There are a lot of ‘facts’ out there… La Jolla Sports Club helps you cut through the nutrition myths.
Of course, your doctor is a smart person. If s / he recommends otherwise from below, it’s probably a good idea to listen.
Myth 1: Eat Egg Yolks, Get Heart Disease
Poor little guys have been on the firing line for far too long. Yes, egg yolks contain dietary cholesterol, BUT Science has shown that dietary cholesterol does not necessarily equate to serum cholesterol (the cholesterol in your blood). In fact, the smart people at Wake Forest University researched more than 30 different studies and found no correlation between egg consumption and heart disease.
Welcome back, egg yolks, we’ve missed your seven grams of complete protein, omega-3s, B vitamins and choline. This does not mean, however, to start slamming omelettes at every meal, but it’s OK to lift the egg yolk ban from your life. Plus, who wants to pay an extra $2 for egg whites?
High cholesterol has, however, been directly linked to our overconsumption of saturated and trans fats. Which leads us to…
Myth 2: Trans Fat-Free Foods Are Trans Fat-Free
(Face in palm) Thanks, FDA… FDA guidelines allow your favorite frozen-cracker-fast-food-cookie-corporation to claim ZERO grams of trans fat, as long as that food in your hands contains less than 0.5 grams per serving. Sounds like a relatively small amount, right? Welp, the World Health Organization recommends no more than 1gram of trans fat per 2,000 calories, which means you could be blowing through that on a daily basis and getting into some serious heart issues. Time to check that nutrition label, again. OH ****!!!
Myth 3: Nutrition Labels Tell The Truth
Oh, FDA… You’re literally killing us. According to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, foods are legally allowed a 20% margin of error for their caloric and nutritional values. So, an easier way to break this down: That 100-calorie snack you just grabbed could legally, actually be 120 calories. While most foods studied were hovering in the 3-6% overage range, it doesn’t inspire a lot of hope when you extrapolate over the course of the day. The takeaway here is to take note of the labels, but focus on eating as healthy as possible (whole foods [foods free from additives, artificial substances and have been refined or processed as little as possible] are your friends) and exercise, exercise, exercise.
Myth 4: Reduced-Fat Foods Are Healthy For You
Avoid ‘reduced-fat’ food. While food companies reduced the fat, to enhance flavor, they then increased the sugar content (and health-related claims), which ain’t going to help lose those pounds. Fats are a necessary part of your diet–do your best to get them from lean meat, healthy oils, nuts and avocados.
Myth 5: Nutrition / Granola Bars Are Nutritious
There’s a great quote from some guy that goes something like this: ‘Granola is the greatest scam the food industry has pulled off.’ Granola is, essentially, a simple grain with sugar and fat lumped on top of it. Those packaged granola bars, with refined grains and added sweeteners, are not a whole lot better than eating cookies for breakfast.
Oh, phew, at least we have nutrition bars. Oh, wait, some of those bars have more sugar than we should eat in an entire day? Oh.
According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugar is Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons) and Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons). This is a good article that breaks down sugar intake.
There are some healthy choices out there, just be sure to do your research and aim for ingredients you can pronounce or spell.
Bonus Myth: Diet Soda Is OK!
Nope. Saving one of the more eye-opening myths for last, Science has shown that ingesting aspartame and sucralose, diet soda’s favorite sweeteners, leads to increased and harder to control food urges later in the day. A group of smart people at Purdue found that rats ate more if they’d been fed artificial sweeteners before meals and yet another group of smart people in the American Journal of Public Health found that–wait for it–obese people who drank diet soda consumed more calories than obese people who drank regular / sweetened soda. One more to help you put down that soda: A University of Texas study found that people who consumed just three diet sodas a week were 40% more likely to be obese.
What surprising nutrition myth have you recently uncovered? Post it below!
Have a great week / end!
//Your La Jolla Sports Club team