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Eating Carbs Doesn't Make You Fat (And Other Diet Untruths Exposed)

Dec 13, 2010
There is a lot of information available these days about nutrition.  In fact, the information can be a little overwhelming to the average consumer.   Be wary of where you get your information as to the validity and or truth of the information.  Many nutrition myths have no research or very limited research to back the myth. 

Following are some of the current, top nutrition myths.

  1. Carbs will make you fat - I hear this on a daily basis.  "I can't eat that there are too many carbs," "I am watching my weight and I was told carbs are bad for me."  Truth:  Your body needs carbohydrates - carbohydrates provide your body energy and make you feel full.  Eating carbs in moderation does not lead to weight gain.  Excessive calories lead to weight gain rather they come from carbs, proteins or fats.  
  2. Extra protein will help me build muscle mass - eating extra protein does nothing to bulk up the body; unless, you are doing significant weight training at the same time.  Even then you can still obtain your protein requirements from the foods you eat.  Over consumption of protein for the long term can lead to an array of problems including kidney disease because your body has to work extra hard to rid the body.
  3. Eating fiber causes IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) - There are 2 kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble.  Insoluble fiber can cause problems in IBS sufferers.  Soluble fiber is more readily absorbed by the body and helps prevent constipation.  Soluble fibers are most commonly found in grains.  
  4. Alcohol is bad for you - True, anything that is over indulged can be bad for you.  In moderation, some alcohol has been proven to aid benefits.  6 ounces of wine and 12 ounces of beer are considered moderate amounts and should not prove any adverse health effects. 
  5. Everyone should be taking vitamin supplements - Supplements can be beneficial if you suffer from certain disorders where your body can not absorb specific nutrients.  On the day to day, if you are eating a variety of foods including fruits and vegetables, dairy and proteins you will most likely get the vitamins and minerals you need.  
  6. Eating "Fat" will make you "Fat" - Again, moderation is key!  Choosing a low fat diet including all the required nutrients - complex carbs, lean protein and heart healthy fats will yield the most benefits.  Not all fats are created equal - some fats are better choices than others.  Check your food labels for the types of fat in your food item.  Try to limit or avoid saturated and trans- fats as they are the number 1 culprits that lead to heart disease and high cholesterol.  

Become an informed consumer - read the back of your food labels and understand nutrients that will yield the most health benefits for you.  In each meal you choose - you should include a lean protein, complex carbohydrate and healthy fat - each of these nutrients is necessary to provide the body with all the health benefits you need.  Happy Eating!

Angela Hattaway is a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer with over 15 years experience. She got her BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from Stephen F. Austin State University and she also has a Master's Degree in Business with an emphasis on Healthcare. Angela is experienced in working with both children and adults and loves working with clients to help them set realistic goals and expectations. She is passionate about nutrition and fitness and feels this comes through when she works with people. Angela loves giving clients the tools, motivation and encouragement they need to be successful throughout their lives. Visit her blog at blog.ultimatenutritionnfitness.com. She can be reached via email at at foodjunkie@nutritionnfitenss.com.

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