nutrition-myths

The 7 Biggest Nutrition Myths

5. Grains are the ultimate health food

One myth is that grains are health food and “whole grain foods” are advertized as ultimate health foods. Grains are fairly low in nutrients compared to other real foods like vegetables. They are also rich in a substance called phytic acid, which is indigestible by most mammals, including humans. Phytic acid also prevents important minerals from being absorbed. (6).

Another problem with grains is that they have high content of the protein called gluten. Why is gluten bad for you? Mostly because a large part of the humans are sensitive to it. Gluten can cause all kinds of problems in your digestive system, it can cause bloating, diarrhea, lack of energy etc.

A good practice is to switch a large portion of your grain foods with vegetables that are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

6. Eggs can cause high cholesterol and heart disease

Up until a couple of years ago, eggs and especially egg yolks were presented as your heart’s worse enemy because of the high cholesterol content. Some recent studies have proved that the cholesterol you eat doesn’t have a big impact on the cholesterol in blood. On the other hand, eggs mainly raise the “good” cholesterol (or HDL if you will) (7).

Eggs are a great source of proteins, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that can actually help in protecting your heart and cardiovascular system.

7. Eat 5-6 small meals a day to speed up metabolism and lose fat

Of all the previous myths, this one is most widely spread in fitness and bodybuilding circles. Eating 5, 6 or even 7 meals a day is not uncommon amongst weightlifting athletes. The statement that eating increases your metabolic rate is not false, but it’s the total amount of calories that determines the energy used to digest the food, and not the number of meals, as many believe.

There is no difference in energy expenditure between those who eat many meals throughout the day and those who eat 2-3 larger meals. This has been confirmed by many controlled studies (8). In fact, eating many meals throughout the day can lead to food cravings and feeling of hunger. It is not natural for the human body to be constantly full and overfed. You may not believe it, but it’s healthier to be hungry from time to time.

During periods of fasting there is a process called autophagocytosis taking place in our bodies. It involves cell degradation of unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components, which ensures cellular survival during starvation by maintaining cellular energy levels. You can think of it as cleaning waste products from your body.

And when it comes to weight loss, protocols like intermittent fasting will bring you better results than the “6 meals a day” method.

Sources:
(1)  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21102327
(2)   http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1359/jbmr.2000.15.12.2504/full
(3)    http://www.jissn.com/content/1/1/45
(4)    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/2/1/25
(5)   http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/4/734.short
(6)    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytic_acid
(7)    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19369056
(8)    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19943985


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