Over the years we pick up myths about food and nutrition from various sources. Some of these sources may be more reliable than others, as with all sources of information. Without much thought, we continue to apply the information these myths provide to us in our daily lives. Many of us may be needlessly avoiding certain food groups and making uninformed choices that can greatly affect us.
Knowledge is power when it comes to nutrition and diet. Arming yourself with the right information will give you the best chance of achieving your goals, whatever they may be. Nutrition is a key component to consider, not just for your workout routine, but for your overall general health. That's why we've delved into the biggest nutritional myths about nutrition and diets to explore them using research and statistics.
Nutrition Myth #1
"Gluten is bad for you and affects weight loss."
Gluten has received a lot of bad publicity in recent years. Many people have been eliminating it from their diet for fear of negative health consequences. There also exists a belief that having no gluten in their diet will help them lose weight.
In truth, when someone cuts gluten out of their diet, they tend to reduce their caloric intake. This subsequently results in weight loss but this is independent of gluten. This is evident from the research that found when celiac patients removed gluten from their diet. These patients actually increased their body fat.
From a health perspective, for individuals who are not diagnosed with celiac disease, gluten will have no negative effect on performance. This also stands true for gastrointestinal symptoms, general wellbeingor inflammatory markers. Therefore, there is no benefit of cutting this food group out of your diet.
Nutrition Myth #2
"High protein diets will harm your kidneys."
When your aim in the gym is to build muscle, protein intake is recommended as part of your diet. It is no secret that protein intake is essential for repairing the health damage caused to muscles during training.
Some people think that consuming excessive protein can harm the kidneys. This belief stems from the fact that the kidneys are responsible for filtering protein and amino acids from the bloodstream. People worry that eating more protein will strain their kidneys as they have to filter out the extra amino acids. The extensive research conducted into high-protein diets suggests otherwise.
Research on high-protein diets shows that in healthy people without kidney problems, these diets do not affect kidney function. Eating more protein, exercising, and having a good diet can help you lose weight and lower the chance of kidney problems.
Nutrition Myth #3
"Organic foods are better for health."
It’s logical to think that foods with reduced levels of pesticides and processing may be healthier, but is it worth the significantly higher price for organic foods?
Organic foods do indeed appear to have lower levels of pesticides than their non-organic counterparts. However, it’s important to note that non-organic foods have levels of pesticides that are deemed safe for consumption.
When it comes to the effect organic foods have on nutrient levels within the blood and subsequently health, there appears to be no significant difference between organic and non-organic foods. Some may prefer to pay the extra money for organic food but research shows they will be no nutritionally better off.
Nutrition Myth #4
"Fasted cardio will increase fat burning."
Again, this is probably one of the most popular myths around. The theory is that when you train in a fasted state, you can easily tap into fat stores. Technically speaking, this is actually true. If you train fast they will increase fat oxidation during that session.
However, we now know that if you burn more fat during a training session, you will burn less in the hours after the session. If you use up more carbs in a workout, you'll use less carbs in the hours after the workout. What does this mean? Calories are king and the substate utilisation during a session is irrelevant for weight loss.
When it comes to body composition, calories are the most important factor to consider. Once you have determined the appropriate calorie intake, you can freely choose whether to consume gluten or organic foods. It is important to note, however, that your decision will not have any effect on your health or performance. What's important is that you consume the right kinds of foods for your workout plan and fitness goals.
If you think you need assistance with your diet and nutrition, talk to your personal trainer. A dietitian or nutritionist can also advise you on what foods to eat.
Training on an empty stomach in the morning may be convenient for some, but it doesn't offer any extra advantages. It's a personal choice and lifestyle decision, rather than a way to manipulate eating habits for more fat loss.
Achieve Your Goals With Village Gym
Now that you're educated on some of the most common myths about nutrition, it's time to work towards those goals in a fun, inviting, encouraging environment. Pop down to your local Village Gym to use our state-of-the-art gym equipment and machines.
Whatever your goals, work towards them with a Village Advance Plan to ensure you’re hitting the right targets, setting attainable goals, and getting the best out of a Village Gym membership. Join today!
FAQs About Common Nutrition Myths
What is the most nutritious food ever?
While no one super-food does it all, there are plenty of foods that are very high in nutritional value. For example, oily fish, potatoes, leafy green vegetables, eggs, and avocados are all fantastic foods to include in a well-balanced diet.
What are 4 diseases associated with nutrition?
Generally, having a well-balanced diet will lower the risk of heart disease, obesity, specific types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
What are the unhealthiest foods?
There are a lot of foods that can be unhealthy for a variety of reasons. Even too much of food considered to be healthy can be bad for you - which is why balancing your diet is important. However, the unhealthiest foods tend to be foods that are deep fried, fizzy or sugary drinks, high-fat dairy products, foods that contain trans fats, and highly processed foods such as processed meats or snacks.
What food to avoid?
When it comes to foods you should avoid to improve the nutritional value of the food you eat, foods high in sodium (salt) should be avoided. These are foods such as processed meats and canned foods to name two common types. Frozen food should also be avoided where possible as the process of freezing the food reduces the food's nutritional value.