5 COMMON NURITION MISCONCEPTIONS
It can be hard to decipher fact from fiction due to click-bait titles and the media’s thirst for a story. Here we break down some popular misconceptions within the nutrition industry:
- Vegan & vegetarian diets are healthier – Solely plant based diets can make it difficult to get the required level and macro and micronutrients that your body needs. A well balanced plant based diet with minimally processed foods can be healthy, however one that lacks protein and contains a high intake of processed foods won’t provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Supplements may also be needed to fill nutritional gaps when following a plant based diet.
- You should quit sugar – made popular by the ‘I Quit Sugar’ book, the fad diet of ditching sugar is on the rise. However, most foods contain some form of sugar, including fruits and vegetables. Removing such foods from your diet means you miss out on getting vital micronutrients that are needed by your body for optimal function. Processed and refined sugars on the other hand are something to eat minimally.
- Low fat options are better – Make sure you read the nutrition label before buying into this train of thought, Many “low fat” products replace the fat with sugar to enhance flavour. Plus, not all fats are bad for our health. Fats found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and oily fish contain ‘unsaturated’ fats and are essential to our bodies. Saturated fats found in fatty meat, cream, cakes, pastries, coconut oil and biscuits are the fats we need to limit, as they are linked to cardiovascular disease.
- Carbohydrates make you fat – Our body needs quality carbs as it uses them as a preferential source of energy. Wholegrains, such as wholegrain breads and brown rice are full of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as being high in fibre which helps your digestive system and contributes to helping you to feel full and preventing overeating.
- Drinking red wine each day is good for your heart – We hear all the time about red wine being good for us, but this is a common misconception and manipulation of the facts. The reason we here this is because red wine contains antioxidants (but so do fruits and vegetables!). However, evidence shows that there is no safe intake of alcohol in relation to the risk of cancer. Drinking alcohol of any kind increases the risk of many cancers. If you do choose to drink, stick to the National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines.
– Elisa Mullen (Personal Trainer & Nutritionist)