Common Diet Myths

After an amazing spring break and a hiatus from blogging, I am back and with my favorite post so far and we are gettin’ serious. This blog post is dedicated to diet myths everyone has heard over and over again. Some people don’t even realize these are myths because they have read them in magazines, seen them on talk shows and heard them from their friends. Today I hope to shatter some windows and shed some light on these myths!

Fat will make you fat

  • Fat does not make the body have a spike of insulin like it does after eating carbohydrates therefore there is no crash after eating fat which keeps you feeling satisfied and energized longer
  • Fat stimulates a full response so your stomach can easily tell your brain when it is done eating. This keeps you from stuffing yourself silly with insulin spiking carbohydrates.
  • The fat that comes from happy animals raised in natural living conditions is full of vitamin A, D, and K. These are the vitamins the majority of the population are deficient in. They are fat-soluble so even if your multi-vitamin says it contains them that doesn’t mean your body is absorbing them like it would from a natural source
  • Eating fat will not increase your chances of cardiovascular diseases
  • This myth makes sense logically. Fat has 9 calories per gram compared to protein and carbohydrates that only have 4 calories. But what is wrong with having half the portion size and getting a greater benefit from it?

Eating eggs will give you high cholesterol

  • In 1984 an article in Time Magazine came out speculating that eating high cholesterol foods would increase your cholesterol (sounds a lot like fat makes you fat, right?) this one article that was not supported by concrete evidence started the myth that eggs will give you high cholesterol.
  • There are two types of cholesterol, one that our bodies make and one that we consume. Recent studies have shown that these two have very little correlation.
  • Studies have shown that eggs increase the “good” cholesterol in your blood
  • Gary Taubes wrote an amazing article about this topic for the New York Times which can be found here
  • A lot is still unknown about cholesterol and diet

Saturated fat is bad for you

  • This myth started in 1958 when Ancel Keys presented a study called the Seven Countries Study which compared fat intake vs cardiovascular disease. He found a positive correlation and his study made it on the cover of Time Magazine. Later it was discovered that he intentionally left out 20 other countries data which would have ruined his discovery. Holland and Norway eat large amounts of saturated fat yet have very little heart disease but of course he couldn’t tell anyone that!
  • According to this study and this study there was no link between cardiovascular disease and intake of saturated fats
  • New studies have shown saturated fat actually increase “good” cholesterol!
  • New research is starting to emerge which is showing that the real danger is processed fats like canola oil and vegetable oil (when the study comes out I will post their results)

Whole grains are healthy for everyone

  • Whole grains are actually fairly low in nutrients compared to vegetables and vegetables tend to have less calories and carbohydrates
    • 100g of bread has 289 kcal,  56.44g of carbohydrate2.4g of fibers513mg of sodium128mg of potassium, 0 UI Vitamin A and 0.6ug Vitamin K.
    • 100g of broccoli has 34 kcal6.62g of carbohydrates2.6g of fiber33g of sodium, 316mg of potassium, 623 UI Vitamin A and 101.6 ug Vitamin K.
  • Whole grains contain phytic acid which has been shown to decrease mineral absorption in your intestines. In other words, the whole grains you eat steal nutrients from you
  • Whole grains contain gluten which have been linked to a laundry list of diseases like, schizophreniaautismgut permeability leading to bloating, constipation, pain and tirednessdepressiondiabetes and dementia

Diet soda is good for you because it has zero calories

  • Diet soda is sweetened with aspartame which is known to cause depression, headaches, decreased memory, and increased chance of cancer 
  • Diet soda may have zero calories but your body reacts to diet soda the same way it reacts to any other sugary drink by increasing its insulin secretion to help metabolize the sugar. Since diet soda doesn’t contain any sugar this spike in insulin with nothing for it to actually work with can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity which can cause obesity and diabetes.

Low fat products will keep me from gaining weight

  • Fat has more calories in it which means you have to eat less of it but fat also tastes amazing. When fat is removed from a product it is replaced with sugar, flavorings and chemicals to keep the product appitizing which is worse for your body than eating fat
  • This study shows no difference in weight change between women who ate full fat products and women who ate low fat products
  • Eating full fat products can actually keep you from developing any cardiovascular diseases as seen in this study
  • Full fat dairy has vitamin A and D. Non-fat dairy has been processed and the vitamin containing fat has been removed so milk producers replace it with synthetic vitamin A and D. Both of these are fat soluble and if they are added into a low-fat or non-fat product your body cannot utilize them like it can when coming from a natural source.

Hope this sheds some light on common diet myths everyone has heard. Now go fry up some eggs, bacon and broccoli and drink a tall glass of water 🙂