There are so many nutritional myths out there they could all have their own article but instead I thought I would take a small handful of the ones I come across a lot.
Does high insulin level prevent weight loss?
NO!! The myth is that if you eat a high carbohydrate diet (even if you are in a calorie deficit), it releases the hormone insulin which then makes your body store fat. Its absolute tosh and has never been proven, ever! I understand why people believe it! There are some very high-profile doctors out there promoting this theory, they say low carb is the only way. They have only one agenda, to sell their book!
There are many studies that dis prove this theory but I will name one that categorically disproves the insulin theory. In this study by Kevin Hall (Hall et al. (2015) Cell Metab) there were no significant differences in body fat losses when comparing isocaloric low carbohydrate and high carbohydrate diets in a tightly controlled metabolic ward.
Let’s have a carb party 😊
Eating little and often speeds up your metabolism and helps you lose weight.
NO! This one is a very popular myth and still well believed.
This meta-analysis (Schoenfeld et al. (2015) Nutr. Rev.) found no significant differences between meal frequency and changes in body weight. There are lots more studies to mention and all have found no significant difference when eating lots of meals compared to eating 2 big meals a day for example.
The only times eating smaller meals more often can benefit you is for muscle gain and that’s more specific to protein feedings.
Eat what fits within your lifestyle without any stress over timings!
Does eating red meat increase the risk of cardiovascular disease?
NO! Meat eaters will love this one and as this one has been around a long-time people find it hard to not believe but evidence is evidence.
This meta-analysis (O’Connor et al. (2016) Am. J. Clin. Nutr.) showed that consuming more than 0.5 servings of red meat per day did not significantly affect lipid-lipoprotein profiles or blood pressure, both risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Many of the studies that do show a link to red meat and increased risk of CVD are correlation studies. What this means is that the people taking part in the study were also less likely to be physically active, more likely to be smokers, drink more alcohol, have a higher energy intake and have a higher BMI which are all related to CVD so how can you specifically blame the red meat.
Rather than focusing on reducing red meat you would be better off getting to a healthy weight, being more physically active, drink less alcohol and not smoke. All proven to reduce the risk of CVD.
Red meat is actually extremely nutrient dense food containing protein, fat, iron, zinc and many other micro-nutrients. Just saying. Moderation!
Is eating more than 7 eggs per week bad for your cholesterol?
HELL, NO and thank god!!
There are many studies to refer to so I am going to pick the one with the most eggs consumed in a week. This study showed that eating 21 eggs per week for 12 weeks resulted in no significant changes in ‘bad’ cholesterol and actually improved other blood lipid markers for health, including levels of ‘good cholesterol and triglycerides. (Mutungiet al. (2008) J. Nutr)
However, I should state that there are hyper-responders to eggs (as with everything). If you do have high cholesterol then remove eggs for a while, change nothing else and get re-tested, if its still the same then change other lifestyle factors and keep the eggs.
I’m a big egg fan. They are super nutritious and contain small amounts of very nearly all the essential micro-nutrients we need and they have up to 8g of Protein per egg.