Stop Believing These 3 Nutrition Myths
Everyone seems to be a nutrition expert these days -- from celebrities to bloggers to Instagram foodies. There are so many claims circulating about nutrition that it is important to remember nutrition is actually an evidence-based field. Here are some facts and the science behind a few common nutrition myths.
Myth #1: Carbs make you fat. Many tend to forget that carbohydrates are your body’s main and preferred energy source. It is true that not all carbohydrates are equal. Simple carbohydrates found in most baked goods, sugar sweetened beverages and refined products, including white rice and white bread, add very little to the diet besides extra calories. Complex carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are full of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals that fuel your brain as well as the everyday processes of your body that are vital to your health.
Myth #2: Low fat diets are healthiest. It is a common misconception that eating fat makes you fat. Fat does provide more calories than carbohydrates or protein; however, several studies have found that unsaturated fats found in sources such as fish, nuts and plant oils improve health outcomes, while saturated and trans fats are linked to adverse health outcomes. So, where your dietary fat is coming from is what matters. A certain amount of fat is also needed for the body to function as it has important structural functions. Fat intake is also crucial for absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Myth #3: Protein only comes from meat. Plants have protein too! Research has shown that plant-based protein from a wide variety of sources adequately supplies all the essential amino acids your body requires. Beans, legumes, nuts, whole grains, greens and soy all provide protein and are a good source of other nutrients that help prevent chronic diseases without the health risks of meat and other animal products. It’s not necessary to give up meat, but try replacing some of the meat you consume with plant-based protein.
Click here for a comprehensive list of plant protein sources.
Bottom Line: Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are all essential macronutrients that contribute to a balanced diet and should not be avoided as long as you are consuming them from appropriate sources. When derived from whole food sources, they provide a synergistic blend of nutrients your body needs for optimal health.
Click here for a simple and wholesome recipe full of these nutrients.
Written by: Jillian Allen, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern