We have all heard them at one time or the other; eating egg yolk will lead to high cholesterol, too much protein will kill your kidneys etc. they are all nutritional myths grounded at best in old or faulty science and at worst no science or locker room talk! These nutritional myths have been passed down from generation to generation till we have all accepted them as gospel truth, not anymore!
Today, we are separating nutritional fact from fiction so that you can make well informed choices based on the latest scientific research and not what some guy dreamed up in 1972! So if you are ready, let’s sift the wheat from the chaff so that you don’t have to live in ignorance ever again.
Thanks, and do have a wonderful weekend!
- EATING FAT WILL MAKE YOU FAT!
Let’s start at the very beginning people; at first glance this nutritional lie might seem logical; the more fat you eat the more fat your body stores, right?Wrong! The truth is that excess weight gain or body fat is not due to excess fat consumption but excess calories consumed. This excess could be from protein, carbs or fat, so do not single fat out as the enemy. True, eating a lot of fried food like chips, burgers etc can lead to unwanted weight gain, but so also can eating excess rice, eba, beans etc all with very little fat content. The honest truth is that if you want to lose weight, then fat is your friend, yes you heard right. Fat is one of the most potent weapons when it comes to losing weight, the question is what kind of fat? Eating the right kinds of fat will help you feel full for longer and curb the food cravings that make you eat all those foods loaded with sugar and empty calories. The right fat is mono and poly unsaturated fats like: olive oil, avocado, nuts and oily fish. Combining these with a high protein diet has been proven to help curb hunger and improve weight loss when working out. If you need an extra boost of fat and don’t get enough from your meals, then I would advice supplementing with omega 3 , and CLA (want to know more? Call me!) Taking omega 3 and CLA have been proven to aid fat loss when working out or dieting. As with all things in life moderation is key, the bottom line of my long talk is :eat more not less good fat to lose weight.
- EATING EGG YOLK WILL KILL YOU!
This is a favourite myth of health and fitness enthusiasts all over the world and comes up for debate every once in a while, and I know you have heard this one before. The poor egg yolk has been the victim of vicious lies for decades and if you believe the hype, it’s the most vicious killer to hit the scene since the mosquito! Now for some truth, years ago researchers found a link between sources of dietary cholesterol and elevated blood cholesterol and the myth was born. Some people will totally avoid eggs or eat egg whites only; missing out on all the nutrients and minerals found in egg yolk, eating the whole egg will give you 7grams of protein as well as chlorine, B Vitamins, Omega 3 etc.
Although egg yolk contains about 185 milligrams of cholesterol, there are no controlled studies to date showing whole egg consumption increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, in fact a study conducted by the university of Connecticut showed that whole egg consumption could actually help increase levels of HDL(good cholesterol) in the blood. The real culprit is not eating egg yolk but eating too many eggs, frying them in oils that are high in saturated fats and mixing them in food that are high in trans fats. The bottom line is don’t be afraid to eat your eggs, yolk and all, don’t eat too many, 2 a day should be a maximum guide, do not fry them in heavy oil, boiling is always better!
- ALL CARBS ARE THE SAME! ALL CARBS ARE BAD FOR YOU!!
All carbs are not the same, that’s just BS! There are simple and complex carbs both have about 4 calories per gram and basically that’s where the similarities end. Simple carbs like white bread, white rice, pasta, noodles, semovita, wheat and the likes are high on the glycemic index; they are quickly broken down and absorbed as sugar into your blood. Complex carbs on the other hand, like brown rice, yam, beans, sweet potatoes etc are slow to digest and lower on the glycemic index. They both have their functions; if you need quick energy after a workout then consuming simple carbs will be for you, if you are trying to control your eating to lose weight you need complex carbs. They have higher fibre content, hence you feel full for longer and have energy for longer. They will also not shoot up your blood sugar like simple carbs. It’s important to know the difference, when most people repeat the trope that all carbs are bad, they generally mean simple carbs which can lead to high blood sugar and weight gain easily if over indulged. You need to know the difference so that you can make informed choices, don’t just buy the BS people sell. The carbs in our African diets are mostly complex carbs, which is why your ancestors were never obese!
- EAT CARBS AT NIGHT AND GET FAT!
Still on this carbs issue, another fallacy you need to forget is the one that tells you not to eat carbohydrates at night for fear of getting fat. This sounds reasonable at first glance I know, since most of us are less active in the later hours of the day, the belief is that any carbs you eat past 6pm will automatically be stored as fat because your metabolism slows down and insulin sensitivity reduces, but hold on a minute, the truth is that awake or asleep, your metabolic rate (rate of energy burn or use) isn’t really much different. As a matter of fact exercising during the day may leave you with an elevated metabolic rate even in sleep i.e you still burn calories while sleeping. To me, the real culprit that brought about this myth is not carbs at night but excess and wrong carb choices at night (remember simple and complex carbs). You need carbs to live; you just need to make the right informed choices, ok?
- A HIGH PROTEIN DIET WILL KILL YOUR KIDNEYS!
Your kidneys are very efficient at removing unwanted substances from the body, as far as all the research I have read, I am yet to see one that says a high protein diet will damage your kidneys, that’s what they are built for! To illustrate, 20% of the blood pumped by your heart gets filtered by your kidneys in between 1 to 2 minutes. Adding a little extra protein will increase the workload to be clear, but its insignificant to all the work your kidneys do, you would have to turn full carnivore in lion proportions to really cause them stress. Having said that, if you are eating more protein, it would be good to increase your water intake. This will help produce more urine to flush out the broken down by products of protein. In closing, if you really want to reduce pressure on your kidneys then reduce the stress in your life and your levels of alcohol consumption!
- A HIGH PROTEIN DIET WILL DESTROY YOUR BONES!
Lastly, and still on protein nutrition myths is the one that says a high protein diet will lead to a loss of bone density or strength (osteoporosis). The theory behind this is that a high protein diet will lead to more acidity in your body, causing calcium to get leached out of your bones to neutralize the acid, okay. However long term studies examining the effects of protein intake on bone loss do not support this, in fact in one study where carbs were replaced with protein in the subjects diet for about 8 weeks, there was a noted increase in hormones that promote bone health. Clearly this is a myth that needs to be busted!
So there you have it, 6 nutritional myths that have passed their sell by date. So stop consuming and propagating them people.