Fat makes you fat: This myth pioneered the low and no fat mass marketing we have seen since the mid 90’s. Fat does have the highest calorie content per gram so by cutting out the fat we reduce the number of calories we consume. Nice theory but fat does not trigger an insulin response; carbohydrates do, and without this insulin response fat storage cannot occur.
Eating high amounts of protein is dangerous: There are many myths out there linking diets that are high in protein to ailments such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, cancer and kidney stones. There are also loads of studies out there exposing these myths, and clearing consumption of meat, chicken, fish and eggs as safe. Remember that proteins are our body’s building blocks, and are required to repair all muscles, bones, organs, skin, hair and teeth.
Diet soft drinks are ok: Diet soft drinks contain artificial sweeteners; these are chemicals that while not being sugar still trick the body into releasing insulin. There are many studies out there showing artificial sweeteners to be more dangerous than sugar.
Crash dieting helps you lose weight: The old quick fix method! If it were that simple everyone would be thin and fabulous! You may lose a few kilos in your first or second week of a crash diet. However in most case the weight you lose is normally water. Crash diets are normally unsustainable due to their limiting nature. Following a smart healthy eating and lifestyle plan is a more intelligent approach.
Skipping meals helps you lose weight: Skipping meals to lose weight is just a dumb idea. Skipping meals slows your metabolic rate and stresses your body. If you skip a meal, you still need to use energy and if you don’t put any fuel in, your body goes into its reserves. Your body begins to break down muscles and organs to use as fuel, while continuing to store fat for use later on.
Cholesterol is bad: Cholesterol is a vital component and plays many roles in the body. Cholesterol is thought to be the cause of heart disease, but there is a vast amount of research showing that this is not the case. What we do know is our body produces cholesterol itself; cholesterol is a precursor to the production of hormones and it also acts as an antioxidant. (If you would like more information about cholesterol check out the book, “The Cholesterol Myth”)
You should count calories: Counting calories will do absolutely nothing if you are eating the wrong foods. A smarter method is to count your portions and balance your meals, remembering that if your meal is not balanced you will run into blood sugar and energy highs and lows.
Grains are a great source of energy: Grains when prepared properly can be a great source of energy for some people. But for others consuming grains can lead to problems. Many grains contain gluten – a plant protein that is difficult to digest and can inflame your intestines causing pain and bloating. Grains also contain phytates which bind with minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc in the intestines and prevent their absorption, so continuing to eat grains will lead to mineral deficiencies.
You don’t need to drink water: Water is vital to maintaining good health. The human body is made up of approximately 75% water. A drop of just a few percent in your hydration level can cause adverse symptoms and affect your performance and well being. Water is required for many functions in the body including digestion, delivery of nutrients, circulation of blood, excretion of waste, lubrication of joints and internal organs and regulation of body temperature. On average you lose approximately 2.5 litres of fluid everyday; this equates to 8 glasses or 4 bottles of water. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and sports drinks are no substitute for H2O.
Natural means good for you: Natural in theory seems to be a good thing. But just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it is good for you. Sugar, caffeine and tobacco are all natural products and none of them are good for you. ‘Natural’ is a word that companies use to trick you into thinking something is healthy for you.