How confused are you by all the information around food and lifestyle right now? I see it everywhere and it makes me sad. So many people are so confused by these mixed messages and nobody knows what to eat anymore. No gluten, dairy free, nut free, carb free, no fat, low fat, sugar is the devil in disguise, GMO’s will kill you. It’s insane.
However, there are some foods and concepts that the media and diet companies want you the think are healthy, but that aren’t. Here’s my take:
1 – Counting calories (points) – this has to be the worst nutrition advice ever. Our bodies are not machines that can calculate a calorie to this precise equation of calories in / calories out. Plus, have you ever read the ingredients on low calorie food? And finally, 100 calories of apple is going to give you so much more than 100 calorie “snack” made up of a bunch of chemicals in a factory. Some of the popular dieting companies have you eating their packaged foods that are low calorie and fit within their points systems but what they fail to tell you is how many chemicals and preservatives are in these foods. Read your labels! If you can’t read it, your body can’t process it. (And let’s not talk about how any weight lost on these plans always comes back…)
2. Avoiding fat / low fat anything – this is ALSO the worst nutrition advice ever. I spoke about the benefits of fat for your brain here, it’s critical for our bodies. Low fat products have sugar in it so that it tastes good (psst here’s a secret: fat makes food taste good!). Fat doesn’t make you fat – at least not the healthy fat. A tub of fried chicken every day would most certainly make you fat, but an avocado a day, nope. Fat is one of the three essential daily nutrients we NEED so don’t be fooled by marketing hype and put back that low fat snack. In addition, for a lot of nutrients to be absorbed it needs to piggy back on a fat – this includes dairy. So that skim milk you’re drinking because you think it won’t make you fat? It’s also making it impossible for the vitamins in milk to enter your bones.
3. Margarine – a very unfortunate food touted as a healthy good for you food. Developed at the height of the fat scare, there are now more people with heart disease than ever before – I thought margarine was supposed to be heart healthy? This article goes into much more detail, with links to actual studies that show that butter is overall a better choice.
4. Excessive cardio – if you think that going to the gym and working out for seven billion hours a week will help you lose weight, think again. Excessive cardio causes a stress reaction in our bodies which means we hold onto the weight. If you do manage to lose weight by doing excessive cardio, you’re still at risk of other factors of a high stress lifestyle because too much adrenaline and cortisol are being pumped out all the time. Cool your workout down by doing high intensity a few times a week and walking, yoga, cycling on the other days.
5. Gluten-free products – this is getting a little out of hand. Why food companies feel it’s necessary to label things like TEA as gluten free is beyond me. There is a definite rise of celiac and gluten sensitivities, however the majority of products on the market are no more healthier for you than the actual gluten products. There are so many other ways you can have gluten free foods without needing to buy the very expensive, and usually filled with soy, gluten-free products on the market. Coconut flour, brown rice flour, gluten-free oats, quinoa, are all easy to use flours and baking ingredients that can substitute much of the GF crap out there. When purchasing GF products, read the ingredients – and remember just because it’s gluten free doesn’t mean it’s healthy!
Want to learn more? Click the image below to download a cheat sheet on the 5 things I eat and do every day to stay healthy.
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