Saturated Fat is terrible for you

Several decades ago, some folks made a decision that the apparent epidemic rates of heart disease which had cropped up was being caused by people eating too much fat, especially saturated fats. This conclusion was reached based on studies which had been carried out which were, in fact, highly flawed. The decision was also based on political decisions which have since been proved to be entirely wrong.

In 2010, a comprehensive review was conducted which took a second look at 21 epidemiological studies which included almost 350,000 participants. They found no link between the ingestion of saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. None.

So, we are now left with the idea that saturated fat elevated a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease which has somehow evolved into conventional thought and “wisdom”. In actuality, consuming saturated fat raises the body’s HDL (good) cholesterol and causes changes to occur in the body’s LDL (bad)  cholesterol taking it from being small, dense bits to larger bits of cholesterol which are much more easily passed through the circulatory system.

3. Everyone should eat grains

grains-weight-lossWhy would it make sense to anyone that everyone should eat diets based primarily on grains? Agriculture has been a fairly recent addition to human evolution. Prior to the development of an agrarian society, humankind relied solely on protein. Our genes have not evolved that quickly.

When compared to other foods such as vegetables, grains do not contain many nutrients. They are also rich in something called phytic acid which attaches to minerals in the human gut and prevents the body from absorbing them.

In western diets, the most prevalent grain consumed in western diets is wheat. Modern wheat now contains copious protein known as gluten which has recently come under fire for causing a host of sensitivity in many, many people.

If you are gluten-sensitive or even gluten intolerant, eating wheat can cause many problems such as loose stools, bloating, pain and tiredness.

4. Eating extra protein harms your skeletal system and kidneys

High protein diets have been blamed for causing kidney disease and osteoporosis.

While it is true that eating great amounts of protein can increase the excretion of calcium from the bones, this is only a short-term effect. In studies that followed participants consuming high protein diets over a longer period of time, the effect was exactly the opposite. Over the long-term, protein was shown to improve skeletal health and decrease a person’s risk for fracture. Other studies have not found an association of kidney disease being caused by high protein diets either in people who are otherwise healthy.

5. Low-fat foods are what you should eat

low-fat-food_pyramidHave you ever eaten anything from which all the fat was entirely removed? Probably not. If you have, then you would know that it tastes just like cardboard. Not that I’m a regular consumer of cardboard. But trust me, when I say that no one would ever want to eat food after all the fat  has been removed. Food manufacturers have known this for a long time and so when they remove the fat from the food they are making, they replace it with other things to compensate for the loss in taste. These other things include sweeteners. This is usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup  or an artificial sweetener such as aspartame.

And although one would think that if you’re dieting, eating a food which contains aspartame is better for you than one that contains natural, refined sugars. But the evidence is beginning to mount which says that aspartame is NOT good for you. In fact, quite the opposite. It has been linked to obesity, depression, metabolic disorders such as Type II diabetes, heart disease and premature death. So unless you are a Type I diabetes, the kind of person who should not use sugar at all, you should decrease your intake of aspartame and replace it with sugar, just in smaller amounts.

6. Carbs should be your largest source of calories

In mainstream thought, dieticians and nutritionists say that everybody should follow a low-fat diet and consume about 50-60% of their daily food intake in the form of carbohydrates. This type of diet will serve up a lot of grains and sugar but include very few fatty foods such as eggs or meat. This is an excellent diet plan for people who are naturally thin. But what about us larger girls?

For anyone who has any kind of metabolic disorder such as Type II diabetes, a diet like this can be dangerous. This debate has been studied conclusively many times in randomized controlled diets. Each study has reached the same conclusion insofar that a low-carbohydrate, high fat diet is the best one to follow.

7. Vegetable and high omega-6 oils are best for you

Many people have touted polyunsaturated fats for a long time claiming that they decrease the risk for the development of heart disease. But in this case, it is important to point out that not all polyunsaturated fats are created equally. There is a big difference between omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are very anti-inflammatory and will decrease your risk for developing many of the diseases which are associated with inflammation. As well, human being need to consume these fatty acid oils in certain ratios. If the ratios are off, problems may ensue.

The best source for omega-6 fats are found in processed seed and/or vegetable oils such as corn oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil. Prior to recent times, humans did not really have much access to omega-6 fats. Only modernization and processing has made that possible. But recent research which has looked at omega-6 fats when compared to polyunsaturated fats, has found that it has a direct link to heart disease. Lesson learned? Eat your omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna, cod and sardines. Cut back on your omega-6 fats found in a variety of different oils.

8. Low carbohydrate diets are bad for you

Low-Carbohydrate-DietPersonally, i believe that if everyone switched to a low-carbohydrate diet many of the common health problems seen, certainly in the western world, would eventually go away. Following a low-fat diet in cases like this with Type II diabetes and heart disease simply will not help. But low-carbohydrate diets have repeatedly shown better results.

Every time a low-carbohydrate diet has been studied with controls, the data have shown that these diets reduce fat more quickly than diets which are low in fat and calorie restricted even when the participants are allowed to eat as much as they wish. Low-carbohydrate diets also lower blood pressure quickly and significantly. They also improve A1C readings in people with Type II diabetes quickly and significantly. They increase the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol in a very short period of time. They also lower triglyceride levels significantly. And even more significantly, the studies showed that the diets were easier for people to stick with over a longer period of time because the participants were not hungry all the time. More participants were able to make to the end of each of the studies.

9. Sugar is bad for you because it only contains empty calories

sugarThis is definitely true. Sugar has very little nutrient content and contains mostly empty calories. But that’s not why it’s bad for you. Sugar affects your metabolism in ways that set you up to gain weight rapidly and develop metabolic diseases like Type II diabetes. This is because it has a very high fructose content. Fructose is metabolized in the liver which turns it into fat and then secretes it into the blood. This eventually leads to high triglyceride levels and higher cholesterol. It also causes a resistance to the natural hormones which are insulin and leptin. Resistance to these hormones are natural stepping stones toward developing obesity and Type II diabetes. Eating sugar will set off a vicious cycle in which you crave more sugar and then eat more and then crave more and so on.

10. Eating high fat foods makes you fat

While it just seems logical that if you eat foods which are high in fat, you will get fat yourself, the bottom line is that the process is not as simple as all that. Although fat contains more calories per gram than a carbohydrate does, high fat diets do not, in and of themselves, make people fat. People who eat diets high in fat and high in carbohydrates get fat but not because of the fat they are eating. In fact, it has been shown scientifically that people who follow diets which are high in fat but low in carbohydrates lose more fat than people who follow low-fat diets alone.