3 Nutritional Myths that might be harming your health
Myth 1: You should cut out red meat
For some reason, red meat has been demonised over the past decade.
Sensationalism has gotten out of hand with red meat and it is having its reputation dragged through the mud as part of a wider agenda to have people eat more processed foods.
Reasons to eat more red meat:
- Great source of protein- essential amino acids aplenty and very satiating.
- Nutrient density- high in zinc, thiamin, B12. A source of bioavailable heme iron, this is especially important if you have had anemia, the iron in red meat is absorbed far better than plant-based sources.
- Not all of the fat in meat is saturated! ( Why saturated fat isn’t actually the worst thing for you is a story for another day) Half of the fat in Beef is unsaturated- largely consisting of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat which is supposedly the active component in Olive Oil)
So if you’re feeling consistently low on energy you might get a boost from trying to include more red meat in your diet. Obviously, speak to a doctor about your symptoms.
Myth 2: Carbs are evil!
You can eat carbs. At every meal. And still, lose weight.
Carbs don’t mean crap. It doesn’t mean Pizza, Chocolate and Ice Cream. All of these are examples of foods which are equal parts carbs and fat- this makes for a hyperpalatable and hypercaloric combination. A combination which is at the heart of all processed foods.
When most people cut our carbs they are really cutting out calorie dense processed foods. The type of foods which when eaten regularly will push you out of a calorie deficit.
Eating whole foods like root vegetables and tubers, pulses and minimally processed foods like Oats and even Rice will not have a negative impact on weightloss within the context of a calorie controlled diet.
Even highly processed foods eaten in the context of calorie controlled diet will result in weight loss, however for a lot of people eating these foods is very hard to reconcile with maintaining a calorie deficit.
Myth 3: You need to eat 1200 calories to lose weight
I see blanket statements like this kicking around online. There is no one magical calorie intake for all women. It is incredibly context dependent.
- How heavy are you?
- How much lean mass do you have relative to body fat?
- What is your goal?
- What is your time frame?
- What rate of change will keep you motivated?
- How often do you train?
- How active are you outside the gym?
- What is your appetite like?
- What is your history with dieting?
- Are you prone to uncontrolled binges following lower calorie diets?
- Do you know the nutritional value of the foods you”re eating?
- Are you sleeping well?
- Are you stressed?
The right diet for you is one which gets you to where you want to be, is sustainable (in that you can stick to it for longer than a week), and doesn’t make your life miserable. 1200 calories might be right for you, but given the list of factors above it probably isn’t. Start your diet with the simple goal of sticking to it- for most of use that means setting the calories slightly higher, accepting a slower rate of change and enjoying the process.