TOP 9 NUTRITION MYTHS OF 2023
Time to read 8 min
Time to read 8 min
If you’ve been scrolling Tik Tok or Googling the best tips to succeed in the gym, you’ve probably encountered a lot of clickbait, nonsense, and myths. Today we’re going to highlight some of those trending myths.
Whether you’re a gym novice or a seasoned muscle-building machine, you’ve probably heard a fair few of these myths trending at different times. Maybe you’ve believed these in the past; perhaps you believe them now. We’ll shine a light on the truth.
Let’s bust some myths.
You probably hear this one more than anything, and guess what? It’s true. A nutritious meal will always sustain you more than a supplement, but it isn’t always as black & white as it seems.
As we always say: supplements are here to support you, not do the work for you. Taking supplements won’t do much if you’re eating poorly and aren’t exercising regularly. Let us first preface by saying, supplements should never replace food, and it is essential to get most of your nutrients from a balanced diet.
In most cases, the vitamins and minerals present in food, whether it’s the Omega-3 in fish or the vitamin C in oranges, are generally easier to absorb than those found in supplement form (Amin, M. 2020).
There are, of course, certain situations where compounds are more effective in supplement form. For instance, vitamins like Phylloquinone and the Curcumin found in Turmeric are easier to obtain through supplement form.
There is a common rumour that eating frequently will help you speed up your metabolism, with a large audience believing you need to eat six meals a day to keep your metabolism high. That doesn’t appear to be the case, and there is not much evidence to suggest that eating six meals a day will increase your overall metabolic rate any more than eating three times a day (Patel, K. 2023). In fact, this is probably an easy way to lose track of your calorie intake.
While digesting a meal may raise your metabolism because of the thermic effect of food, it makes no real difference because the amount of food you eat will determine your energy expenditure during digestion. Your metabolic rate is the number of calories you burn within a certain period, so eating three larger meals or breaking that into smaller, more frequent meals will make no difference if you still consume the same amount of calories overall (Gunnars, K. 2018).
For far too long, we have been conditioned to believe that all kinds of fats are bad for us. Fat is a necessary macronutrient, yet many people assume it leads to weight loss because it has more calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates.
At the end of the day, your body needs the fats from food to perform. Not only is it a source of energy, but it supports cell growth, protects organs, and helps to absorb vitamins, among other vital functions.
It is important to distinguish the difference between fats because not all fats are created equally (Madell, R et al. 2020).
Some of the unhealthier fats that you may want to avoid include:
Dairy foods like whole milk, butter, cheese, ice cream
Tropical oils like coconut oil and palm oil
Fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb
Fried foods like french fries, donuts and deep-fried fast food
Baked goods like cookies, cakes and pastries
Processed snack foods like crackers and microwave popcorn
Now onto the healthier fats (yes, there are healthy fats!):
Nuts like almonds, cashews and peanuts
Vegetable oils like olive oil and peanut oil
Peanut butter and almond butter
These are essential fats because the body cannot make them by itself. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that has been shown to particularly benefit your heart health (Madell, R et al. 2020). These can be found in the following:
That post-training protein shake is as big a part of our routine as waking up and brushing our teeth. So, how true is it?
Your ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after a workout, but that doesn’t mean you need to be downing a protein shake before leaving the gym. Research has suggested that the window to maximise a muscular response may be up to several hours after training, meaning you’re in no rush to mix up your favourite protein. It also suggests that consuming a protein and carb-dense meal before exercise should still apply for benefits after training (Semeco, A. 2022).
Whether you have a low appetite after training or head straight to work after a session and don’t have time for a nutritious meal, a protein shake can be a convenient way to maximise your recovery. Among the best rapid-release proteins is Evolve WPI or Evolve Vegan Protein if you’re not a fan of whey.
If you’re looking for a guide on what to eat after training, check out on blog on Post Workout Nutrition: Best Post-Workout Food.
Nobody is debating the importance of breakfast, but is it the most important meal of the day?
Not according to research. As long as you are optimising your nutrient intake elsewhere, missing breakfast isn’t going to ruin your health. In fact, fasting practices such as intermittent fasting, where breakfast is skipped or consumed later in the day, have been linked to many benefits, including reduced inflammation, improved energy levels, and blood sugar control.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to food. Pay attention to your hunger cues, and if you enjoy breakfast, then enjoy breakfast. If you don’t, then don’t. Do whatever best suits your personal preference and routine.
Of course, fresh always sounds good. That doesn’t mean that it’s more nutritious.
Nutrient-wise, there isn’t much that separates fresh and frozen produce. Consider this: before they’re frozen, produce is picked at the peak of its ripeness when it is it’s freshest and most nutritious. While frozen, the nutritional value is retained, whereas, with fresh produce, that value begins to decline after being picked (Beyond Type 1. 2021).
Canned produce may be slightly less nutritious due to processing, but remember that cooking also is a form of processing.
Seriously? What do you make your avo on toast with?
Bread is a staple in your everyday diet, coming in many varieties, from sourdough to wholegrain. It is often labelled as unhealthy, mainly due to its high carb and calorie count and low level of essential nutrients, but these numbers vary depending on the type of bread.
Perhaps white bread isn’t the best, but wholegrain bread is high in fibre, which is beneficial for your gut health and can help to stabilise your blood sugar levels. Bread is typically low in key nutrients, but certain types are sometimes enriched with exact vitamins and minerals to boost their nutritional value. Consuming whole grains is linked to several health benefits and may speed up your digestion while containing a higher count of fibre, protein and micronutrients (Ajmera, R. 2018).
Basically, bread is calorie-dense and easy to over-eat. Still, there are plenty of different bread types that can offer health benefits while allowing you to enjoy the simple pleasure of making a slice of toast in the morning.
Whole eggs are high in cholesterol, which is basically where their bad reputation comes from. In saying that, the egg yolk is rich in nutrients like protein, vitamin A, Riboflavin, vitamin B12, Folate, Iron and Selenium. A whole egg can help to keep you full, supports weight loss, protects brain health and decreases inflammation and is generally a healthy food to include in your daily diet (Spritzler, F. 2021).
Despite what people say about egg yolks being high in cholesterol, that isn’t always taken in the proper context. For most people, whole eggs won’t increase cholesterol levels by much, and when they do, they will usually increase the good cholesterol and modify the shape of the bad cholesterol. It’s also important to dispel the notion that cholesterol is a ‘bad’ substance. It is essential in every cell membrane in your body and plays a role in various processes, including vitamin D production, hormone production and bile acid production (Spritzler, F. 2021).
That’s a pretty broad statement. It also isn’t true. Consider where you’re getting your carbs from before calling them fattening.
Carbohydrates are a vital macronutrient in your diet, one of three that are essential for your body to function. When you eat carbohydrates, your body converts them into glycogen (sugar) to supply your body with energy.
There are different types of carbohydrates. Complex carbs take longer to digest, leaving you fuller for longer, while refined carbs are more common in processed foods like white bread and cakes. If you’re worried about weight gain, consider consuming fewer refined carbs and more complex carbs. Also, be mindful of your serving size, as starchy carbs tend to be more calorie-dense. Carbs aren’t to blame for weight gain; consuming too many calories is what can cause that (Lillien, L. 2020).
Did you learn something new? Put a few false rumours to bed? The key takeaway should be that macronutrients aren’t your enemy. Carbs and fats are not going to hurt you. It can be a dangerous game when you start falling to those popular theories. Break through the misinformation and do your own research when you need to, but don’t make the mistake of writing off entire food groups because of something you’ve seen online.
Make sure you’re relationship with food is healthy, not toxic. Eat your favourite foods, but be measured in your portions. Enjoy a balanced diet and support yourself with supplements when you need to. Check in with your body and make sure you’re taking care of your diet and your health.
If you need any more advice or are looking for the right supplements to support your day-to-day health or specific fitness goals, our team at ASN are always eager to help.
Amin, M. 2020, ‘Supplements vs Food: The Truth Behind Multi-Vitamins and Eating Right’, Regenerate Medical Concierge, accessed 7 March 2023, https://regeneratemedicalconcierge.com/supplements-vs-food-the-truth-behind-multi-vitamins-and-eating-right/#:~:text=In%20many%20instances%2C%20the%20vitamins,for%20supplements%20and%20eating%20poorly.
Patel, K. 2023, ‘Do You Need To Eat Six Times A Day To Keep Your Metabolism High?’, Examine, accessed 7 March 2023, https://examine.com/articles/do-i-need-to-eat-six-times-a-day-to-keep-my-metabolism-high/
Gunnars, K. 2018, ‘Optimal Meal Frequency - How Many Meals Should You Eat per Day?’ Healthline, accessed 7 March 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-meals-per-day
Madell, R et al. 2020, ‘Good Fats, Bad Fats, and Heart Disease’, Healthline, accessed 8 March 2023, https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/good-fats-vs-bad-fats
Semeco, A. 2022, ‘Post-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat after a Workout’, Healthline, accessed 8 March 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eat-after-workout
Beyond Type 1. 2021, ‘Fresh Versus Frozen Fruits and Vegetables’, Diabetes Food Hub, accessed 8 March 2023, https://www.diabetesfoodhub.org/articles/fresh-versus-frozen-fruits-vegetables.html#:~:text=Before%20they're%20frozen%2C%20produce,wane%20overtime%20after%20being%20picked.
Ajmera, R. 2018, ‘Is Bread Bad for You? Nutrition Facts and More’, Healthline, accessed 8 March 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-bread-bad-for-you#antinutrients
Spritzler, F. 2021, ‘Are Whole Eggs and Egg Yolks Good or Bad for You?’ Healthline, accessed 8 March 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/are-egg-yolks-bad
Lillien, L. 2020, ‘Do Carbs Make You Gain Weight?’ Very Well Fit, accessed 8 March 2023, https://www.verywellfit.com/do-carbs-make-you-gain-weight-4047400