5 Nutrition And Weight Loss Myths Debunked For 2023

5 Nutrition And Weight Loss Myths Debunked For 2023

If you are like most people when it comes to health information, you refer to social media for guidance. Head on over to Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok and you’ll find a plethora of ways to kickstart new health routines. In fact, recent data from an online patient community reported that 11% of Americans in the survey referred to social media for their health information.

Can you find credible information on social media? Yes, you can, and some of that information may come from doctors and registered dietitians. For the most part, this isn’t the case, with a lot of information coming from influencers and random fitness people you see online. Maybe the information in their posts or videos works for them, but it may not work for you or for the vast majority. 

Diet information hits social media with a lot of steam. Perhaps someone did their own weight loss plan, gut cleanse, colon detox, liver cleanse, water fast, vegan diet, or went strictly keto. The mindset that what worked for someone will work for you is flawed and, quite frankly, dangerous. Quick fixes are attractive, but they aren’t always backed by science; therefore, they can do more damage than good. If the social media diets were peer reviewed and in scientific journals, that would be a different story. In reality, they are biased opinions that aren’t applicable and safe for everyone. That’s why we went ahead and debunked weight loss and nutrition myths so that you can have a healthier 2023. 

Myth #1: All Fat Is Bad

In the 1940s, studies found that high-fat diets increased levels of cholesterol, so experts warned against fat. The theory was that limiting your total fat intake would reduce the risk of heart disease. By the 1980s, health experts, media outlets, and the food industry reported that low-fat diets could benefit everyone, despite the lack of evidence to back this point up. Many people vilify fats, but the right fats can be very beneficial to overall health. Certain types of fats, including trans and saturated fats, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can improve heart health, lower inflammation, and encourage cell function. Just because a food is “fat-free,” that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. 

Myth #2: Prescription Weight Loss Shots Are risk Free

Some celebrities have always been vocal about how they achieved weight loss, especially in regards to prescription anti-obesity medications. Unfortunately, these injectable shots were only studied in obese or diabetic patients. The data reveals that there are known adverse effects, predominantly gastrointestinal side effects. Scientists don’t know the long-term effects of recreational use of prescription shots to shed a few pounds. Once you quit these shots, weight gain can easily occur, especially if you didn’t change your eating or lifestyle habits. Medications that assist with weight loss do exist, but right now they are only for people with obesity or diabetes. 

Myth #3: You Need Caffeine For Energy

One could argue that caffeine is part of the fabric of society, with coffee shops on every other corner. Caffeine is a stimulant that makes the brain feel more alert, but it doesn’t necessarily give the body energy or nourishment. Researchers explain that caffeine doesn’t lead to the cellular production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an organic compound that gives the body energy. There are areas in the brain that make you sleepy and caffeine works to quiet those neuropathways, which is like putting a bandage on the problem. Additionally, consuming caffeine can lead to a dependence, causing you to rely on caffeine day after day. Depending on what time you drink caffeine, you may ruin your sleep. The solution for boosting energy levels is in the body, and you can unlock these energy-producing organelles via healthy diet, good sleep, and stress management. 

Myth #4: Calories In, Calories Out Determines Long-Term Weight Loss

If you consume more calories than you burn, the likelihood of you gaining weight is high. If you burn more calories than you consume, you’ll probably experience short-term weight loss. Yet still, people live by the calories in, calories out motto, focusing on calories rather than the quality of food. Research does not suggest that eating more will cause sustained weight gain that results in obesity. The types of foods you choose to eat influence long-term weight gain. For example, refined starchy snacks, energy bars, cereals, sweets, sodas, and baked goods lead to weight gain. They are harmful because the body quickly digests them and floods the bloodstream with glucose, fructose, and amino acids, which the liver converts to fat. That’s why dietitians want people to prioritize the quality of food versus the quantity. Eating healthy fats, lean protein, legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds is the way to go!

Myth #5: White Potatoes Are Bad For You

A lot of people like to rank potatoes, and regular white, or Idaho, potatoes tend to end up at the bottom of the list. These potatoes are vilified in the nutritional community because they have a high glycemic index. They contain rapidly digestible carbohydrates that can spike blood sugar levels. White potatoes, however, have a long list of nutritional benefits. Potatoes are naturally rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients, especially when you consume them with the skin. Frying them in oil is the unhealthiest way to prepare them because they absorb the unhealthy fats from the oil. Healthier preparation methods include roasting, baking, air-frying, and boiling. 

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