It’s full of misconceptions, misnomers, bad science and greedy companies trying to get their hand even further into your wallet.
So, it’s time to cut through the noise. I want to bring to light the 7 biggest lies you’ve been told about nutrition, with research backed evidence to show you the light.
If you’re ready to have your current beliefs rocked, come with me as I expose these 7 common lies:
1. ‘Saturated Fats Are Bad For Your Heart’
Your whole life you’ve been told that eating high fat foods was bad for your heart and your cholesterol.
That butters, creams, cheeses, steaks and all your favourite meats were slowly taking you towards an inevitable heart attack.
In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The above study pieced together 21 studies of over 350,000 people of which 11,000 had heart disease, which covers a span of almost 14 years.
Their conclusion? There is no correlation between eating saturated fat and heart disease.
So, I suggest you go out and eat a butter-fried steak to celebrate.
2. ‘You Must Eat 5 Meals A Day To Lose Weight’
The old body-builders adage of ‘eat before you’re hungry, stop before you’re full’ has been the method behind the madness of personal trainers and dieticians for decades.
Probably, well, since Pumping Iron took the world by storm. Everyone wants abs like Arnold after all, right?
Well, studies show that eating meals more frequently isn’t shown to favourably change the body composition of sedentary people.
Put simply: unless you’re an athlete, or exercising intensely more than 6-8 hours week, you’re not going to lose more weight doing following this method.
It’s more about what you put in your mouth, instead of when you eat it.
3. ‘Carbohydrates Make You Fat’
You’ve all done it.
You’ve felt the bloated, guilty feeling after you’ve had a piece of toast with your breakfast. Or, when the breadbasket sits glaring you in the eye shouting ‘eat me, eat me!’at the top of soft white voice.
But, should you really feel bad and worry about the effect carbohydrates have on your waistline?
If you’re going to drown yourself in a pool of Maple Syrup, scoff down you bodyweight in pancakes or snack of Twix’s all day long – yeah, you’re probably going to make yourself fat.
But, if you’re making a conscious effort to eat whole grain, minimally processed, single ingredient carbohydrates, then you shouldn’t feel guilty.
Because, well, they’re naturally occurring foods. They grow and we eat them. Unlike, say, that Donut from Krispy Kreme.
As long as you’re smart about your carbs, they aren’t going to make you fat. And, they could be just the energy boost you need.
4. ‘Fruit Juice Is Healthy’
Have you ever had one of those fruit juices from a coffee store, or the front of a supermarket? The ones that boast over 30 fruits in them: half a cabbage and a small field of spinach?
And, most of these products do, as they say, contain this much fruit. But that doesn’t make them healthy.
Think about it this way: could you eat all the fruit if it was laid out in front of you?
Could you eat the 5 squeezed oranges it took to make your juice? Or the 2 bananas, apple, mango and peach that went into your smoothie?
But when it comes to drinking them, your body reacts differently. Because, well, it doesn’t have to chew anything. It just receives the food in one big lump sum and has to deal with the consequences.
The problem isn’t the fruit itself, but the fructose (sugars) within it.
Research by the University of California shows that increased consumption of fructose can increase your body fat, and have a tonne of negative effects on your body.
To reach this level of fructose would require a lot of fruit. But, the fruit juices you drink can take you an awful lot closer to the negative health consequences.
Stick to: Water, Black Coffee or Flavoured Tea’s.
5. ‘Low Fat Foods Are Really Healthy’
We’ve already established in this article that eating saturated fats isn’t bad for your heart.
What about ‘low fat’ foods then? They just removed the bad fats, right?
In the words of English Nutritionist, Ben Coomber, when you hear ‘Low Fat, think ‘Chemical Sh*t Storm’.
Because, well, when they remove the ‘fat’ (or the sugar in some cases) they fill the product full of chemicals. Most of these are harmful to the body, with the biggest culprit being aspartame.
For both your waistline and your health, choose the full-fat option.