Top 5 Nutrition Myths – Busted!
- Eating Paleo or Clean Eating is nutritionally superior
Just because a diet or eating approach cuts out a lot of bad stuff doesn't mean it's superior or the ultimate healthy diet. If it works for you, fantastic! Stick with it. You don't have to go gluten-free and never eat a potato or pasta again though to have an overall healthy diet. And almond flour cookies aren't low calorie!
- Eating carbs after 6pm will prevent weight loss
While this is an easy way to keep calories in check later in the day, eating carbs after 6pm or 7pm won't automatically turn into fat or prevent weight loss. Especially if you work out in the late afternoon or evening, a small to moderate amount of carbs depending on your needs and workout duration and intensity are beneficial in helping muscles recover. Healthy carbs, including sweet potatoes, whole grains, vegetables, and beans can also help with sleep.
- There's too much sugar in fruit
Despite so-called experts arguing that the body doesn't recognize a difference between the naturally occurring sugar in fruit and sugar in soda or a bag of skittles, there is a significant difference. Most people can and should have 2-3 servings of fruit per day (1 serving = 1 medium piece of fruit or ¾ cup chopped fruit) for fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants supplied by fruit. Fruit is a great pre or post-workout food to get quick energy your muscles need. Focus on cutting out processed sugar and cut out fruit juice, but keep your fresh or frozen fruit bowl around!
- The more protein, the better
There is such thing as too much of a good thing, protein included. Extra protein doesn't automatically mean more muscle and less fat on your body. If you're getting too many calories, even if it's from protein, you won't lose weight. Whole food sources of lean protein and fatty fish are best (chicken, eggs, lean red meat, pork loin, salmon, halibut). Beans, low-fat yogurt, and nuts are also great options. Just because something has added protein, such as granola bars with powdered protein, doesn't make it a better option than something with no protein, like an apple or banana.
- I should eat 1200 calories/day (for females) and 1400 calories/day (for males) to lose weight
I don't know where this myth originated, but my female clients, especially, believe they need to reduce calories to 1200 calories per day to lose weight. This isn't enough, especially for younger adults or if you're very active. It might also be too significant of a reduction in calories if your body is used to consuming 2000-3000 calories per day (or more). It's difficult to get the nutrients your body needs. Rather than follow an arbitrary number, use an online food logging tool to calculate your own needs and see where your starting point is by journaling what you eat.