Let’s debunk some of today’s misconceptions about nutrition…3, 2, 1 Go!
1) A Calorie is a Calorie – Not quite
Stop focusing on calories and start looking at food quality! Both quality and type make a huge impact. Vegetable matter elicits a different hormonal response than high-fructose corn syrup when ingested.
2) Always Fresh, never frozen – Not Always
Do not shy away from frozen vegetables. Some frozen vegetables have been shown to have more nutrients than their fresh counter parts.
3) More protein is always better – Not in Excess
Most likely coming from old body building lore, but there is such thing as too much protein. Most sources put the upper daily limit on protein at 2g per kg body weight. (200g a day for a 220lbs male). Your typical American consumes twice as much protein as needed. Side effects from over consumption of protein include increased renal (kidney) stress.
4) Fat is the devil – Not true
Fat from quality sources (olive oil, cold-water fish) is good for you, we know that. But other sources of fat are not necessarily bad for you (with the exception of trans-fat), they are just easy to consume in large quantities. Lots of fat = lots of calories, and regardless of source, eating more calories than you burn, even if they are from a good source, has the potential to cause weight gain.
5) Don’t eat Carbs before bed – Depends your goal
While eating carbohydrates before bed is not recommended if you are trying to lose weight and have already consumed adequate calories for the day, nightly consumption of carbohydrates is essential if you had a late training session, and especially if you are going to be working out early in the morning as well. It is best to consume evening carbohydrates with a mix of protein (whey + casein) as well as healthy fat.
6) Eating cholesterol will increase your cholesterol – False
There has been a significant lack of investigative research that directly correlates cholesterol consumption with increases in serum cholesterol levels. Most of the association stems from the fact that individuals who traditionally eat copious amounts of red meat have other unhealthy behaviors that lead to increased cholesterol.
7) Supplements are better than real food – Not True
I have posted about this before here and I feel it is worth reiterating – multiple studies have found that multi-vitamin supplements yield no improvements in health, while “supplementing” with real food, on the other hand, promotes greater health benefits. When it comes to a complete diet, real food trumps fake food in almost all situations. Fruits and vegetables have all the vitamins you need. There are a few instances of supplements being superior than real food, specifically post workout, where grass fed whey protein has proven to shine, especially when combined with quick digesting carbohydrates like sweet potato or dextrose powder.