Nutrition Myths Debunked

by Chrissy on September 14, 2014

ht-city-apr-11-2011-busting-nutrition-myths#1 Saturated fat is bad.  For years, we have looked at fat as a bad word. We have heard that consumption of saturated fats cause heart disease and a slew of other problems. This concept came from a study done in 1948 called the Framingham Heart study. Their weak link between saturated fats and high cholesterol and heart disease has been debunked in recent years, but the public is not so open to jumping on the bandwagon so quickly. Saturated fat intake has many positive effects including liver health, immunity, and hormone balance. Still avoid trans fats completely and limit processed meats. This is not to say start drenching your food in butter. Don’t forget, small amounts of fats still pack a punch in the calorie department. The best sources of saturated fats are coconut, grass fed meats and butter; if you are going to eat it, eat the real thing. Always limit your portions and remember, moderation is the key to a healthy balanced lifestyle.

#2 Excess protein builds muscle.  Our bodies are amazing and can accomplish incredible things. One thing they are incapable of doing is using nutrients as they are intended, in excess. Our bodies only need so much of every nutrient, vitamin, and mineral. More is not always better! We either turn the excess macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) into fat because that is the only way our body can store it, or excrete it in our urine. In order to build muscle, you must strength train regularly and intake adequate calories with adequate amounts of protein (0.8-1.7 grams/kg of body weight for normal individuals to strength training athletes). The most amount of protein our bodies can absorb is no more than 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight (2.2 grams/kg). Anytime you are consuming something in excess it is much more likely to do more harm to your body than good.

#3 “Natural” foods are the healthiest.  Always try to remember that the word “natural” is NOT a synonym for “healthy” or “safe.” The FDA has not yet developed a definition for the word “natural,” which leaves it to interpretation by whom ever is selling or purchasing the product. Here are some examples of unhealthy “natural” foods: Certain brands of granola bars may contain processed ingredients like maltodextrin and high maltose corn syrup – nothing natural about this! Yogurt is my biggest “natural” pet peeve. There are many “natural” yogurts that are loaded with artificial flavors, processed sweeteners, and artificial colors. When going for the fat free option rather than the full or low fat, check the amount of sugar as the majority of the time they substitute the fat for a ton of extra sugar. Honey you find in grocery stores is most likely not natural. They have been through processing and have lost much of their natural pollen. Purchase your honey from local bee keepers or farmers markets when possible!

-Macy Focken

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