10 Food ‘Facts’ that are wrong –
popular misconceptions about Food and your Health that need correcting
- “You need Carbs for energy” – No, you need FOOD for energy. Protein contains similar energy per gramme as Carbohydrates and Fats have around double the energy content but both with keep you from feeling hungry for far longer as they take longer to metabolise. You have all the enzymes needed to inter-convert encoded for you in your genes. If you switch from eating predominantly carbs to eating more protein or fat it takes a few hours for the body to adjust but your energy will probably increase.
- “The Brain needs glucose to function therefore we must eat sugar and other carbs” – No, the Brain actually runs better on ketone bodies from burning fats.
- “Natural Sugar is OK” – No, it is still sugar whatever form it is in and if not taken in moderation with other food that includes fat and protein it will cause insulin spikes and this is bad. Processed sugar is totally empty calories as it contains no other nutrients whereas whole fruit or vegetables like sweet potato contain other nutrients. Honey, Black-strap Molasses and coconut sugar also contain some healthy nutrients although they are still sugar and should be used in small amounts and they are preferable to artificial sweeteners.
- “A Calorie is a Calorie, it doesn’t matter how your energy is made up only that you have the right amount of energy” – No, we can go on ridiculous diets (and I have tried some of them!) like eating nothing but yogurt and drinking black coffee or eating cabbage soup all day but any diet that cuts out nutrients will cause deficiency and then cravings for other foods and overeating.
- “Because fat contains twice the energy of Carbs you are more likely to gain weight on a high fat diet” – No, fat is very satiating, you will not overeat on fat fat if you keep your carb intake as low as possible. You will also get the benefit of sufficient fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E and if you choose healthy fats you will also balance your Omega 3 oils to give you a more anti-inflammatory diet.
- “Animal fats cause Heart Disease” – No evidence supports this whatsoever, only a consensus of opinion driven by anything but science.
- “Cholesterol causes heart disease and should be lowered (Total) while HDL should be higher than LDL for heart health.” – No, Cholesterol does not cause heart disease. There is no evidence to support this. Atherosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the arteries) is an inflammatory/immune dysfunction, not a lipid (fat) dysfunction. If you have high cholesterol go on an anti-inflammatory diet and analyse the type of oils and fats that you are consuming that may have lead to inflammation, like high Omega 6 or Trans fats.
- “The best thing to do is take a ‘Balanced Diet’ ” – or “You don’t need to take Supplements if you eat a ‘Balanced Diet” – No, The best thing to do for your health is to take a nutritionally complete diet from which, we as a species has evolved.
- ” Wheat and other wholegrains are an important (even vital) part of the human diet” – No, they are unnecessary carbs and it has been proved that many of us cannot tolerate them without immediate dysfunction. A high grain/cereal intake, even in people who think they can tolerate them, can lead to long-term inflammation, Autoimmune diseases, diabetes, fatness/obesity, heart disease, vascular disease and Alzheimer’s.
- ” Medical or dietetic qualifications provide a good grounding in the science of nutrition” – No, so much of the science of nutrition has been disproved by more scientific methods and studies of other cultures and also by learning from our mistakes of being guided by government or Food producers over the last half century when we have seen chronic disease escalate. Functional medicine is now looking at Nutrition and the body as a whole to prevent and reverse Chronic disease caused by all these misconceptions.
My thanks to Bart Kay Lecturer in Clinical Physiology at HE Birmingham University Sector UK for having compiled this list on a discussion topic on LinkedIn. I have modified it slightly for the form of this website but have included all his important misconceptions about food and health that need to be taken seriously if we are to improve our health and our medical treatment.
Please feel free to comment, I would love to hear from you, or explore other Posts to gain insight into particular chronic health problems and beneficial changes you can make.