How and what to eat might be one of the most controversial topics out there. Even more so than the piping hot take your grandparents have on immigration and healthcare. Everyone has some sort of idea on how to eat for better looks and better health. The only issue with that is nearly everyone is wrong. Not just kind of wrong either. So wrong that it makes the people who actually research this shit want to hurl themselves off a cliff onto a bed of poison soaked spikes.
Here are the top 4 nutrition lies that people fall for.
1. Low carb diets are what you need for fat loss
I’m a former low carb dieter. I really didn’t know much better at the time, and the basics of what the books I read instilled fear into my fragile little heart. Could carbs really be responsible for dementia, diabetes, cancer, autism and premature ejaculation? Luckily, now I’m not so much of a gullible idiot, though I still have an issue with that last thing. Carbs aren’t to blame for all the world’s problems, it’s our inability to handle the amount of carbs we take in, and where they come from. Add that when you go low carb almost all of the weight lost is water weight, and low carb diets start sounding miserable.
It’s no secret that the Standard American Diet is rich in processed carbs that have very little nutritional value. With their convenience, and out of this world taste, we’ve got a recipe for a carb conundrum. Carbs themselves aren’t the enemy though. A fit individual who lifts and eats their vegetables will generally have a much greater tolerance for carbs than an obese individual who doesn’t take care of themselves.
2. Low fat diets will save your heart
Heart disease runs in my family. It also apparently runs in every other American family. It kills more of us per year than anything else out there. We knew this was a problem way back in the day so we tried to solve it by doling out dietary guidelines to the public. These included low fat guidelines, thanks to a scientist by the name of Ancel Keys.
I’m not sure if Keys actually had an agenda, didn’t interpret research properly or what. His recommendations were pretty damn terrible. They led to fat phobia. Which led to more sugar being added to foods to increase taste, and more health issues. Nowadays the general public is wising up on fat. Butter isn’t the enemy. Animal fats are actually healthy sources of fat. Vegetable oils and other oils made in a lab on the other hand? We get plenty of those already thanks to all the processed food we eat hammered at 3am. So keep eating more olive oil, coconut oil, and butter.
3. Detoxes clean out your pipes and help you lose weight
The idea that you need to detox before you start a weight loss program has been around for a while now. I even used that idea to sell more detox kits at GNC. It worked. Here’s the deal; you don’t need a detox. Your liver and kidneys do plenty of detoxing for you. In fact, they’re pretty damn good at it.
Save your $50 for beer and steaks. Detox kits are basically fiber, antioxidants, and maybe some herbs like dandelion root to help you drop water weight. I can guarantee you’ll feel better during your detox though. Know how I know? You don’t want to screw up the detox so you’ll eat more vegetables, exercise, and drink more water. Next time just try doing that every single day and see how you feel.
4. Gluten free, or grain free, or dairy free, are the key to weight loss
Holy shit has this last one caught fire recently. The paleo diet can likely be thanked for that. We now have people running around pretending to be cavemen, swearing off all grains, gluten, shoes, and razors. There’s plenty of people in this world who have certain sensitivities to foods like gluten, grains, and dairy. There’s no doubt about that. Those people should eliminate these things. It seems like there’s more people who have sensitivities to these foods than we originally thought. That’s not everyone; not by a long shot.
Eliminating these things from your diet won’t bring huge weight loss results if you don’t have a sensitivity to these foods. Even if you do have sensitivity, it might not lead to a huge amount of weight loss. There’s also plenty of health benefits from eating whole grains or dairy, despite what paleo zealots may tell you. Obviously a variety of vegetables is better than anything else. But people can get plenty of B vitamins, fiber, calcium, and vitamin D from these foods. There’s simply no reason to eliminate them if you don’t have to.
People will always be looking for the next diet tip or trick to get them abs. It’s just difficult to put vegetables, lifting, and eating in moderation into practice. It takes time, a smattering of willpower, and a bit of planning. Once you get it down though, it leads to a far more enjoyable life than trying to be a caveman.