The Top 5 Nutritional Myths: Fact or Fiction?

The internet is a wonderful thing however the information from some sources can be far from accurate, unfortunately pieces of information relating to nutrition get manipulated, misinterpreted and misunderstood and this article will endeavor to dispel some of these myths and hopefully guide you to include some of these foods in your diet. So here they are CSN’s top 5 nutritional myths.

1. Supplementing with protein will make you ‘massive’.

This one applies to both men and women but are being attacked from different perspectives. The cause of this myth probably stems from the mass marketing that sports supplements companies have produced to show that whey protein supplements will build muscle… fast. Protein is undoubtedly important for muscle growth; it provides the building blocks to do so, however it is the type of training and the overall consumption of other macro and micro nutrients that determine (alongside genetic factors) how much muscle you can build. This fact seems to be commonly neglected or ignored by many who train, especially when starting out. We have heard from men in particular that ‘I can’t grow muscle, but I have two shakes a day’, two protein shakes a day would only provide you with around 40-50g of protein, this is nowhere near the recommended amounts required for optimal muscle growth, not to mention the complete neglect of the other macro-nutrients required to consume enough calories and provide vitamins and minerals for the physiological processes that build muscle. Of course we are not saying protein supplementation is pointless, what we are saying is that it provides extra protein at the right times to maximize muscle gain, when used in conjunction with an appropriate diet and training regime. whey protein   Now for the women (you don’t get away that easy), this same myth applies to you and we believe women in general under consume protein due to this fear of getting massive. The truth is this again depends on your training and other nutrition that will determine muscle growth. Added protein will for most women be of great benefit for health and recovery and that will be it. Women also have a distinct lack of a wonderful muscle building hormone called testosterone, so even if you did want to put on muscle tissue, the chances are you will not develop to the extent a man of the same size, under the same training and nutritional conditions would… unless you are one of those rare genetic freaks of course! So in short eat protein and good amounts of it, but be aware it is the other stuff that we eat and how we train that influences what this protein is used for.

2.’ Carbs are the enemy’

If you’re interested in learning more about carbs then please check out our other article on this very blog ‘good carb vs. bad carb’. The crux of this blog is that carbs are not the enemy, carbs have many vital roles in the body for energy and many are good sources of fibre, keeping your digestion and cardiovascular systems running efficiently. Even certain types of sugars are not bad, they can serve a purpose for a quick burst of energy around training and to replenish glycogen stores and spike insulin at the appropriate times that can boost recovery. The important message here is that the right types of carbs at the right times serve a purpose, either low GI to stabilize blood sugar through the day to curb cravings and maintain energy and high GI, around training to boost performance and recovery. It is the over consumption of carbs of the wrong type at the wrong time that make these the enemy. Low carb diets can be an effective way to lose weight, however this is not the only way, carbs can be included as part of a calorie controlled diet to help ‘fuel the furnace’ and aid in weight loss.

3. Fats make you fat.

This follows nicely from the previous myth, as many dieters out there tend to sit in either the low carb high fat, or the low fat higher carb diet camp. The truth is both strategies can be effective as long as the calorie input is lower than expenditure. Other factors seem to be at play including the genetic predisposition to use these fuels in each individual, we know people who can train and perform on very low carb higher fat diets perfectly well. However others find this traumatic and can’t concentrate and become physically useless, and require a majority of their calories from carbohydrate sources. Even in diets with a majority of energy coming from carbs some sources of fats should be included, these are massively important for hormone production, provide many important vitamins and minerals important for immune function and many other physiological processes that assist in weight loss. The sources of fats are important, but even saturated fats (which have been unnecessarily demonized in recent times) are required in small amounts, if you would like to learn more about the different types of fats in the body and the roles they play then please check out our other blog article ‘Fats; The low down’.

4. Creatine is bad for you.

It’s not. It’s just not. It is one of, if not the, most well researched sport supplement and no scientific study has ever shown that this naturally occurring substance is dangerous in doses recommended for supplementation; even in excessive amounts the body is more than capable of removing it safely once muscle saturation has taken place unless you have some underlying medical condition. So if you’re not using it you should be as its benefits for strength and muscle growth are awesome. End of. No more discussion.

5. Egg yolks are bad for heart health.

Egg yolks are full of cholesterol and a full spectrum of amino acids and other immense muscle building ingredients including a vast majority of our essential vitamins and minerals. It appears that the presence of cholesterol in yolk has caused a stir because putting extra cholesterol in the body will increase levels of the unhealthy cholesterol.. right? Well wrong, wide scale studies have shown no effect on ‘bad’ cholesterol levels in those who consume high amounts of eggs with some studies even showing an improvement in cholesterol as they contain heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. It is diets that are high in saturated and trans fats that have been linked to increases in cholesterol, so how you cook the egg is more important for its impact on health than the egg yolk itself. [Tweet ""how you cook the egg is more important for its impact on health than the egg yolk itself.""] Eggs yolks are one of the most nutrient dense foods available, so if you’re throwing the yolks away (unless of course that is to meet macro nutrient demands), then please stop and reap the awesome rewards and rich taste, no more bland egg whites for you! So there we have it our top 5 nutritional myths, some others came close, but keep an eye out for our blog we’re sure there will be a part 2, 3 and many more! Thanks for reading, Peace, weights and protein shakes, Paul Rimmer (BSc, MSc). [wpsr_socialbts]