Following on from our previous blog post about health and wellness myths, we thought we would cover the top 5 nutrition myths in this post. There are many myths out there about the food we eat and what nutritional supplements we may need, so we might have to come back to this topic in the future! If you have any myths you’d like to ask us about then feel free to let us know.
We all need a protein supplement
Protein is essential for your body’s growth and repair (that’s why it’s encouraged after exercise) and for general overall health. But excess protein can cause problems too. There are plenty of foods that provide adequate protein intake, such as from eating meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts or beans. If you do want to take a protein powder then get some expert advice, some supplements aren’t all their labels report them to be.
If you want to lose weight go on a diet
Yo-yo dieting is bad for your health and most people who go on a ‘diet’ end up regaining the weight, if not more! So any change in nutrition should be part of an ongoing lifestyle approach that is sustainable.
At Feel Amazing, we can help you to achieve healthier eating goals and address any intolerances you may have. Naturopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine take a holistic approach to health and will look at how your body is functioning and help achieve balance.
Meanwhile, it’s worth mentioning processed foods. These might look good but aren’t often good for us! (Ed – but WHY!?) Yes, and I know chocolate comes from a plant BUT processed foods usually contain high amounts of sugar, salt and unhealthy saturated fats and are higher in calories. By the time they go through their many processing steps to become the final product, the original ingredients are often far from their natural state and lose a lot of nutritional value. So while convenient, these foods are often doing nothing to help our bodies and can instead increase the risk of developing serious health conditions. So if you still want that occasional snack or treat, eating it in moderation and looking for the least processed form is the key! (Ed – raw cookie dough is OK then??) After reducing your intake of processed foods and those high in sugar, you might actually find you don’t crave them anymore!
Gluten free foods are healthier
Avoiding gluten isn’t necessary for everyone as you could be missing out on important fibre and plant-based nutrients. Some so-called healthy yet still processed foods that are ‘gluten free’ have high levels of sugar or additives to make up for removing the gluten! So check those labels and aim for whole foods. If you are then needing to avoid gluten seek advice from us on doing an elimination diet to make a more informed decision.
Fats are unhealthy
Foods and drinks contain nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. All are an important part of a balanced diet and influence different processes in the body.
There are four types of dietary fats – saturated fats, trans fats, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Fats can bring out the flavour in foods, but each gram of fat contains twice the kilojoules (energy) of carbohydrate or protein. So small amounts of dietary fat, particularly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, can be consumed each day to meet your daily requirements. This is something to keep in mind when trying to maintain a healthy weight.
Saturated fats can cause heart health concerns so should be consumed in moderation. Trans fats are potentially harmful to your health, especially those found in processed foods, or from the process of deep-frying. Low-fat foods aren’t necessarily a better alternative as some low-fat processed foods contain added sugar which isn’t healthy for you either. They can also be bad for your gut microbiome.
Unless you need to adjust your dietary intake to address certain health conditions, a balanced diet of essential nutrients including healthy fats, omega-3s, healthy grains, seeds and nuts, fibre from plant sources, olive oil, and moderate protein intake is ideal.
Supplements are a waste of money
We can get most of our nutritional needs through the foods we eat when we eat healthy foods. But what if you are dealing with a health condition, or you may have symptoms that need treatment or are living in certain circumstances where you may benefit from natural supplements? The key is getting the right advice and buying professionally produced and tested products. Taking a supplement because it sounds like a good idea is very different from being prescribed herbal supplements or remedies for specific reasons. So, when taking appropriate quality products, they can not only save you money but improve your health. (See our previous post here for the reasons practitioner-only products are cost-effective in the long run)
While there are often fashionable diet trends, it is important to follow trusted professional sources when it comes to health guidelines. Even if we experience food intolerances, chronic health conditions, or have a higher risk of certain diseases, each of us can learn to listen to our body and help it to function at our optimum level of health.