Confused about nutrition

10 lies the Government and Food Industry feed you.

When it comes to healthy nutrition the government, food companies and even qualified so called nutritionists are feeding you lies and BS. These big companies care about making profit and will play on your emotions and get you buying into their myths. I’m here to quash these lies as it could be these beliefs that are holding you back from getting that dream body.Part 1 will cover x5 of these lies you are being fed.  x5 more lies will be published in part 2.

1) A calorie is a calorie

Many people say that the only important thing you need to think about in order to create weight loss is calories in versus calories out. So if you eat fewer calories than you burn then you will lose weight due to the law of thermodynamics. Now essentially this theory is true, however I’m here to tell you that the quality of your calories matter. This is because different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body and elicit different responses based on its quality. If you think that eating 1000 cals of processed junk compared to eating a 1000 cals of whole foods makes no difference then I’m sorry, you will never achieve successful healthy fat loss.

2) Saturated fat is unhealthy

For years now we have been told that we must avoid saturated fat as it can increase the risk of heart disease. This has been one of the pillars of mainstream nutritional advice that we have been plagued with for far too long. Recent studies prove that saturated fat is harmless and has nothing to do with heart disease, and in actual fact consuming it raises good cholesterol (hdl) and changes the “bad” cholesterol to a benign subtype. So there is no reason for you to be avoiding full fat butter or coconut oil. If it’s a natural fat then it’s a good fat.

3) Eating too much protein is bad for you

For some reason many of us believe that eating too much protein can damage your bones and increase the strain on the kidneys which can contribute to kidney failure. I don’t know where this came from but I do know GP’s still spout this crap even today.

What I can tell you is that if you eat protein regularly in relatively high portions it will actually increase bone density. Those with kidneys disorders are asked to reduce their protein intake but how many of us actually suffer from this condition? More protein in the diet will increase lean muscle mass, reduce body fat which increases your body’s thermodynamics, and will lower the risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease.

4) Too much red meat is bad for you

We’ve been eating red meat for thousands of years and now suddenly some how people are blaming it for heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. There is no study out there that proves the validity of these claims. However like most processed foods, the quality of the meat can have an effect. Unprocessed red meat is perfectly fine if cooked correctly and consumed in moderation. Cheap processed red meat however can lead to issues. As with any foods these days, quality does matter, and unfortunately price represents quality. The bottom line here is that red meat is incredibly nutritious. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, quality proteins, and healthy natural fats that are important for the body and brain. So if you want to eat red meat 3, 4, 5 times a week you can do so, as long as you don’t overcook it (burn it), and the meat is unprocessed.

5) Follow the pyramid diet for optimal health

The pyramid diet was originally published in the 70’s and specifies that you should follow a high carb, low fat based diet. This recommendation made by politicians (not nutritionists) has since been debunked and ironically the obesity epidemic began when the system was promoted. Everybody responds differently based on different set Marco percentages and although this may work for a few, in my experience this isn’t optimal for most. The results from my 12 Week Body Transformations are proof of that from both a physical and mental perspective.

6) Fat makes you fat

This is an old school theory that has only really within the last 10 years been proven to be untrue. On paper it does make sense that eating more fat will make you fat as there are more calories per gram of fat than that of the other macro nutrients protein and carbohydrate. Fat based foods are therefore much more calorie dense meaning it is very easy to overeat your required calorific intake needed for your daily activity rate. However on the flip side of the above, higher based fat diets with a lower carb intake are much more successful when seeking fat loss, as long as you can still control your calorific intake. So the take home message here is that more fat won’t make you fat but will actually aid in fat loss.

7) You shouldn’t eat carbs at night time

“You can’t consume carbohydrates at night or you will store fat!”

You will have heard or have been told this theory at some point no doubt, right?  It’s crazy how much it is still used or preached out in the fitness world today. The reason behind this is because most people who recommend limiting carbs at night do so because they believe your metabolic rate decreases at night therefore those consumed and unused carbohydrates will be stored as fat instantly.

This idea that you should avoid carbs at night because your metabolism slows down has been proven to be an invalid theory. Research now actually shows that not only does your metabolism NOT slow down, its actually no different to your resting rate during the day, plus if you exercise it’s actually shown to increase your sleeping metabolism significantly.

Also if you do have difficulty sleeping, including a carbohydrate source in your last meal of the day can activate certain chemicals in your brain that relax you, signaling sleep and encouraging a better nights recovery.

8) Low fat, fat free or low carb is a healthy alternative

Low fat, fat free or low carb diets are extremely popular these days and food manufacturers have cottoned onto this and started mass producing products to serve the public need for them. However all of these products are far from healthy and in order to be the product they claim to be, ingredients have been removed and replaced with unnatural chemicals that the body just doesn’t know how to utilise. You just have to look at the ingredients list to see it contains no real food at all, they are highly processed. The take home message here is to avoid these options as they do more harm than good, they are not healthy. When you see low fat, fat free or low carb think “chemical shit storm”.

9) Gluten free is healthy

Eating a gluten free diet is extremely trendy these days and to be honest most people when questioned about it have no idea what gluten even is. If you have a known gluten intolerance then I’m in total support of you opting for a gluten free diet, but please bear in mind that just because the product is gluten free it doesn’t make it healthy. I have had clients on several occasions try to justify eating biscuits or cakes or similar because they were gluten free. However most of these foods are usually made from highly refined, high glycemic starches like corn starch, potato starch, tapioca starch and may also be loaded with sugar. Dropping gluten should mean replacing it for real food, not highly processed foods that as a general rule of thumb we should be avoiding.

10) Eating 6 smaller meals a day will boost your metabolism, increasing fat / weight loss.

This is probably the biggest myth and misconception that I still hear day in day out. Let’s think about it for a second, do you really think your metabolism accelerates based on a meal to meal frequency basis? I don’t think so. This has been proven time and time again to be a complete myth, but here’s the catch.

Eating smaller meals more often can actually help you lose weight but not by speeding up your metabolism, but by increasing thermogenesis.

So how does it work?

By eating more often, generally with protein and fibrous veg servings with every meal, will help curb cravings and will keep you fuller for longer which will help stabilise blood sugar levels avoiding drops which leads to binge / snack eating.

So if you want to eat 3/4/5/6+ meals a day then you can, do what works for you but don’t do it for the wrong reasons.

The take home message is this: Food manufacturers don’t truly care about your health they only really care about profit. The government and many qualified nutritionists know very little when it comes to real nutrition. Avoid fad diets, avoid heavily processed foods and always try to eat real, natural food as much as possible. Real food doesn’t need an ingredients list, real food is the ingredient. 

Olly

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