5 Most Popular Nutrition Myths

12.11.2017 | Forge Performance

5 Most Popular Nutrition Myths

We all have that friend that is the most current on nutrition “knowledge”. “Don’t eat bananas”, “Eat a high fat diet”, “Cauliflower causes cancer”, and so on. Not only is nutrition an extremely difficult topic to effectively study and qualify, the recommendations from the correct information we do have is often sorely misguided. Below are the 5 Most Popular Nutrition Myths and why they’re ridiculous. We’ll also discuss a much more practical and effective approach for your nutritional habits.

1. Quality is More Important than Quantity

This is possibly the one nutrition myth with the greatest amount of momentum right now. The “Quality Over Quantity” movement gained a lot of popularity for very credible reasons:

  1. Focusing on quality often results in less calories being consumed*
  2. Better foods have higher amounts of vitamins and minerals (nutrient dense), promoting satiety and metabolic effi
  3. ciency
  4. And, the obvious, focusing on quality helps you avoid foods that aren’t as good for you (calorie dense)

You’ll notice the first and most important reason has an “*” beside it. This is because, although we are more likely to require and consume less calories, this often isn’t the case. People often think, “This food is really good for me, I can eat as much as I want”, or they make the mistake of eating too quickly, thus consuming too many calories in one meal. This is where portion control becomes more important, or why Quantity is more important than Quality.

Here’s what to do instead:

  1. Take 20 minutes to eat: It takes roughly 20 minutes for our stomach to tell our brain when we’ve had enough food. Eating too quickly often results in ingestion of too many calories.
  2. Eat until 80% full: Practicing mindfulness while eating is essential. Train your body to understand when you’ve had enough food. Eat until 80% full, so we have enough food, but not too much food. Often, when we eat to 90-100% full, we wind up having too much food.
  3. Spend most of your day hungry: It’s ideal to spend most of the day hungry. If you have a hunger scale graded 1-10 (1 being not at all hungry, 10 being famished), we should spend most of our day in zone 3-5, where we could eat food, but don’t necessarily need it.

2. Protein/Carbs/Fats Are Bad for You

There are a lot of fad diets out there. Most of them promote the neglect of a certain macronutrient (protein, carbs, or fats), while pushing a surplus of another. Normally, success in weight loss is achieved simply by a significant cut in calories. However, this drastic cut in calories comes at the expense of our overall health, and is extremely difficult if not impossible to maintain. Below are the breakdown of each macronutrient and why they are so important:

Protein

  • Most important nutrient for the body, other than oxygen and water
  • Builds tissues, hormones, and DNA
  • Transporter of molecules from one area to another

Carbohydrates

  • Main energy supplier of the body
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Only supply of energy to the brain

Fats

  • Used in construction of cells and hormones
  • Catalysts for proteins and many metabolic reactions
  • Boost our immune system and protect us from infection

Here’s what to do instead:

All of the macronutrients are important in our diet. The trick is getting the proper balance of each one, and of the highest quality. Depending on the person, some of them are more important than others, but all have their place within our diet. It is better to learn how to incorporate foods into our diet instead of eliminating them. This is a much healthier, more practical, and sustainable approach to our health.

Click HERE to Download from Precision Nutrition on what quantities of each nutrient you should ingest.

3. Eating More Frequently Boosts Your Metabolism

The idea that eating more frequently boosts our metabolism and our ability to burn calories throughout the day became very popular in the last ten years. The latest research shows us that isn’t exactly true. Our metabolic rate is dependent upon how much energy our body requires to function throughout the day.

Your metabolic rate is in large part due to your genetics. Also, someone who is more active will typically have a higher metabolic rate than someone who is less active. Additionally, a person’s amount of lean body mass (muscle) will also effect their metabolic rate.

Eating more frequently can be a good thing and a bad thing. It can be a positive method for nutrition IF you’re eating the correct portions and the right balance of healthy macronutrients. It also becomes very difficult to sustain this style of eating.

Normally, people start off very well, eating a good balance of foods periodically throughout the day. Then, life gets in the way, and certain meals are accidentally skipped.

Either overeating or undereating can be a problem when concerning our metabolism. If we overeat, we will not be able to expend the same amount of calories we take in, thus leading to weight gain. If we continually undereat, our body will begin to lower our metabolic rate in an attempt to save energy that it is not getting from food.

Here’s what to do instead:

  1. Refer back to the habits associated with Quantity and Quality. START There
  2. Stay active, and prioritize resistance training and high intensity interval training as modes of exercise
  3. Avoid Calorie Dense Foods, and Prioritize Nutrient Dense Foods

4. You Need Protein Immediately After Exercise

The best sales pitch of all time for a multibillion dollar supplement industry was the idea of the “anabolic window”. This is the time, following exercise, where our body is craving nutrients the most. The thought is if you consume a protein shake within 30 minutes of your workout, you’ll get nutrients to your muscle to help them recover.

The only issue with this strategy is our body doesn’t work that way. It takes hours for our body to digest food and absorb it into the blood stream. This process takes less time when the nutrients are in liquid form, but not much less time, as they all have to pass through the small intestines to get absorbed.

One great thing about protein shakes is that they are extremely convenient for the hours following immediately after your workout. But it’s important not to stress about them. Finding the most pure, basic form of protein powder will, in most cases, do the trick.

Here’s what to do instead:

  1. Eat real food or have a protein shake 1-2 hours BEFORE and AFTER your workout
  2. If you do use a protein shake, something that is slow digesting works better(such as casein protein), as it releases into our body in a timely fashion. Other forms of protein are still fine, whether they be animal based or plant based, but casein or a blend is preferred
  3. Stop taking your advice from a company who makes money based on your decision

5. ________ is Bad for You

And last but not least, the “everything is bad for you” myth. At this rate, there’s not going to be anything left to eat that isn’t bad for you! Since when did bananas become poisonous? Is sugar really killing us? Because a couple decades ago we were sure it was fat. Now, we’re convinced it’s sugar. Even protein, and certain vitamins and minerals are getting mislabeled as dangerous.

Here’s what to do instead:

  1. Eat real food as much as possible
  2. Focus on correct portion sizes and how to eat your food properly
  3. Investigate for yourself