Over the weekend, my husband and I spent the night at his best friend’s family’s lake house to give his family a crash course in nutrition. It was a great reminder to me that there’s still so much misinformation floating around out there that can have serious complications to people’s health over time.
Since I’m immersed in the fitness industry and studying nutrition, what I may consider common knowledge or a myth that has been busted and written about till I’m sick of reading about it (cholesterol in eggs…busted myth) still hasn’t penetrated the rest of society. This post is dedicated to busting a few myths that just won’t die.
Fat is bad and should be avoided. Thank you, 1980. NO! We need fat, specifically good fats such as the ones found in eggs, avocados, olive oil, salmon, beef, nuts and coconuts.
(though I would argue that beef and dairy from grass-fed sources as well as wild salmon are VASTLY superior to their grain-fed and farm raised counterparts. You are what your food eats…whole ‘nother post there.) Fats to avoid would be partially-hydrogenated oil (aka trans fat….aieeeeeeeeeeee!!! That’s your heart’s reaction every time it enters your system.) which is found in most fried foods, many bakery items, non-natural peanut butter and margarine (thank you 1980 again)
I would also recommend reducing your intake of plant oils such as canola, safflower and soybean as these are usually highly refined and have been linked to high levels inflammation in the body and weight gain. Fats found in fish oil and flax seed (omega 3) are anti-inflammatory. Eat those instead.
Eating before bed is a no-no. (face palm) If you’re hungry, eat! Though be aware of what you’re eating. Typically at the end of a long day we want something sugary and fatty (helllooo Mr. Ben and Jerry!)
but this is where a little self control needs to come in. Stick to something small-ish, has protein (veggies too if you can) and a low amount of carbs (you’re not planning on running in your sleep are you?). I like yogurt with some frozen berries mixed in.
Eating 6 meals a day is the only way to lose weight or stay healthy. I was surprised at this one, but somehow “6 meals a day” is the poster child for health now. I would say, eat when you’re hungry. Some days I eat 6 times, some days I eat 3. I do try not to get to the point of oh-my-goodness-I-could-inhale-a-house because that’s when poor food choices are made.
A little snack or two during the day between meals is usually what help stave off that huger and helps keep energy levels up through the day. Something as easy as an apple with some almonds can do the trick. But don’t confine your eating to exactly 6 meals, eat as you’re hungry.
This weekend, after all the questions had been asked, it came down to this:
Eat whole food.
Eat more vegetables.
Eat minimally processed foods.
Eat more vegetables.
Eat when you’re hungry.
Oh yeah, and eat more vegetables.
There, couple of myths busted. Your responsibility now is to kill these myths. Every time you hear one, shut it down faster than Legolas taking down the oliphant.