With so much information available on the internet nowadays, it is difficult to know what is evidence-based and what is not. Myths are easily passed through blogs, social media and even established media as information often gets published without being verified. Here are the top nutrition myths passed along this year:
Food Is Better Than Supplements
We often hear that whole foods are better than supplements. Natural foods often have a positive connotation and synthetic or chemical products have a negative one. Unfortunately, it isn’t so simple as some compounds definitely are more effective in a supplemental form such as curcumin in turmeric. The body cannot absorb it well on its own, but if it is supplemented with piperine, the bioavailability increases dramatically.
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Carbs Are Bad For You
Many people believe that carbs are their enemy and that the glycemic index indicates how dangerous foods are to consume as it affects insulin levels and your overall health. This is not necessarily the case as low glycemic diets have not shown any advantages in clinical trials. There is nothing harmful about carbs as long as you do not overindulge.
Fats Are Bad For Your Health
If you eat fat, you will become fat, right? Today we know that eating fat won’t necessarily make you fat. If you don’t eat much fat it can, in fact, be very dangerous, as your body needs essential fatty acids to function properly. Trans fats are the only kind of fat that has been proven to be detrimental to health.
Protein Is Not Good For You
Protein has been accused of causing kidney and bone damage. It was thought that protein consumption is linked to urinary calcium which comes from the bones and was, therefore, linked to a risk of bone loss. Later studies proved that protein actually has a neutral or protective effect on bones. Research has also shown that high protein diets do not cause kidney damage.
Salt Is Bad For Your Health
Even though studies have associated excess salt with an increased risk of cognitive decline, kidney damage and high blood pressure, sodium is still an essential mineral which is critical to your health. Salt can be bad for your health when too much of it is consumed or when the wrong source of sodium is used. Many people tend to consume high amounts of salt when eating processed foods. People with salt-sensitive hypertension should reduce salt, but drastically lowering your salt intake have not shown any benefits in clinical trials. Eating mostly unprocessed foods will be much more beneficial than micromanaging salt intake.
Bread Should Be Avoided
Two arguments are mainly made against bread consumption: bread contains gluten which is bad for you and it will make you fat. Bread in itself will not make you fat, but it is, however, easy to overeat as it is dense in calories which can lead to a caloric surplus and weight gain. But this doesn’t mean that you should not eat it at all.
Some people avoid bread because of its gluten content. Even though people with celiac disease should avoid gluten, it is definitely possible for your wheat sensitivity to be caused by other compounds such as FODMAPS.
Make sure to ask yourself why exactly you are avoiding bread. If you really enjoy bread and there are no specific reasons why you are avoiding it, consider adding it to your diet again – in moderation of course.
You Need Protein Right After A Workout
Your muscles get damaged when you exercise and it needs to be repaired. This process often makes the muscles more resilient and bigger. The raw material needed for the repair is the protein that you eat. If you consume between 20 and 40g of protein two hours after your workout, it might be ideal but it is definitely not necessary. The most important aspect is your daily protein intake. In order to maximize repairs, around 2g of protein per kilogram of body weight should be eaten daily.
You don’t have to solely focus on the protein intake after a workout, rather try to make sure that you get enough protein throughout the day in order to give your muscles what they need.