Health and Fitness

5 Diet Myths That Need to Die

Small File Grapes

There are many diet myths in the world of fitness and nutrition. These 5 diet myths need to die.

You can’t lose weight or be healthy if you eat gluten.

Gluten is fine to avoid, especially if you have an allergy or celiac disease. Of course, you can live without this protein, but cutting gluten out of you diet is not necessary to be healthy or to lose weight. Although, I would not recommend cutting gluten out of your diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. When these whole grains are cut out of your diet there are nutritional implications that need to be considered.

Without these whole grains, there is a loss of vitamins, minerals, iron, and fiber. These whole grains help with digestion, satiety, energy, and lower risk for heart disease, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes. Ask your doctor if a gluten-free diet makes sense for you before you pursue eliminating these important whole grains. Which brings us to our next myth.

Carbohydrates are bad for you.

There is limited truth to this myth. Refined carbs such as candy, white bread, and sugary drinks are bad, they have no nutrients, minerals, or fiber as a result, these carbohydrates will immediately enter your bloodstream and spike your blood sugar levels. If you have inflammation problems, refined carbohydrates will exacerbate these issues. I find this true of my body, but I do love my chocolate chip cookies!

Where the myth causes damage is with unrefined carbohydrates. These are wheat, fruits, and vegetables. They are stocked with the vitamins, minerals, and fiber someone needs for a healthy body. In fact, they help to fight against inflammation, and as mentioned in the gluten section fight cancer, help with digestion, and heart health, to name a few benefits.

Carbohydrates are key to fat metabolism, without carbohydrates, our body will struggle to breakdown fat and create issues within many of our body systems. Carbohydrates are vital to replenishing muscle energy (glycogen) stores after a great workout and to fuel your glycogen stores prior to a workout. These factors will enhance your weight loss by giving you better energy to perform as well as enhancing fat breakdown.

Fats are bad for you

First off let’s start with the truly bad fats, try to avoid trans-fats and saturated fats. All nutritionists and health experts will recommend a steady diet of good fats. These fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. When you look at your food labels, you will be able to quickly see which food items to avoid, and which food items are healthy to eat. For the average person, a healthy fat consumption amount would be 20% of your daily dietary intake, with less than 2% of the fat content being saturated.

Here are some of the many benefits of consuming good fats:

  • Vitamin absorption: Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K depends on proper amounts of dietary fat.
  • Healthy mood: Your brain needs fat to function well and to help to stabilize your moods.
  • Appetite control: The high-calorie fat content, coupled with healthy carbohydrate and protein content will greatly help in satiety.
  • Stop skipping meals

When it comes to long-term weight loss and weight control, skipping a meal will not offer the solution you may be looking for. In fact, skipping meals often have the opposite effect. Creating a desire to eat much more in your next meal as a reaction to low blood sugars, your body adapting to this and absorbing as many calories as possible to avoid the short-term starvation, and, of course, the tiredness and lethargy that comes from decreased energy. A consistent workout regimen and a healthy diet will be far more effective.

It’s far more important to eat multiple balanced meals, that are small, throughout the day than to try to cut calories by skipping meals. For those of you that skip breakfast, even if you don’t believe this myth, that skipped meal will still affect your body in a negative way. So eat your eggs, speaking of eggs.

Whole eggs are a bad choice

Wrong, the key here is the new findings or lack thereof, showing evidence of the cholesterol in the egg yolk having a direct effect on blood cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Egg whites contain all the essential amino acids our body needs, and in the right ratios. Additionally, the yolk of an egg contains protein, unsaturated fat, various vitamins and minerals, and omega 3s. Finally, the yolk has choline, which is a key brain fuel.

An extreme negative calorie diet will help you lose weight fast

Next week I will go into detail on this myth. Suffice it to say, this is an unhealthy and ineffective approach to dieting. There are many ways to lose weight that are far healthier than this, and will produce sustained healthy results for your body and mind.

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