Nutrition Myth Busting - Part 2*

Wednesday, 25 May 2016, By Keenan Mowat

SEE PART 1 FOR MYTHS 1 - 3

 

Myth 4: All calories are created equal, it doesn't matter which types of foods they are coming from

This claim is completely false. The different macronutrients that make up foods each go through different metabolic pathways and have direct varying effects on the body's ability to burn fat for energy, the production of hormones and the regulation of appetite. For example, several studies have shown that a diet that is high in protein when compared to a lower protein and higher carbohydrate diet shows an increased metabolic rate by 80 to 100 calories per day and can significantly reduce appetite. In one particular study, a high protein diet automatically made people eat 441 less calories per day consequently lost 11 pounds in 12 weeks. The bottom line is that not all calories are made equal and it is more important to track your macronutrients compared to total calories consumed if you wish to be successful in achieving your desired health and fitness goals.

 

Myth 5: Red meat consumption raises the risk of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

The problem with these claims and the studies that have backed them up is that they were usually lumping processed and unprocessed meat together as opposed to testing and measuring the effects of unprocessed red meat only, thus skewing the results. We all know processed foods are not as healthy for us as unprocessed regardless of the food product and so putting unprocessed red meat into the same category as the processed is wrong. The largest studies with between four hundred thousand and a million participants have shown that unprocessed red meat is not linked to increased risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetes. In conclusion, eating unprocessed red meat is safe and healthy so long as you do not overcook it as eating too much burnt meat may be harmful.

 

Myth 6: You can eat as much healthy fat as you like

While some fats such as those found in avocado, salmon and some cooking oils are better for you and your heart health than others such as that found in some processed foods, all fats still contain a high amount of energy. Therefore if you wish to avoid excessive weight gain or be able to lose those extra few kilograms, eating the right amount of total fat for your body type is very important regardless of the type of fat. Preferably though, the majority of your fat intake should come from those healthy sources to help improve overall health.

 

Myth 7: Fresh fruit and vegetables always beats frozen

Frozen produce can be just as nutritious or in some cases, even more nutritious than fresh produce when purchasing from your local supermarket. The reason for this is that the frozen produce is often flash frozen shortly after harvesting which locks in its nutrients allowing it to retain a closer nutrient value when purchased, to the day it was harvested. The fresh produce on the other hand slowly loses its nutritional quality during the transport and other processes involved in getting the produce from the farm to the supermarket before you purchase it meaning that often when you buy fresh produce, the nutrient value is much less than it was when it was harvested. Frozen often costs less than fresh also which is another benefit of frozen, however if you prefer fresh and wish to get the most nutrients out of your fruit and veg like nature intended, source your produce direct from farmers markets as this produce is usually much fresher and has not been in transport or sitting on the store shelf for extended periods of time and therefore would have a closer nutrient value to the time when it was harvested.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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