With the rapid rate at which new research is growing in the health and well-being industry, you’d think most nutritionists would be among the first to share cutting-edge discoveries about how your diet affects your wellness.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few who are tied to old ideas and put up a fight when science reveals new truths.
So, let’s set the record straight. Read on to discover 5 popular myths surrounding nutrition.
5 Nutrition Myths
1. Eat your fruits and veggies.
Now, you shouldn’t blame your nutritionist for holding on to this one. For generations, needing lots of fruit and vegetables was a common belief. The only problem — not all plant-based foods are created equal.
The issue is that most fruit contains a great deal of sugar. And often, when thinking of consuming heaping helpings of fruits and vegetables, the veggies are simply an afterthought. Additionally, many vegetables contain harmful lectins.
Instead, focus on vegetables like leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. You can allow yourself a few select, high-polyphenol, in-season fruits (like berries) — but fruits really should not be the staple of your diet. And remember, if it has seeds… it’s a lectin-rich fruit, not a lectin-friendly vegetable. So, focus on these veggies:
2. Eat whole grains every day.
This notion is old-school. A few centuries ago grinding technology made removing the fibrous pieces of wheat and grains possible. The rich began to consume de-hulled grains and left the poor to consume whole grains. Refining grain made it easier on the gut. Now, some say brown rice is healthier than white (de-hulled) rice, but then why do ancient cultures continue to de-hull their rice to make it white? Turns out, the hull carries most of the lectins in a grain.
3. A Low-Fat diet is best.
Contrary to popular belief, eating a low-fat diet does not actually mean you will be “less fat”. In fact, a recent study shows a lower-fat diet was associated with a higher incidence of metabolic health issues in adults.1 What does that mean exactly? Metabolic health concerns can increase the risk of the following…
- Heart health issues
- Poor blood sugar regulation
- Fat storage in the midsection
- Potential blood vessel damage
- Heightened blood pressure
- Chronic stress
- Swelling and redness
- Severe weight gain2
The bottom line is that ever since this low-fat diet craze began, Americans have been packing on the pounds.3 But there’s a good deal of research that supports the heart health and cholesterol-lowering benefits of plant-based sources of unsaturated fats.4
Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids (found in olive oil and coconut oil) have become associated with healthy aging throughout your life. Omega-3 fatty acids show promising results in the prevention of weight gain, weight management, and support for brain function.5
So, no doubt you’ll want to include the following healthy fats in your diet.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
In fact, try and make it one of your goals to consume 12 Tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil every single day. It may seem like a bit of olive oil, but according to a recent study consuming a liter of olive oil (extra virgin), each week could aid your overall health in a variety of ways including supporting weight loss and healthy blood pressure.7
4. Eat more protein.
The truth of the matter is you’re not eating too little protein. Instead, you’re likely eating too much protein. You just don’t really need that much animal protein in your diet. Take a look at a horse or a gorilla. Both animals have massive amounts of muscle and when these animals feast, it’s mostly on grass and leaves. And that’s it.8,9
If you feel you absolutely need to include animal protein in your diet, make sure it’s wild-caught (for fish), pasture-raised (for chicken), and grass-fed (for beef). And limit your intake to just 3 or 4 ounces a day. That’s almost as much as a can of tuna.10
The rest of your protein should actually come from the plant-based foods you eat.
5. You need to eat 5 or 6 mini-meals every day.
Now this one really seems to come from food marketers who want you to buy their products even when you don’t need to. You see, your body wasn’t actually designed to ingest all day long. Instead, your body was designed to be hungry. Think about it. Could your ancestors simply open the fridge door every time they felt a pang of hunger — or worse, boredom? No. Your ancestors had to hunt and forage for their food. They were forced to fast.
In one study, intermittent calorie restriction showed a substantial fat loss in participants. So, why not give it a shot? Try fasting for 12 — 16 hours a day. And remember, if you sleep for 8 hours, you really only have to fast for 4 — 7 hours at a time.11
Avoid These Nutrition Myths
In the end, sometimes you can be steered in the wrong direction when it comes to the best way to support your health. And if you’re shelling out your hard-earned paycheck for nutritional advice, you could be paying big bucks for outdated information or information that is just plain wrong.
Educate yourself by reading more about lectin-free living, intermittent fasting, limiting animal proteins, consuming healthy fats, and avoiding whole grains. The same dietary fads from yesteryear just don’t cut it today.