Out with the Old: Dispelling Nutrition Myths
By Genevieve Smith
Nutritional advice pours out of magazines, bloggers, and celeb sponsors, but can this lead us astray? There is so much info out there to sort through when it comes to health and nutritional science. Some of it is meaningful, other tips are only anecdotal or designed to convince you to buy. In truth, good nutrition is accomplished through simple means: Eat the rainbow of whole foods, and everything in moderation. That’s it. Despite this, health myths pervade society. Let’s debunk a few!
Myths to Debunk
When it comes to nutritional science, myths only muddle one’s understanding of their own body. Despite that, they float around and misguide the well-intentioned! Let’s take a look at some of the most popular myths -- and why they can be debunked.
“Multi-vitamins can make up for nutritional deficiencies” - Thanks to the global market, your grocery store carries all your nutritional needs in fresh produce, dairy and grain year-round. When it comes to supplements, they often come in a different form than that which your body can actually break down and use, rendering them misleading. To boot, one pill does not contain the fiber, antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients that a fruit or veggie provides. Barring allergies and food restrictions, go straight to the source for your vitamin and mineral needs. The hard science is generally lacking on how well your body absorbs these things in a pill.
“Caffeine causes dehydration” - This is a popular one, and this myth may have grown from anecdotes citing caffeine as a diuretic, but the science just doesn’t back it up.
“Carbs will counteract weight loss” - Carbohydrates are present in all healthy, fibrous foods, from broccoli to whole grain bread, peaches to greek yogurt and more. When done right, carbohydrates give your body lasting energy. The foods listed above are important to good health, providing enzymes, vitamins and minerals that you simply shouldn’t cut out in the name of the energy-providing carb, and thanks to their fiber, they release the energy slowly into your system, providing stability! What is detrimental to your health is processed flour and sugar. They release too quickly into your system, creating a blood sugar spike then dip, which then leads to intense cravings. The impulse to eat more shortly after you’ve just eaten something high calorie -- that’s what gives simple carbs the bad name they deserve.
Nutritional science is a topic that gets re-packaged into beauty tips and commercial aims, making it difficult to navigate as you search for the true science. The best nutrition advice boils down to eating the rainbow and having everything in moderation. Stick to a variety of unprocessed foods, including seeds and nuts, fruits and vegetables, whole protein sources, and herbs and spices, and you’ll be good to go!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Decatur, Ga.