top of page
  • Ian Weant

Nutrition Myths

Protein is bad for you-

1/3 of the macro nutrients along with carbs and fat. There are some old, outdated worries that protein harms kidneys or causes bone. Current evidence doesn’t support those claims but suggests that protein actually has a neutral or even protective effect on bones. Studies on high protein diets have even shown there is no harm to the kidneys or bones.

Carbs are bad for you-

Many people believe that the glycemic index ranks a carbohydrate source by how unhealthy that carbohydrate is. Current research shows that low-glycemic diets, when compared to higher-glycemic diets, have either no effect or only a small beneficial effect on metabolic syndrome factors, even in diabetics. Eating less carbohydrate (especially processed carbs) can be helpful if it helps you eat healthier. A low-glycemic diet doesn’t always lead to better glycemic control than do other diet patterns. Different diets like keto, low-carb, and higher-carb lead to similar weight loss.

If cutting carbs makes you eat worse/feel worse, or if you can’t stick with the diet, you should consider other options. If you wish to lose weight, what matters is not to replace fat by carbs or carbs by fat, but to end most days on a caloric deficit.

Fats are bad for you-

When comparing weight loss with two different types of diets low-fat and low carb, the results are similar. Keeping the same caloric deficit and protein intake the same between the two diets is the reason they both works. While low-fat diets aren’t automatically a bad idea. Getting rid of all fat from your diet can be dangerous because your body needs to consume at least some omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Fats also help regulate hormones, keeping them at healthy levels.

Egg yolks, red meat, salt, and bread are all bad for you-

- Eggs are a great source of protein, fats, and other nutrients (awesome choline source). Eggs have been controversial for what seems like the last 20 years. Yolks were touted as being bad because they contain fat and also make cholesterol high. Yes, the yolks contain fat, but it is a relatively good source of fat compared to a lot of other foods. Also, whole eggs can lower LDL and raise HDL helping overall cholesterol. Unless you are a ‘hyper responder’ to dietary cholesterol eggs should be fine.

- Red meat just like eggs have been torn to shreds in the media about causing cancer. Making healthy lifestyle choices (such as eating a balanced diet rich in whole foods, staying at a healthy weight, exercising, and not smoking) is more important overall than micromanaging your intake of red meat. Still, if you plan to eat less red meat, start with cutting out the kind that has been cured, smoked, or highly processed. Absolute statements are why we have so many nutrition myths. Cancer is particularly difficult to discuss in absolutes. After all, almost everything we eat has the potential to be involved in cancer development, yet red meat has been listed as a likely culprit.

Processed red meats, particularly those that are more charred during cooking (PAHs) can pose a greater cancer risk (damaging genome) for people with poor diets and lifestyles.

- Excess salt intake has been linked with hypertension (high blood pressure), kidney damage, and an increased risk of cognitive decline. It is important to remember salt is an essential mineral! Its consumption is critical to your health. Processed foods can contain a lot more salt than less processed foods (like fresh veggies) where you could add salt. An unhealthy highly processed diet can contain way too much salt without physically adding it to food, and unfortunately a lot of people eat a highly processed diet. That being said salt reduction is important for people with salt-sensitive hypertension, and excessive salt intake is not good.

- Bread will not inherently make you fat, but it tends to be dense in calories and is easy to overeat calorie wise. Most people eat bread with other high-calorie foods, such as butter, peanut butter, or olive oil. This can lead to a caloric surplus and that surplus can lead to weight gain over time, not the bread itself.

Detox diets, juices, supplements, etc.…

So, toxins…. Great buzzword. Sounds terrible. People mostly will refer to chronic toxicity when talking about a detox diet. Your liver, kidneys, lungs, and other organs work around the clock to remove harmful substances and excrete the waste products of metabolism. By reducing your intake of the nutrients that those organs need to perform these functions, a detox diet can hinder your body’s natural detoxification process! If you want to promote this detoxifying, your best bet is to load up with various foods that can help your organs to work optimally, such as cruciferous and other fibrous veggies. If detox diets are more likely to harm than help, what explains their current popularity? One answer is quick weight loss. Deprive your body of carbs and you can exhaust its glycogen stores in as little as 24 hours. The result is losing pounds that will convince you that the detox diet had a positive effect. When the diet ends however, and you resume your regular eating habits, the glycogen and water being held come rushing back in, and with them the pounds you had just lost. People on a detox diet might eat fewer calories yet more fruits and vegetables (micronutrients/vitamins). A detox diet might make you feel better, but that’s usually because of the increased whole-food intake, not because any form of detoxification is taking place.

Don’t eat before bed for fat loss-

Studies are mixed fat loss wise between early eaters and late eaters. A reason eating late at night is seen as a bad idea is because the food choice isn’t always the best. Instead of just going to bed, a snack is consumed, then the calories from that snack are calories that otherwise wouldn’t have been eaten. What is that snack was eaten first thing in the morning instead of just before bed? Those calorie numbers stay the same, if that snack puts you in a caloric surplus, it doesn’t matter if it is 6AM or 10PM.

_________ diet is best-

Plain and simple there is no best. The best diet is the one that works for you and one you can stick to. The one that will work for you is any diet that puts you in a caloric deficit for weight loss or a caloric surplus for weight gain. Low carb vs low fat, the big debate. If a diet is low in carbs, the fat and protein have to be moderate to high. Evidence to date indicates you should choose your diet based on personal preferences, health goals, and sustainability. The DIETFITS study replicates the results of numerous other RCTs, showing that, when caloric intake and protein intake are both matched between diet interventions, the proportion of carbs or fat matters little for weight loss.

70 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page