Nutrition Myth Busting - Part 1*

Wednesday, 25 May 2016, By Keenan Mowat

Myth 1: The healthiest diet is a low-fat, diet with lots of grains.

Several decades ago, nutrition and medical advisors educated the population to opt for a low-fat, high-carb diet. At the time, not a single scientific study had actually demonstrated that this diet provided any form of disease prevention. In the years following this time, many high quality studies have demonstrated that this way of eating does not cause weight loss, prevent cancer or reduce the risk of heart disease as it was for so many years claimed to do. The conclusion that was drawn after many studies on the topic is that a low-fat, high-carb diet has virtually no effect on body weight or disease risk over the long term.

 

Myth 2: Eating fat makes you fat/eat less fat to lose body fat.

Subcutaneous fat is the soft pudgy stuff that is stored under our skin that we all dislike and wish to get rid of, therefore it would seem logical that eating fat in our diets would give us more of this stored fat. This however, is far from the truth, and it depends entirely on the context. For example, diets that are high in fat as well as carbohydrates have been shown to increase stored body fat, but this isn't entirely the fault of the fat. Studies have demonstrated that diets high in fat but low in carbs consistently lead to more weight loss than low-fat diets, even in the cases where low-fat test groups had restricted caloric intakes. The bottom line is that the fattening effects of dietary fat depends entirely on whether there is excess amount of carbohydrates also present in the diet. A diet that is high in fat but low in carbs has been demonstrated as the most effective means of achieving weight loss when compared to simply low-fat diets, even when calories are restricted.

 

Myth 3: High protein diets increase strain on the kidneys and raise your risk of kidney disease.

Although it is true that people with pre-existing kidney disease should cut back on protein, this is absolutely not true for the rest of the otherwise healthy population. There is a vast amount of evidence showing no detrimental effect on health from high protein diets. In fact, a higher protein intake has been shown to lower blood pressure and helps fight type 2 diabetes which are coincidentally two of the main risk factors for kidney failure. Higher protein diets have also been attributed to reducing appetite and thus supporting weight loss.

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