Nutrition myths and your health

When considering this blog post, it came to my attention that there are so many myths and beliefs in the health industry it can be hard to know what to follow. So what is healthy? What is having an influence on your health and how? Should we keep doing things and whats caused the change? This might help shed some light!

good fatsFats are bad for you – Heard that eating fat makes you fat? It’s been believed for a long time now. But it isn’t entirely true, eating fat and carbs together can make you fat, eating one or the other in one time, is good. Your body can only process one or the other as its furl source, and it will choose carbs over fats, so excess energy consumer which is normally the fats is stored as just that, fat. So you end up with weight gain or the inability to lose it. Typically studies have shown that diets high in fat but lower in carbs have a greater amount of weight loss than the alternative. Juts keep in mind what sugars are, which includes sugars, grains and some vegetables. Initially you may feel tired on a diet that transitions to predominantly fats, as your body does have to regulate itself towards burning fats as its fuel source over carbs as it has been used to doing for so long, this time period may take7-14 days but after this time you can start to feel good again with plenty of energy.

good carbsCarbs are bad for you – Not all carbohydrates are equal. There are a vast number of carb varieties out there from white grains, pasta, whole meal, quinoa, couscous, breads, flours, refined, bleached, wholemeal, wholegrain, potato and other starchy vegetables. But not all are bad for you, and as mentioned later not all calories are equal. So while calorie wise they may stack up against each other the benefits of white pasta to sweet potato is vast. These differences come down to the difference in levels of refining, bleaching, processing, their GI levels, nutrition density vitamins and minerals. A diet that balances fats and carbs as its fuel source will be healthy and these mean good fats and good carbs. Carbs are used as a fuel for the body and generally either fats or carbs are burnt and used therefore they shouldn’t be consumed together. Sure white breads and refined carbs are okay every now and again, but be mindful of the effects it may have on your body. It can be those that are gluten intolerant or coeliac that may need to be more mindful but that doesn’t mean they need to be avoided all together as that just related to gluten, not carbs.

frozen vegetablesFrozen vegetables are not as nutritious for you – I believe the saying goes fresh is best, frozen second and canned never. The fresher produce is the better, the more nutrients it has and often less sugars in terms of fruits where fructose increases the more they ripen and fructose is believed to be a sugar to avoid. But when fruit begins to get old, nutrition is lost. Frozen vegetables, if collected correctly are generally snap frozen, meaning that they are picked and immediately frozen, locking it he goodness. Therefore if you are going to consume wilting beans compared to snap frozen green beans, the more nutritiously beneficial may in fact be the frozen. If you are someone that buys their vegetables but maybe struggles to go through them all before they start to turn, perhaps consider frozen to prevent wastage and greater benefits.

full cream dairyFull Dairy is bad for you, you should consumer skim or lite varieties – Recently this has become a myth that has been removed. Generally dairy that has been ‘lightened’ in its fat content or skinnied down, means that it lacks flavour, creaminess and other properties that is what we love about our dairy products, so as a result these are replace, but chemicals, preservatives, sugars and other unnatural that we have mentioned are no good. The addition of these can mean that you might be consuming less fat but the calories are still there in a worse off variety. As well as containing numerous vitamins, minerals, probiotics and known to reduce heart disease and improve bone density dairy can be a very beneficial addition. Remember when we mentioned fats are actually good for you? This is what you can consider your dairy to come under, good for you fats, so just be mindful they should be in moderation, as fresh and full cream as possible! Have you ever had double cream in your coffee? Yum!

proteinToo much protein is bad for you – A number of myths surround meat and its influence on the body. It has been believed for years women during menstrual cycles should load up on red meat and iron rich foods, while for other times it is believed to much red meat is detrimental to your kidneys, cholesterol and arteries. Sure iron is important for women, but nothing a supplement can’t add in or a simple serve of meat rather than a while cow. While those with kidney concerns should cut back on red meats as the kidney does need to work to process them, healthy people do not need to worry as they provide many nutrition benefits as well as lowing blood pressure, can aid in weight loss and prevent hunger as protein will generally keep you full for longer. The consumption of protein can help build and repaid the body and its muscles therefore for those that are working on their muscle growth the inclusion of it is your diet is important. One thing to mention is to be wary of protein gas, a by-product from large consumption. In addition to health considerations, lean meats are the best to go for, you will only have arteries issues as a result of consuming copious amounts of fat laden dn rippled meats, so choose lean 5 star cuts.

eggsEggs will increase your cholesterol – The belief that eggs raise your cholesterol has long been around, it is the yolk that has always been to blame and therefore many choose egg white as the bulk of egg consumed. But really there is very little dietary cholesterol within an egg that influences the cholesterol in your body. The cholesterol in your diet does not affect the cholesterol in the blood as much as we once though for the majority of people. For those that may suffer diabetes however consideration may be required on egg consumption. As eggs are such a rich source of vitamins and minerals and the majority of this goodness comes from the yolk itself cutting them out from your diet completely is not seen as a positive health move.

eating at nightYou shouldn’t eat at night, it will make you fat – We have grown up eating our biggest meal at night, dinner, the Sunday roast or a like, and now we are being told that breakfast needs to be the biggest to fuel you for the day a head. What if both are right. What if it doesn’t matter which you eat large, or both? If you are eating often and not starving yourself all day your body will metabolism its dinner. In fact many people will make foods like caseins and proteins before bed to fill themselves up before bed, prevent late night cravings and to help promote growth and repair overnight, which is predominantly when it happens! Take home? If you’re hungry, eat, just be mindful it’s nutritious, as should all your choices.

calories equalAll calories are equal – This comes under the counting calories types of diets, where people just look at the overall calories, their intake and whether they will consume it. It is not the healthiest approach as it generally doesn’t consider where these calories come from such as fats, saturated fats, carbs, sugars and whether you are getting a good combination of vitamins and minerals that would come from diet with good inclusions of fresh vegetables, fruit, meals and whole foods. There are now many items on the market that are consider 0 calories but these are full of preservatives and artificial additions in order to get those flavours. Other foods are what are considered empty calories, where you are consuming a food with no nutritional benefit to your body and diet such as sugars or certain weight loss shakes. So I guess the take home of this one is to consider where your intake is coming from, are you eating a rainbow and getting the nutrients your body needs for strong growth, repaid, hair, teeth, nails, skin etc. or are you just eating foods for the purpose of food with no nutritional consideration.

multiple meals a dayIt’s best to eat multiple times a day – This can be true, but it can also depend on the person, what is eaten and how often. Eating multiple times through the day can be beneficial for some who may get bored and find themselves mindless snacking, may get excessively hungry or train intensively, it does not mean you will burn more calories throughout the day though which is what is widely believed. But if your schedule doesn’t allow it you aren’t doing any real damage by staying to the traditional 3 meals a day. Eating frequently, or not as frequently should still be done in a mindful and healthy way however, eating 6 meals a day of pasta will not be beneficial to you in any way and it won’t be metabolised any differently if you only have it over three meals. Keep in mind that if you choose multiple meals a day they should also be smaller sizes, they are not a whole plate full of food like you may be used to when you have three meals!

wholewheatYour must eat whole wheat as part of a balanced diet – Wheat has been an essential part of our diet for a long time. But over time, wheat has been tampered with and is far less nutritious than it once was, think your morning processed breads, cereals and white grains. Many people are now intolerant to wheat and it can cause bloating, pain, tiredness etc. So while not essential, there are healthier forms of the whole wheat and these still can be incorporated into a healthy and balanced diet, but for many whole wheat is not the foundation of their daily requirements each day and many feel better for it.

coffeeCoffee should be avoided, it’s not healthy – Coffee, or maybe more to the point caffeine has been seen as unhealthy. Sure a vanilla sweetened skinny Grande cappuccino is probably not the smartest coffee drink loaded with sugars and fats but coffee itself is loaded with benefits including being a stimulant making you more alert, providing energy, increasing concentration which can aid in the work you do, improving your workouts etc. as well as being an antidepressant, coffee can also help you burn fat by increasing your metabolic rate by 3-11%. Coffee is also rich in nutrients like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin. All of these are believed to help lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other health concerns. However with this all in mind, coffee as mentioned is a stimulant, and does increase heart rate and in turn certain hormones such as cortisol. Coffee should be avoided after trainings and stress when cortisol is already high as well as sticking to just 2-3cups a day with limited sugar additions.

low fatYou should eat low fat – Believed that low fat means lower in saturated fat and low in calories which means it is good for you, similar to the dairy concept, it also means that these foods actually taste bad when the fat is removed from there therefore other items are added back in to get them tasting delicious again. Additions include sugars, colourings and preservatives. Creating empty calories and typically removing the goodness from the foods you were going to consume, low fat is not the best option, it’s just marketed to be that way.

eat lessLosing weight means eating less – You know what I eat for dinner some nights? So many vegetables I need two plates, about half a cauliflower, zucchini, capsicum, onion and whatever else I think needs using up and I will add it to my dinner. Full of colour and an F#$%@ load of food, generally it can raise eyebrows the amount I am willing to dish up. And you know what I weigh on the scales? About 52kgs. Not too much really. This concept is about unlimited amounts of good food, you don’t need to measure it out. Sure I am mindful of it if I eat carbs, additional fats and what sauces I add to my food but eating less actually slows your metabolism, and to lose weight you want a fast one! You want to be burning calories even when you are sitting still and if you aren’t eating enough this won’t happen. Your body actually goes into a deprived state were it thinks it will not be fed and therefore any foods you eat next, yep your body stores them rather than burns them. With obesity an increasing problem in most areas and practically in youth it’s important that we are educated and know how to make the right choices.

Microwaves zap food nutrients – Commonly thought that they rid the goodness from food, this concept works for anything. If you over cook food through baking, blanching, heating, steaming or anything else, you rid some of the nutrients from the heating process. So it’s safe to use the microwave, just be mindful of the cook time!

soySoy is the enemy – Believed to be both a super food and an estrogen, cancer causing food the reports and soy are wide spread. Basically the main concern with soy is that it contains higher than most foods, phytoestrogens which is an estrogen-like compound found in plants. But like anything when consumed in moderation or the average person there is no risk in soy products. Soy can be beneficial, it is consumed similar to animal proteins and has a very high protein content which is beneficial. Soy can be both fermented and unfermented. Fermented are the varieties of miso, pastes, picked tofu and sauce products while unfermented include tofu, tofu cheese, tempeh, soy meats. Unfermented are the type to be avoided, not because they are soy but because they are processed. So when it comes to soy, in moderation it is fine, if you want that sushi roll with some soy sauce go for it. But consider organic and fermented varieties.

dark_chocolateChocolate is bad for you – Which type of chocolate though? Varieties of sweetened, raw, cacao, milk, cocoa, 80%cocoa, cooking, white, dark, organic etc. Some are not as good as others, some are actually beneficial to you. Dark, organic and the higher he % in cocoa/cacao the better, this will mean If your taste buds suit a bitter chocolate you’re in luck, or perhaps eaten with some berries might ease its sharpness. Anyway, this type of quality chocolate is high in flavones, antioxidants and can actually have benefits on cardiovascular health as it also has blood thinning effects, all of these are similar to what we would also discuss about red wine. Eating it has also been known to help reduce stress hormones as prevent cravings of the sweet stuff. Still remain mindful of the amount consumed though. It’s still chocolate.

organicOrganic is best – This one certainly depends on who you talk to and what product. Organic is the benefit of not having chemical, pesticides and other unnatural substance used to grow, manufacture and preserve your goods. Where those chemicals are at risk of penetrating your product is where you need to be careful. For example the feed a cow eats will directly fuel the meat you consume so organic here is best, but for vegetables like potatoes that are housed under the earth as we as eaten with the skin removed which would be a barrier between chemicals and the product, non-organic is fine here and would save you some $$. It is always important to wash your product though to ensure anything is removed before you consume!

saltAdding salt is bad for you – Salt is tasty, that’s why we add it. It helps to enhance the flavour of the food we eat and during cooking can help to prevent nutrients from leaching out of the foods. But we do need to be mindful of the amount we use. Typically anything canned and jarred and not fresh will have salt in it, this even includes packages minced meats. So with this in mind there shouldn’t actually be the need to add salt to sauce dishes, we should also read the labeling of products and be mindful of the amount of salt that is in them. But if everything you eat is fresh, organic and unpackaged adding salt to your meals is important as it is still a nutrients that we need.



Food beliefs are changing, as is our understanding of the human body. What works for one wont for another based on hereditary, allergens, preference, mental ability, hormones, training, goals, beliefs and a number of other factors. It’s important to do your research and read both sides a story. There will always be supporting evidence for most concepts but as science and nutrition evolves as does our understanding.


About nfrain

A passion for a healthy life, body and mind. A discussion of my experiences and thoughts with some tips and tricks along the way.
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