As human beings, we have a natural inclination to think in the context of right and wrong, yes and no, black and white. As a result, we overlook this huge gray area that really hasn’t quite established its mark. This blunder is largely due to misinformation that has saturated the fitness industry since the internet came along.
The plethora of misinformation has created so much confusion that it made it really difficult for us to understand what the best approach is. In short, we became victims of paralysis by analysis.
In this article, I’m going to enlighten you by debunking a number of pervasive nutrition myths, so you can get the ball rolling in the right direction.
Myth 1: Eating smaller meals throughout the day increases metabolism
Perhaps the most obvious of the bunch. For as long as I could remember, we have been led to believe that eating smaller and more frequently would stoke our metabolism. Albeit well-intended and logical, there’s very little evidence that supports that claim. Fortunately, research has shown that there’s no difference between eating six smaller meals, four moderate sized meals, or three big meals. At the end of the day, if the total caloric intake is the same, your body is still going to induce the same response.
I don’t know about you, but eating smaller meals throughout the day is too much of a hassle and does not fit my schedule. Plus, being hungry all the time is a pain. If it works for you, great. The point is… choose a frequency that fits your lifestyle.
Myth 2: Brown rice is better than white rice
This was another tidbit that I had the misfortune of adopting because it was the norm. Brown rice is more nutrient dense, so it was a no-brainer. It’s simple logic — you eat the foods that are going to give you the biggest return in your investment. Not so fast! It is slightly more nutrient dense. Just slightly. Here’s the thing: the phytic acid content that brown rice has inhibits proper digestion, so to be blunt, you’re really not absorbing them. All in all though, if you like it, eat it. No right or wrong here. Just putting things into perspective.
But seriously though, white rice for the win ;).
Myth 3: Eggs yolks are bad for you
For decades, we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that cholesterol is the enemy —associating it with cardiovascular disease. There was always this contention that just because egg yolks were high in cholesterol, consuming them was frowned upon. Let me put it this way, most people would cringe if they saw how many whole eggs I eat in a week.
I know what you’re thinking: this guy is a typical gym douche who can eat whatever he wants and can get away with it. Before you close the curtains on me, eggs are actually healthy for you. Not only is it the most bioavailable source of protein, it’s packed with tons of vitamins and minerals.
Have a couple whole eggs here and there. Nothing to worry about.
Myth 4: Salt causes high blood pressure
Just like eggs yolks, salt has been demonized due to the claim that it causes high blood pressure. The vast majority of medical professionals will be quick to tell you to cut back on salt if that is the case. What drives me nuts is that they fail to look at your overall lifestyle — it’s less work to prescribe medication and tell you to cut back on sodium than it is to actually ohh I don’t know…educate.
Contrary to popular belief, optimal sodium intake is essential for optimal health. It increases blood volume, which then helps deliver nutrients to the body and helps remove waste. More often than not, you’re eating too much processed foods and you’re not getting enough exercise. Simply, moving more proves to be more beneficial than the alternative (as is the case with virtually everything). Remember: it’s much easier to add in, than it is take out. Additionally, reducing your sodium intake poses potential health risks down the road such as: low blood volume, electrolyte imbalance, and chronic fatigue.