Eating healthy is a surprisingly easy concept; we simply need to eat well to feed our bodies. However so many ideologies make nutrition out to be much more complicated than it actually is; which can be quite stressful when you’re trying to lose weight or simply wanting to adopt a healthier diet. Food is actually a big business for many people, which is why you’ll have noticed multiple diet trends being promoted online and new products appearing weekly in your local grocery store. New diet buzz words such as ‘Atkins’, ‘Paleo’, ‘Superfoods’ and so on can leave people feeling confused, misinformed and in more extreme cases, malnourished even.
Don’t let the following common nutrition myths stop you from enjoying what you eat;
- Eating Late At Night Can Cause Weight Gain
It was previously proposed that limited or avoiding food in the evening can work as a successful weight loss strategy and improve body composition. Negative outcomes have been found in populations who prefer to consume large and mixed meals in the night but recently more data appears to suggest that the food choices – not the timing, are responsible for unwanted weight gain (1). In fact, one study suggests that consuming around 150kcals as a night time snack can actually be beneficial for muscle protein synthesis (1).
- Consuming A High Amount Of Protein Can Spontaneously Build Up Muscle
To build up muscle, we know that a combination of adequate calories, a high protein intake and an exercise programs are required. However the timing of protein intake is crucial for building up muscle mass. A review article from 2012 suggests that protein supplementation both before and after a workout can promote physical performance, muscle recovery, strength and muscle hypertrophy (2). Ideally, a fast-acting carbohydrate source should be consumed along with a protein source for greater muscle protein synthesis and strength (2).
- Brown Bread Is Healthier Than White Bread
A recent study which looked at the effects of white bread versus brown sourdough bread found no significant differences in glycaemic control. Participants were reported to have various responses which seemed to be dependant on their existing gut bacteria (3). Although wholemeal bread is an excellent source of fibre which can promote digestion and help individuals feel fuller for longer (4).
- Water Is Sufficient Hydration After Exercise
Sweat contains water, sodium and multiple electrolytes and it is recommended that individuals begin their workouts when they are adequately hydrated (5). Ideally up to 600mL of fluid should be consumed two hours before exercise and a small amount of fluid should be consumed every twenty minutes of exercise (5). When the exercise is less than ninety minutes, water alone is enough to rehydrate but commercially available electrolyte drinks should be considered when exercise is prolonged, in hot weather or when meals are not calorie-adequate (5).
- Fish-based omega-3 fatty acids alone are sufficient in a diet
Omega-3 is widely credited for multiple health benefits such as brain and cognitive function development, to improving cardiac health (6). Fish-based omega-3 fatty acids (commonly EPA and DHA) are known to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease (7) whereas plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (commonly ALA) offer different benefits such as wound healing (8) therefore both fish and plant based omega-3 sources should always be included in a healthy diet.
For more information on nutrition, see our How To Become A Nutrition Advisor Course here; http://www.futurefit.co.uk/nutrition/becoming-a-nutrition-adviser/
- Kinsey, A.W. and Ormsbee, M.J., 2015. The health impact of nighttime eating: old and new perspectives.Nutrients, 7(4), pp.2648-2662.
- Stark, M., Lukaszuk, J., Prawitz, A. and Salacinski, A., 2012. Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training.Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), p.54.
- Korem, Zeevi, D., Zmora, N., 2017. Bread Affects Clinical Parameters and Induces Gut Microbiome-Associated Personal Glycemic Responses. Cell Metabolism, 25 (6), pp.1243-1253.e5
- Anderson, J.W., Baird, P., Davis, R.H., Ferreri, S., Knudtson, M., Koraym, A., Waters, V. and Williams, C.L., 2009. Health benefits of dietary fiber.Nutrition reviews, 67(4), pp.188-205.
- Latzka, W.A. and Montain, S.J., 1999. Water and electrolyte requirements for exercise.Clinics in sports medicine, 18(3), pp.513-524.
- Ruxton, C., 2004. Health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.Nursing standard, 18(48), pp.38-42.
- Swanson, D., Block, R. and Mousa, S.A., 2012. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: health benefits throughout life.Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, 3(1), pp.1-7.
- McCusker, M.M. and Grant-Kels, J.M., 2010. Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the ω-6 and ω-3 fatty acids.Clinics in Dermatology, 28(4), pp.440-451.
This article has been republished with the kind permission of Future Fit Training Academy, a UK based training academy with over twenty five years of experience in offering diplomas and courses in personal training, nutrition and pilates.