We are going to go over the TOP 3 Nutrition Myths of 2021
- Protein (Does it create bone loss? Do excessive amounts affect your kidneys?)
- Carbs are bad for you
- Red meat is bad for you
There is a lot of misinformation this year on nutrition. Being a fitness professional, I see it all the time. I see a lot of people getting super dogmatic about certain things and I really want to debunk a lot of it. This is only part one of my Top 3 Nutrition Myths of 2021.
The reason why I want to do all of this is because there was an interesting article I read a few years ago. A research scientist made a research on chocolate. It basically said that chocolate can help you lose weight. This went VIRAL on the internet. He’s based in Europe and was able to fabricate the whole thing by getting scientists to state that eating chocolate would help people lose weight.
It’s so easy to create misinformation and it’s so easy for people to get sucked into this. So, it made me think of what other nutrition myths I want to debunk.
First Myth: Protein
Protein Creates Bone Loss
You know that protein is one of the most important things to help speed up weight loss (aside from a calorie deficit point of view). The two narratives I’ve been hearing a lot about protein are: it might help create bone loss or it’s bad for your kidneys.
Bone loss. The myth says that the way protein is linked to it is through calcium in the urine. The way it works is that the bone releases calcium to help buffer up the acidity of protein, which is true.
What ends up happening is that when you eat a lot of protein, calcium gets out to your urine. The thing is people theorize that because they’ve eaten protein, they’ve peed out calcium thus leeching their bodies of calcium.
One thing to note is that the researchers that did this study also chose ‘dairy’ as a source of protein for the research. Dairy has calcium. They didn’t take into account that more calcium went into the body and in turn more calcium went out.
Debunking: Protein Creates Bone Loss
It is bad science and bad research that created this narrative that protein causes calcium loss. If you’ve watched my other video, I talked about how protein is essential for building muscle. The only way to build muscle is to put stress on your body through weight bearing exercises, and that is one of the number one ways to increase bone density. You need to be working out.
You need to get in protein to help strengthen your muscle strength and also strengthen your bones. It’s been proven that people who have higher intakes of protein have harder bones… Surprise, surprise! The only way you would be able to utilize that is by putting it on your body from muscle because you worked out.
Excessive Amounts of Protein Affects Your Kidneys
I don’t want to get too ‘sciencey’ here. Kidneys filter your body. There’s something called the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR). It is a marker for how well your body filters from the kidneys. Eating protein increases the GFR. People think that because eating protein increases the GFR, that it’s damaging the kidneys.
Debunking: Excessive Amounts of Protein Affects Your Kidneys
A lot of the randomized trials COULD NOT show that it actually does harm to your kidneys even though the GFR went up. Imagine that you ate protein and that your GFR spiked. They’ve “concluded ” that this is unnecessary stress on your kidneys, thus eating protein is bad for your kidneys. This statement couldn’t be replicated in any trial!
The truth is, even in large amounts, protein isn’t harmful to your bones or kidneys.
You’re suffering from pre-existing conditions. Obviously, if you have kidney issues, talk to your doctor about it. If they diagnose you with avoiding excess amounts of protein, listen to your doctor regarding your pre-existing conditions. But if you don’t have any pre-existing conditions, protein is not necessarily bad for you.
Second Myth: Carbs
Carbs Are Bad For You
I train my wife sometimes and try to help her with nutrition. As a husband, it’s a different dynamic. I’m her husband, not always her coach. It’s a different relationship when I say “Hey, you know, I don’t think it’s the carbs that’s the issue. I think it’s the weekend of overeating and overdrinking that’s the issue.” And she comes back at me “Ah no! It has to be the carbs!”
For a long time, the media and everybody have vilified carbs. It has been going on for a while. It also doesn’t help that we have all these diets like Keto or Intermittent Fasting that do help people and are effective– but really, carbs are NOT the issue. A lot of it has to do with glycemic index or glycemic load.
People look at food and they rank it in a way that the higher the glycemic index, the worse the food is for you. This is not necessarily true. You still need carbs. Carbs really help with performance. Everybody is built a little differently.
For instance, I can go on a pretty high carb diet and still lose weight as long as I’m at a deficit. Some people don’t. It’s a matter of adjusting the macronutrients. But the key to weight loss is to be at a calorie deficit.
Debunking: Carbs Are Bad For You
Now, to get into the topic of why it has been thought that “carbs are bad”. There was a study that was done where people replaced carbs with fats. There was a 26 calorie difference between fats and carbs, which is super negligible because you can definitely burn 26 calories by doing 10 jumping jacks.
In conclusion, the study said it’s better to replace fats with carbs because you’ll have a lower caloric workload because of the 26 calorie difference. Then, everybody took that article and made it “carbs are horrible”.
One thing to mention about carbs is that carbs hold water. Salt holds water. For every gram of carbs, you hold 3 grams of water. For every gram of salt, you hold 3 grams of water. So if you have something that’s high in both carbs and salt, you will show weight gain.
A lot of clients who have worked with me do daily weigh-ins. They notice trends in their weight. Especially if they overeat on food which are high on carbs and salt, they do see a difference. The difference could be up to 5 pounds even up to the next day! But note that this is all truly ‘water weight’ because the carbs and salt hold water.
So if you ate a bag of chips, the amount of water you’re holding is quite a bit! And you will gain weight. It’s not that carbs are going to make you gain weight more, they just retain more water. Thus, it will reflect on the scale.
For the most part, as long as you don’t overindulge and maintain a deficit, especially over the long-term, you’re not going to see these effects. Carbs are NOT bad for you, they are NOT the enemy. They just need to be eaten in moderation.
Third Myth: Red Meat
Red Meat Is Bad For You
I got to debunk this… Red meat is bad for you. There’s this common thing going around where red meat causes cancer. I’ve been in the game and in the fitness business for a long time, I’ve seen it trend with diets that come and go. I’m sure a lot of you have jumped on different ones.
Here’s the thing, I think plant-based (and a lot of people are going plant-based now) feel better on it. There have been a lot of documentaries out there which are well-made that have probably driven a lot of people towards it. They say that going plant-based is the better way to go. Thus, people move away from meat and red meat.
There has been no evidence that red meat has caused cancer. But here’s the thing, cancer is a difficult topic to discuss in absolutes. There are a couple of variables that influence or create cancer. Everything we do and eat has the potential to be or evolve into cancer development, and yet, red meat has been fingered as the likely culprit.
Now, there are some compounds like poly hydromatic carbons (PAHs). These things are found in a lot of smoked meats. These have actually been shown to co-found damage to the DNA. When you damage the DNA, this is the first step to creating potential cancers.
Current evidence suggests that processed red meat, particularly those that are charred as well as during cooking, have a greater chance of creating cancer for people with poor diets and lifestyles.
If you moderate your red meat intake, EXERCISE regularly, EAT your fruits and veggies, CONSUME adequate fiber, DON’T smoke and drink only in moderation… Red meat’s effect on cancer IS NOT something to worry about too much.
There is some evidence that eating a lot of red meat or processed meat might cause the risk of type two diabetes and various cardiovascular diseases. But the evidence is lower quality. You have to look at the type of science and the way they’ve come up with these studies.
Debunking: Red Meat Is Bad For You
The truth is: Your fears about red meat causing cancer are exaggerated. Making healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a balanced diet, rich in whole foods, staying at a healthy weight, exercising, and not smoking is more important overall than micro-managing your intake of red meat.
If you still plan to eat less red meat, start with cutting out the kind that’s been cured, smoked, or highly processed. And if you really want to be cautious about it, limit your serving or limit your intake to 3 servings per week. If you’re really concerned, that’s 3 oz or 85 grams.
Looking at the bigger picture… things that will really give you a big ROI are lifestyle factors. Debunking this: Red meat is NOT bad for you.
There you have it, the Top Three Myths of 2021… Debunked! Hopefully this gives you some insight into what the truth is or what the science says. There’s always going to be conflicting science. It comes down to realistically who creates better science that creates better hypotheses and is actually the truth instead of what the media overblows, exaggerates and creates absolute statements.
Join me as I share:
💪 Why this macronutrient does not to cause bone loss and kidney damage
🍝 Why carbs are NOT the reason WHY you gain weight
🥩 Why red meat is NOT bad for you!
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