Supplements are important to if you want to be healthy. If you eat in the evening, you’ll gain weight. And carbohydrates are the enemy. The Internet is full of information on various diet trends that – after close inspection – turn out to be completely incorrect. We’ve take a closer look at six of the most common nutrition myths to get to the truth.
6 Nutrition Myths
Myth #1: Carbohydrates make you fat
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients. They give you energy, which is why they’re so important for athletes. Carbs also provide you with fiber in your diet, which is important for your digestion and keeps your gut healthy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that your carbohydrate intake makes up 45 to 65% of your daily calories (preferrably this comes from foods high in fiber).(1)
For a long time people believed that eating carbohydrates makes you put on weight. The theory was that a low-carb diet was the best way to lose unwanted pounds or maintain your desired weight. This is not true. Carbohydrates have the same calories as protein: 4 calories per gram. Fat, on the other hand, has more than twice the calories (9 cal per gram). Choose carbs that are high in fiber. It’s good for your digestion, keep you full longer, and stabilizes your blood sugar. These include:
- Whole grains and whole grain products
Are you trying to lose weight? If so, you need to focus on burning more calories than you consume. It’s all about adjusting your portion size.
Myth #2: Everyone should take supplements
Another widespread myth is that we need nutritional supplements to stay healthy. From multivitamins to amino acids to powdered superfoods, there are endless supplements available in pharmacies, drugstores, and online. You have to be very careful if you decide to use supplements, because many of them have not be sufficiently tested and contain impurities. Do you really need nutritional supplements? No. If you eat a balanced diet, including daily vegetables and fruit, then your body is getting everything it needs. There are always exceptions to every rule; it’s possible that natural foods can’t provide sufficient nutrients if your fitness training is very intense. Supplements can make sense for athletes. They should also be taken during pregnancy or to treat certain deficiencies. However, before you randomly start adding supplements to your diet, consult your doctor.
Myth #3: Detoxing cleanses your body
First off, your body does not accumulate toxic substances that that need to be eliminated through a cleanse. Detoxing or cleansing is another diet trend that is not based on any scientific evidence. If your body is healthy, your liver and kidneys eliminate any substances for you. You don’t need to do any expensive juice fasts to clean your system.
Myth #4: You can’t get the essential amino acids from a vegan diet
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Twenty of them are present in the body, including essential, semi-essential, and non-essential. Essential amino acids (e.g. valine, leucine, and isoleucine) have to be absorbed from food, because the human body can’t produce them.
You can acquire all essential amino acids from vegetarian sources, but the concentration varies.(2) That’s why it’s a good idea to combine high protein vegan foods and include many different plant-based protein sources in your diet, such as:
- Soy and soy products
Myth #5: Coffee is causes fluid loss
Coffee can dehydrate your body. Why else should you drink a glass of water with every cup? That’s not entirely true. Do you feel like you need to go to the toilet after drinking a cup of Joe? That is because coffee stimulates your kidneys. So this delicious beverage doesn’t dehydrate you, but it does have diuretic properties. You don’t need to worry about two or three cups a day. In fact, a cup of coffee before exercise may even improve your performance.
Myth #6: You’ll gain weight if you eat in the evening
“All I need to to do is look at a bag of chips in the evening and I start gaining weight.” You’ve surely heard statements like before and maybe even said them yourself. In reality, your body doesn’t care when you eat. It doesn’t know that it’s noon, 6 p.m., or 9 p.m. If you’re gaining weight, it’s because you consume more calories throughout the day than you burn. It depends on what you eat, not when you eat it. If you are really hungry while you’re watching TV in the evening, then listen to your body and eat something.
But if you eat an evening snack too close to bedtime, it can have a negative effect on your sleep – especially if you eat something greasy or drink alcohol.
Don’t believe the nutrition myths you read online or in magazines. Instead of banning certain foods or taking supplements, eat a wide variety of colorful fresh foods. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, intuitive eating and regular exercise are the way to go.