Unfortunately, we live in a world where we are surrounded by nutrition misinformation which can easily spread like wildfire. Whether it’s a post on Instagram about the benefits of a detox diet, or established media portraying the latest fad diet, the key problem is that often these claims are not backed by science. At times they can also be endorsed by celebrities or role models.
Misinformation can create confusion and consequently, people often follow the advice that promises fast and/or amazing results. In most cases, this can create false hope and expectation leading to negative psychological outcomes (I.e. sadness and frustration).
Here are the top 3 nutrition myths you need to let go of today:
1. Carbohydrates are bad for you
A popular belief that never tends to go away is the notion that carbohydrates are the villain. The most common reason people ‘fear’ carbohydrates are due to the carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity. This theory proposes that consuming too many carbs results in excess insulin secretion (a hormone that takes sugar from the blood into cells for storage). The carbs that aren’t immediately used are stored for later use. Simply put, eating too many carbs (and not burning them) causes the excess stored sugar to be converted into fat, resulting in weight gain.
Recent evidence revokes this claim. For example, a 2017 meta-analysis of 32 studies observed that going on a low carbohydrate diet did not result in significant weight loss when compared to a low fat/high carb diet.
Why is this? This is due to the concept of ‘energy balance’. Ensuring you are in a negative energy balance (eating less and/or burning more energy) is a crucial concept rather than blaming one macronutrient for your failures.
The most important factor is long-term dietary adherence. Many factors can contribute to your eating habits and behaviours, so working with an Accredited Practising Dietitian can be beneficial to establish realistic changes that work with your preferences and lifestyle.
2. Fresh produce is more nutritious than frozen
This may have caught some of you with surprise. While many think fresh fruit and vegetables are healthier and more nutritious than frozen, this is not the case.
Both fresh and frozen produce has a similar nutrient composition. Therefore, whether you should be fresh or frozen, make sure you are aiming for at least 5 serves of veggies and 2 serves of fruit every day! Our Dietary guidelines based upon your age and gender can be found here.
3. To lose fat, you shouldn’t eat after 6 pm
You may believe that consuming food at night can hinder fat loss. The evidence does suggest that those who consume their calories earlier in the day have a slight advantage when compared to late-eaters. However, this difference is negligible.
A potential reason for this theory is that eating at night can result in you choosing more processed and calorie-dense foods, or even reaching for a glass or two of wine. This end result? Overconsumption of calories which can hinder fat loss.
A potential solution could be starting the day off with a healthy and balanced breakfast followed by regular meals throughout the day. This may prevent overindulgence of unhealthy treats late at night. On the other hand, skipping meals throughout the day can gradually build up hunger levels leading to poor and unhealthy food choices being made.
As Accredited Dietitians at BodyFusion, we are taught to provide evidence-based information to support successful outcomes of all our clients – if you would like support on your nutrition and health journey, book in here with one of our Dietitians today.