Some of the most common nutrition myths – busted!
Salt causes high blood pressure
Yes, people that already have hypertension issues, should probably cut back on their salt intake, so you can see where this myth came from. However, for healthy individuals, a recent study suggests that there is no association between salt intake and hypertension. There are, nevertheless, other health issues associated with excessive sodium intake. The recommended daily allowance for sodium is 2,400mg. (approx. 400mg sodium in 1g salt)
Protein makes you big & bulky
The majority of people nowadays are actually under-eating when it comes to protein, without realizing it. When someone begins to train, maybe adding resistance training, they are told to increase their protein intake. One way to do this, if you cannot get enough protein daily from food alone, is by adding a protein shake to your diet. This can be daunting when you see big muscular men in the gym downing a protein drink & worrying you will look like them! That’s not how they got big & muscular, as I am sure they would agree, it takes a lot more than protein to do that. However, you do need to increase your protein intake when you train in order to build & repair lean muscle. Protein also leaves you feeling fuller for longer, which is why it helps people who want to lose weight, by prolonging the feeling of hunger. Aim for around 1.5-2g protein per kg of body weight. To put that into perspective, a regular chicken breast contains around 25-30g protein. If I weigh 70kg, I want to be eating around 105-140g protein per day depending on my training.
Eating eggs leads to high cholesterol
Eggs have been in the spotlight for a while now, mainly due to the yolk. When in fact the yolk is the part that is packed full of nutrients. It also contains cholesterol, which is what makes people worry. Eating food high in cholesterol does not mean there will be an increase in your blood cholesterol. Again, unless you have a pre-existing condition, eggs are a great source of protein, fat & nutrients that you should include in your diet. Of course, there are times when I use only egg whites when cooking, but that is solely due to the fact that I track my macronutrient intake daily, and I may have already reached my fat intake that day, which is why I leave the yolk out
You shouldn’t eat saturated fat
The low-fat diet was known as the ‘go-to’ diet when people wanted to lose fat a few years ago – because it sounds logical, right? Eat less fat, lose more fat. However, similar to the myth that eating cholesterol raises your blood cholesterol, eating fat does not necessarily make you fat. Saturated fat has been given a bad rap in the media recently, as it was claimed to cause cardiovascular disease. It is the quality of food that we should be looking at instead of just the saturated fat content alone, as there is a big difference in eating whole, natural products with saturated fat in comparison to processed junk food full of saturated fat. Eating reasonable amounts of saturated fat from foods such as coconut oil, grass-fed red meat etc., is not only safe, but healthy. Low fat diets, avoiding saturated fats, will more likely be harmful to testosterone production, which can be detrimental to men who have intense training programmes.