You are what you eat!
We’ve heard that saying a thousand times, but have you ever stopped to think about what it means? You can’t eat garbage and expect to be healthy. You can’t overdo it on calories and expect to lose weight. But you can’t starve yourself and expect to have lots of energy, great muscle tone, and a fast metabolism.
The sad truth is that a lot of the things we think we know about dieting are just myths we’ve heard about on the internet, from friends, or even from the media. People will often buy into the latest craze or believe something they read online without ever understand the truth behind it. That is what has led to so many people with limited understanding of what it means to be healthy and eat right.
Below, we’re going to bust 5 of the most common nutrition myths. These myths can be harmful to your health and weight loss, or they’ll just make it harder for you to burn fat. Knowing the truth behind the myth will help you make the healthy choice every time!
Truth: Your body NEEDS fat! According to the American Heart Association, fats are needed for energy production (metabolism), cellular growth (including muscles), the production of hormones (like muscle-building testosterone), the protection of your organs, warmth, and even the absorption of nutrients like calcium (for your bones). Cutting fat out of your diet—or even eating too little—can lead to health problems.
Fat is seen as “anti-weight loss” because of its high calorie content (more than twice the calories in carbs and proteins), as well as due to the fact that it shares a name with the stuff around your gut, thighs, and butt. But dietary fat isn’t the same as body fat! Dietary fat doesn’t even always get turned into body fat—it’s usually turned into energy while the quickly absorbed carbs are set aside for storage.
Fat can promote weight loss, especially unsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, avocadoes, olive oil, and coconut oil. These “good” fats can suppress your hunger, increase your energy burning, and activate stored fats. The result: better fat-burning!
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Truth: Juice is NOT weight loss-friendly!
Fruits juices contain a lot of vitamins, and minerals, but they’re also rich in sugar and have no fiber. A single glass of orange juice has 20 grams of sugar. If you were eating that with the fiber from the orange, it would be a slower release of energy. Sans fiber, your pulp-free juice is going to give you a hefty dose of sugar with NOTHING to slow it down.
Rapid sugar absorption leads to blood sugar spikes, which triggers the production of insulin. Over time, your body develops a resistance to insulin—also known as diabetes.
Fruit and even veggie juices contain lots of nutrients, but they’re low in fiber. This means you’re putting concentrated sugar into your body, which is DEFINITELY not a good idea for weight loss.
Truth: Breakfast can be the most important meal of the day for many reasons:
Do don't worry about skipping breakfast (unless you are on any type of intermittent fasting regime) and have a hearty, well-balanced meal to start the day!
Truth: Simple carbs are, complex carbs aren’t.
Simple carbs are any carbs that contain no nutritional value: no fiber, very little vitamins and minerals, low antioxidant content, and so on. Sugar is the simplest carb, but white bread, white rice, pasta noodles, flour tortillas, baked goods, and desserts are all on the list of no-no’s!
Complex carbs contain a lot of fiber and micronutrients. They’re vital for the production of energy, but they also play a role in keeping your metabolism firing all day long. Fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains are all healthy sources of carbs that you MUST include in your daily diet.
Truth: Organic has nothing to do with nutritional value.
When a product is labeled “organic”, it means it’s grown without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, or additives. Organic meat is free of growth hormones and either allowed to graze free or fed organic food.
This does contribute to a slightly better nutritional profile, but does not mean that any and every organic food you are eating will actually contribute to your daily intake of required vitamins. Eating organic will reduce your exposure to chemicals, not necessarily give you more nutrients. In fact, fruits and veggies (even organic) have 30-40% less nutrients than they had 50 years ago due to mass production and soil overuse. Just eating organic isn’t going to make up for the lower nutritional content—you’ll have to make sure to get your healthy minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants some other way!
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