Although research & studies continue to reveal more fascinating details about the way in which our bodies process & utilize food, it still seems we are holding onto some of the most ridiculous dietary concepts that have long been debunked.
I know there is so much conflicting information our there and I still hold to true to my belief there is not one special diet that will solve everyone’s problems.
However, there are many basic misconceptions that we can ALL throw to the side and move forward from. Here are 5 of the most common dietary myths (and what to do instead).
Lie 1: Everyone Should Eliminate Gluten
This is a very, very common misconception. But let’s be clear: Gluten is not “bad” for everyone.
Gluten is NOT a trigger for everyone.
Just those with a leaky gut who can’t digest it properly (or at all).
I know my diet is as anti-gluten as it can get, but that is just for my body.
I can’t tolerate it. I can’t digest it. This is true for many others who have thyroid issues or an auto-immune disease (PCOS, lupus, IBD, psoriasis, ect.)
Consuming a food that your body cannot digest is a major inflammation trigger.
To read a full explanation of how this exactly works, click here.
Bottom Line: if you can digest gluten & you enjoy it, eat it. If you can’t tolerate it & it triggers inflammation, avoid it at all costs.
related: what is leaky gut? and how to heal it
Lie 2: You Can Supplement Your Way Out of a Poor Diet
You just can’t do it. You have to fill your diet with nourishing food. It is a must.
Your body is constantly renewing itself. Your body replaces the majority of your cells every 7-10 years.
It does so with the foods you eat.
It utilizes the healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates you consume on a daily basis to create new skin, a new liver, a new brain, a new stomach lining, and it goes on and on.
Supplements are meant to boost the impact your food has, not to replace it.
Supplements are supposed to support your health. They are not solely responsible for it.
So Are Supplements A Waste?
The short answer is no. Some of them 100% are a total scam & waste of money.
But specific supplements consumed to support your specific body & everyday diet can be extremely beneficial.
I love natural, organic supplements and consume a number of them everyday. But they only work because they coincide with my diet.
related: 4 supplements to consume with hypothyroidism
Lie 3: Carbs are the Enemy
Carbs have had a bad rap for decades now. Long ago we thought they were solely responsible for weight gain. And that, of course, led you to believe you must eat carb-free to lose or maintain weight/body fat.
This could not be more false.
Carbohydrates are the body’s go-to energy source. So, they are actually very important.
The tricky part is everyone has a different level of carb tolerance.
Some people thrive on a higher-carb, lower-fat diet with moderate protein.
Some people thrive on a higher-fat, lower-carb diet with moderate protein.
not all carbs are created equal
Simple carbs vs. complex carbs.
Simple carbohydrates are rapidly broken down by the body. Their chemical makeup is, well, simple.
Complex carbohydrates have a more complex chemical makeup, which means they use more energy to break down & digest.
Simple carbs spike your blood sugar levels, whilst complex carbs keep it more stable.
Simple carbs are sugary, processed, artificial, packaged, fake, fast foods. Complex carbs are whole, unprocessed, real foods sourced from the earth.
Simple carbs are pastries, potato chips, fries, most breads, doughs, sugars, syrups, white rice, ect.
Complex carbs are oats, quinoa, brown rice, vegetables, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, millet, to name a few.
My point is, carbs should NOT be feared. Fruits & vegetables are carbs. Whole grains are carbs. Some of the healthiest, most nutrient-dense foods on the planet are carbs (or at least have them).
So this myth is one to rid your mind of now!
related: 5 Essentials to a healthy, Balanced diet
Lie 4: Fats are the Enemy
Like carbs, fats have too taken on much blame for weight/fat gain. At first we thought it was one or the other. We thought all fats were created equal. But it’s not exactly that simple.
The key phrase here is HEALTHY FATS. Healthy fats are amazing.
Healthy fats are essential to your wellbeing.
Healthy fats, along with proteins, are the building blocks for healthy, well-functioning cells.
Healthy fats have incredible hormone-balancing abilities.
(This is why a higher-fat diet has been so beneficial to those with hormone irregularities & auto-immune conditions, including diabetes.)
So please don’t hesitate to eat healthy fats.
To see a list of healthy vs. unhealthy fats & their benefits, click here.
related: the keto diet; is it the key to weight loss & inflammation?
Lie 5: You Can Never Have Too Much Protein
You can. You really, really can.
Too much protein can actually be toxic to your health.
Eating too much of this macronutrient can actually cause you to gain/retain body fat, completely derailing your fitness goals.
Excessive protein can also lead to kidney (and other organ) damage, increasing your risk to chronic illnesses.
Like many other things in life, this can be trial and error. Or course, there is a base line to loosely follow based off of research (1 gram per lb. of body weight). But you shouldn’t necessarily follow these guide lines down to the very gram.
It will depend on your gender, activity, job, goals, and health conditions.
I know it can be tricky. Trying to navigate your way through the lies and myths. But just remember it is a health & wellness journey.
Are we every really “there?” Have any of us fully “made it?” No.
We are all constantly working to better ourselves & find what works for us. Discover what balance means for us. That is something only you can figure out.
So don’t get discouraged if you’ve been practicing or believing any (or all) of these myths. It can stop today.
-Madeliene Jeanne x