At MWU, we like keeping busy… Another day, another set of nutrition myths to dispel!
Are all calories created equal? Should you avoid fats in your diet to achieve your goals? And last but not least, are processed foods just plain evil?
Keep on reading to find out!
Myth: All calories are created equal
This comes in the form of a few different sayings - you may have heard that “a calorie is a calorie”, or that “all calories are created equal”.
While it’s not wrong from a point of view that every calorie provides the same amount of energy to the body, stopping at that would be way too simplistic. The thing is, your body metabolizes different types of calories differently.
For example, if you ate a spoonful of sugar (simple carbohydrates), these calories would be metabolised quicker than the same amount of energy coming from complex carbohydrates or healthy fats. This is not a “bad” thing as such - and different nutrient profiles are great for different goals and points of the day.
Bottom line: it’s worth keeping in mind that considering all calories “the same” would not be the most productive way to view nutrition.
Myth: Avoid all fats to reach your goals
Another persistent myth that’s been floating about for decades is that you should avoid all fats. This isn't the case either. In fact, your body needs healthy fats to function properly. Healthy fats are essential for cell membranes, hormone production, and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins - just to name a few super important functions.
There is one kind of fats to be wary of though - trans fats. No need to be scared of every single product that contains them; however, too much of these increases your risk for heart disease and other health problems.
Bottom line: there is definitely no need to banish fats from your diet - quite the opposite, without them your nutrition wouldn’t be balanced.
Myth: Processed foods are inherently unhealthy
This is another sweeping statement that completely lacks nuance - however, this simply isn’t true. “Processed” essentially means that the natural form of the food has been handled by us humans - so the second an apple is picked off a tree or transported somewhere, it’s been processed.
Of course, it’s hard to argue that ultra-processed foods such as candy, chips or donuts, are not the ideal basis for your diet. However, you can still incorporate your most craved soul foods using our favourite 80/20 approach!
And if choosing between a couple of options, pick items that may contain more nutritious ingredients and less added sugar, salt, and trans fats.
Bottom line: while ultra-processed foods won’t add to your health, they won’t necessarily take away from it either - if incorporated into your diet in moderation. Some foods nourish the body more, and some are good for the soul - and it’s totally fine.
Myth: Finding the perfect training and nutrition program for my lifestyle is difficult
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