Hi Guys! I hope you’ve had a great week and have managed to make some yummy recipes, eat delicious food, move your bodies and snuck in some chill time. I’ve just finished the last week of my clinical placement and unfortunately have spent most of the weekend stuck inside finishing assignments.
This is the second post in my Nutrition Myths Busted series, if you missed the first post you can check it out here. Having been surrounded by patients in the hospital and clinics for the last two weeks, the sheer number of nutrition myths I’ve been told would be enough to keep this series going for the rest of my life -don’t worry I promise to stop! It seems crazy that in 2017 nutrition often appears more complicated than it did back in the 1950’s. I had an elderly client describe their diet history for me earlier on in the week and it was perfect, I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. The reason it was perfect, it was simple, they hadn’t got sucked in to modern day convenience foods, they were simply continuing to eat just like they had back in the day. There’s no reason why food needs to be ridiculed, keeping it simple, helps remove the stress and confusion so many of us can often feel. I’m not saying we all need to go back and start eating like our grandparents did (although that wouldn’t be a bad idea) but it pays to remember, the simple basics can often be the most nutritious and beneficial for our health. This post focusses on a few ancient nutrition myths and a few modern nutrition myths I’ve recently heard doing the rounds -if you’d like me to focus one in the next post, comment below or shoot me a message!
Low-fat products are healthier than full-fat products… I feel like this is one of the oldest nutrition myths around -thanks to all the 80’s dieting propaganda and sneaky marketing ploys. Throughout my younger years, fat was one of the only labels I checked when shopping little did I know that just because something is 99.99% fat free doesn’t make it healthy. You see when food companies remove fat from their products they tend to have to replace it with something else to get the taste customers know and love. This means sugar, salt, artificial sweeteners and flavours are often added to make up for the loss of fat, often resulting in the original product being healthier than the alternative. Next time your checking out a product that claims to be “healthy” because its fat-free, check out the ingredients and the sugar and salt content on the nutritional information panel. Some good reference ranges to consider are 10g or less/100g for sugar (20g if the product contains real fruit) and 300mg/100g for salt (120mg is considered low salt).
If you exercise you need a protein powder… Classic gym junkies will disagree with me on this one! Don’t get me wrong I think protein powders can definitely be a useful addition to one’s diet depending on the individual and their goals. If you’re just going for a walk, run, gym class or a more chilled gym session guzzling back a protein shake the minute you finish isn’t compulsory. It’s recommend you eat within twenty minutes to an hour after finishing your workout, this helps with muscle repair and glycogen synthesis. The reason many people promote having a protein shake is because it provides you with the recommended 20g serving of protein and can be an easy way to refuel after an intense training session. That’s not to say food can’t be an option too -some good sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs and nuts. If you are using a protein powder it pays to know what’s in it -check the label for added sugars and sweeteners which can ramp up the calorie content and defeat the purpose of going to the gym especially if weight-loss is a goal.
Carbs are bad for you… The number of times in the past two weeks I’ve heard “I’m completely sugar-free”, “I’ve completely cut carbohydrates from my diet”, “I’m normally really healthy and I try to avoid carbs” has been enough to make me want to bang my head against a brick wall. While I try to avoid labelling foods as being “good” or “bad” for you, all carbohydrates are not created equally, we actually need carbohydrates (especially if you’re a female) to function properly. Complex carbohydrates like wholegrains (quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, barley), starchy vegetables (sweet potato, pumpkin, potato, corn) and legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas) help provide us with a source of energy, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates can also play a role in mood regulation, helping to keep us feeling happy (they play a role in serotonin production -the hormone that keeps us happy). Yes, the majority of the population could benefit from reducing their consumption of refined carbohydrates often found in junk food like sweets, chips and sugar sweetened beverages -but cutting carbohydrates altogether isn’t recommended (a life without pumpkin and sweet potato would be a very sad one).
I hope you’ve found the above nutrition myth debunking helpful, stay tuned for part three where I chat detoxes, cleanses, supplements, fad diets and more! Please comment below if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you.
Have a great week,