Using evidence and studies, we debunk the top 18 nutrition myths that STILL persist after all these years.
First of all, here’s a quote from their website, to give you an idea of what they do:
“This is what we do. We analyze research, make sense of it, and give it context. We’re an educational organization that prides itself on avoiding clickbait or sensationalist headlines.” Examine.com
Unfortunately, the internet is rife with misinformation, and it can be really difficult to tell what’s evidence-based without reading the original research yourself. Myths that were previously passed through word-of-mouth in gyms and health clubs now spread like wildfire through social media, blogs, and even established media. Between a 24-hour news cycle, studies that are both long and difficult to read, and journalists scrambling for the latest viral hit, information often gets published without being verified.
As an educational organization that looks only at the evidence, we’ve taken the time to identify the top 18 nutrition myths that just won’t die.”
Most myths contain a little truth. This is what makes them so damaging. But for those who are willing to dig a little deeper, the media often distorts those grains of truth into mountains of BS. So here is the list of the top 18 myths, aggregated by a very trustworthy source, examine.com
Click here to see the original article, or read below to see my synopsis of each point.
TIP: If you want to simplify your nutrition to a sane, “non calorie counting,” simple to follow regimen, make sure and check out the Dirobi Un-Diet here! Just print off the PDF, stick it on the fridge, follow it, and BOOM! Great health follows 😉 Dirobi Un-Diet here.
Here are the myths…
Myth 1: Carbs are bad for you
For years Fat was the enemy… but that seems to have changed to carbs nowadays. But the fact is that carbs, fats, and protein eaten from healthy sources are all critical to your body’s overall health. If you are a diabetic or insulin resistant, then carb consumption is something you have to regulate carefully. For everybody else, it’s probably not the devil the social media warriors want you to think it is.
Myth 2: Fats are bad for you
fat DOES NOT make you fat! Eating cholesterol does not raise your cholesterol, and fat doesn’t make you fat. And saturated fat is not the main driver of cardiovascular disease, that’s simply a myth. Trans fat is definitely bad for you, so avoid it whenever possible, otherwise, eat those eggs! This article dives into the ratio of fats, carbs and proteins to shoot for based on your health goals.
Also, this interview with Dr. Jeff Matheson, one of the leading pain management experts in the world, will shock you when it comes to new science on Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. . It’s time to change your oil! (Fish oil, that is).
Myth 3: Protein is bad for you
Some early reports of excess protein causing bone and kidney damage have now been debunked. Randomized trials have shown that high protein diets do not have harmful effects. Protein, even in large amounts are not harmful unless you have a pre-existing condition.***As a side note, do you see how the top three myths are about the very building blocks of health, the 3 major macros of carbs, fats, and protein? In the end, these three building blocks all have benefits to the body and getting the highest quality, purest forms of each on a daily basis is generally just a good idea.*** Learn all about the best protein powders and other healthy ways to get enough protein in your diet here.
Myth 4: Egg yolks are bad for you
The poor egg! It was terrible for us in the 90’s, then egg whites were OK in the “oughts,” but the fact is the whole dang egg is super good for you. There have been no clinical trials showing a relationship between eggs and cardiovascular disease, or that they raise cholesterol levels. The truth is eggs are a good source of protein, fats, and nutrients.
Myth 5: Red meat is bad for you
“Red meat causes cancer!” Have you heard that one before? Well… not so much. Now, let’s be clear, almost EVERYTHING can potentially cause cancer. But red meat is only likely to be a problem in people with poor diets and lifestyle choices. If you exercise, eat your veggies, and don’t smoke, red meat isn’t something you need to worry about. Avoid cured, smoked, and highly processed red meat and buy the good stuff from a local butcher.
Myth 6: Salt is bad for you
Well, we’ve all heard the studies about salt and hypertension, kidney damage, and cognitive decline. BUT the elephant in the room with salt is that our bodies NEED it! Salt is CRITICAL to our health. The problem is that we eat too much, and often from the wrong sources.If you avoid processed foods, which you should for a plethora of reasons, then moderate salt consumption has shown no negative effects in healthy people. Those with hypertension need to get professional advice on salt consumption, otherwise, salt just isn’t as bad as a lot of people want you to think it is.
Myth 7: Bread is bad for you
Have you heard this? Bread will make you fat, and it contains gluten, which is super bad for you. Well, not so much. And are you convinced that whole wheat bread is way better than white bread? Again, the difference isn’t as great as you might think. The challenge with bread is that its nutrient dense, so it’s easy to overeat. Plus, we tend to make it even higher calorie by adding peanut butter, butter, and sugary james to it. But if you eat bread in moderation, and aren’t sensitive to gluten (a protein by the way, not a carb) then neither white bread or wheat bread have that much fiber compared to fruits and vegetables, and eating either one in moderation is OK for a person with a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Learn more about healthy carbs and how many to include in your diet here.
Myth 8: HFCS is far worse than sugar
High fructose corn syrup! Begone, witch! But wait a minute. high fructose corn syrup has been demonized by the media and health experts for some time and may be universally considered an unhealthy food by health experts. But the fact is there is very little difference between HFCS and sucrose, or table sugar. Liquid HFCS has a fructose content of 42-55%, while table sugar is 50% fructose. The fact is HFCS and table sugar are very similar to each other. Either one, used in small amounts by healthy people, shouldn’t cause a problem in their diet.
Myth 9: Fresh is more nutritious than frozen
Fresh certainly sounds better than frozen, and especially canned. But frozen foods go through very minimal processing, and are generally vine-ripened before freezing, whereas “fresh” fruits and veggies sometimes aren’t vine ripened. So while there can be a slight difference between select fruits and vegetables that are fresh versus frozen, they are so small as to not really matter.
Myth 10: Foods are always superior to supplements
Some compounds are simply more effective in supplement form. Two of our products, for example, Glutathione and Mimi’s Miracle Turmeric can provide the body much more usable product than taking Turmeric itself can.To quote Examine.com: One example is the curcumin in turmeric. On its own, your body cannot absorb it well; but taken in the liposomal form or supplemented with piperine, a black pepper extract, curcumin sees its bioavailability increase dramatically.”Other examples include folic acid (B9), K1. Then there’s B12 that is synthesized, but if it wasn’t, it would be very expensive and unsuitable for Vegans. Check out the 4 categories of supplements and which ones are most beneficial here.
Myth 11: Dietary supplements are necessary
The fact is that a good healthy balanced diet should always be the foundation of a good diet. Many people supplement things they are already getting in their diet, while being deficient in something else. Most multi-vitamins are unnecessary and no studies exist showing they extend life.
Quote from the article: The Truth: Supplements have their use. You can benefit from supplementing specific vitamins or minerals, and a protein powder can make it easier to increase your daily protein intake. But supplements should complete a healthy diet — not replace it. Plants are an excellent source of most of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients our bodies need. Learn more about phytonutrients and the value of eating the rainbow here.
Myth 12: You should eat “clean”
Eating “clean” isn’t so much a myth as a concept frought with misconceptions. What “clean eating” means to a vegan can be totally different than “clean eating” to a Paleo or Keto fan.Does “clean eating” mean eating only organic? Or eating only raw? The Truth: “Clean eating” is tough to define, as gurus don’t even agree on which foods are clean and which are not.
Stick to the basics. Favor whole foods (but don’t feel like any small amount of processed foods will kill you), eat organic if you want and can afford it, peel or wash all your vegetables and fruits, and avoid stressing too much about what you eat since stress can shorten your lifespan.”
There are actually some vegetables that really are better to buy organic to avoid pesticides and other harmful chemicals, and some vegetables for which the”organic” label is really more just a money scam. Learn which ones to buy and which to avoid here.
Myth 13: You should “detox” regularly
So, you do a detox. You drink nothing but water, plant based juices, and a cleansing supplement, and a few days later you are cleansed of? What? Exactly?A 2009 investigation of ten companies found they couldn’t name the “toxins” targeted by any of their fifteen products — let alone prove that their products worked.
Potential offending “toxins” can be any plant or animal based substance that is poisonous, and guru’s might cite anything from heavy metals, pollutants, pesticides, preservatives, or even high fructose corn syrup.The fact is these things to enter our bodies, but our liver, kidneys, lungs, and other organs work 24/7 to eliminate them, and a good healthy diet and supplement strategy is constantly working to remove them from the system.Focusing on sustainable good habits of exercise, healthy eating, and high quality supplements to maintain a strong body system that is ALWAYS detoxing itself.
Myth 14: Eat more often to boost your metabolism
Studies have been done on the concept of eating smaller meals more often, say 5-6 meals instead of 3, but they found that over the course of a given day or week, the amount of calories taken in matters most, not the frequency of meals. Total caloric intake seems to trump the total number of meals eaten.
In fact is a mounting body of evidence showing that time-restricted eating (only eating in a strict window of 6-12 hours and “fasting” during the rest of the time) is one of the greatest ways to manage weight, fight disease, and optimize metabolism. Learn all about it here.
Myth 15: You need to eat breakfast
Clinical studies have shown that breakfast is truly an individual thing, and people who don’t do well when eating breakfast simply shouldn’t eat it. As a matter of fact, one study showed that people who preferred not to have breakfast but were forced to gained 4 pounds in one month. So breakfast, it turns out, is only the most important meal of the day for those who truly feel that way and do better when they have breakfast. If you don’t like breakfast, and your body doesn’t crave it, go with that, and you’ll do just fine.
Myth 16: To lose fat, don’t eat before bed
This is only true if the food we eat is EXTRA food that is adding more to our caloric intake than we should have, or if the food is a snack style food that is unhealthy. Eating healthy foods late at night has not been shown to have negative effects on people.
Myth 17: To lose fat, do your cardio on an empty stomach
There simply is no evidence to support this. The research that has been done shows very little difference in terms of fat loss, muscle preservation, or metabolic rate. So it comes down to personal choice if you feel hungry and want to eat before a workout, do it. If not, don’t. I will say that personal experimentation has shown me that if I don’t eat within 3 hours of a hard workout or event, I perform and feel better. But that’s me. Try it out for yourself.
Myth 18: You need protein right after your workout
From the research, it appears that there really isn’t an “anabolic window” in which you should take in protein and that what matters most is that you get enough protein each day. So chances are if you are stressing over ingesting that shake right after your workout, you are stressing unnecessarily. Make the focus instead on getting enough protein per day, which most people don’t end up doing. This topic is covered pretty thoroughly in this article.
So there you have it, 18 myths that you have probably either heard or even believed over the past few years.
I have a very high opinion of the folks over at examine.com and recommend their research. I have found their studies to be indispensable as we have developed our supplements, and put together our own health ideas and philosophies here at Dirobi.
Hopefully having some of these myths busted help take some pressure off and make life a little easier. Because in the end, the stress of trying to be healthy may undo some of the healthy benefits of the nutrition and exercise programs we all have! Life’s hard enough without adding misconception, guilt, or difficulty to the equation!
If you enjoyed this article, you will probably also enjoy learning about the best health and wellness tips of the last 10 years!
Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes!
Note that this information is presented as educational in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure or prevent any disease.