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Nutrition Myths

The establishment media doesn't just feed us misinformation in the political realm. One of the most difficult subjects on which to get straight answers from our purported bastions of truth is nutrition. There are so many conflicting viewpoints out there that it is no wonder many Americans don't know where to turn for the real facts on healthy eating habits. Proper nutrition is a subject I have worked hard to learn more about, so that I can pass that knowledge along to my clients and help them to capitalize on the hard work they put in during their workouts. It's interesting to see just how wrong many of our supposedly "trusted sources" (mainly connected to government and establishment medicine) are about the inner workings of food and the human body, and it underscores the need to verify your sources of information and due your own due diligence when making choices about what to put in your body. Here are some nutrition myths that I have dealt with over the years.

Myth #1 - It's about calories in versus calories out. Not all calories are created equal, and some foods have a greater nutritional component than others. While it is true that one gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories, one gram of protein has 4 calories, and one gram of fat equals 9 calories, the effect they have on your body depends wildly on the source. Refined carbohydrates (and sugars) will have a more inflammatory consequence for your body, as well as create a higher glycemic effect (meaning that they cause your blood sugar to rise). Organic sources of meat and produce are far less likely to be tainted with antibiotics or pesticides that can put you at greater risk for developing the diseases of modern civilization (autoimmune disorders, certain types of cancer, heart disease, etc). Fat calories that contain high amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids (found in many vegetable oils and fried foods) can also have a harmful inflammatory effect on your body. I will talk more about fats a little later on. If fat loss is a goal, there is no question that you want to create a slight caloric deficit, but it's far more than simple addition and subtraction. My advice is to focus more attention on what you consume than to stress yourself out by simply counting calories. Remember, the human body is a wonderfully adaptive organism and will adjust accordingly to what you put into it.

Myth #2 - Cholesterol is a dangerous substance. This is incorrect. Cholesterol is not inherently dangerous; it is a necessary substance that is naturally found in your body, especially in your brain. So how can it possibly be a danger to you? This is a myth that has been perpetuated by the medical establishment (often due to ignorance) as well as the pharmaceutical companies (in order to sell you statin drugs that increase their bottom line). According to a study published at the National Institutes of Health, the main function of cholesterol is to, "Maintain the integrity and fluidity of cell membranes and to serve as a precursor for the synthesis of substances that are vital for the organism, including steroid hormones, bile acids, and Vitamin D." Sounds pretty important, right? Don't get too worked up over your total cholesterol level; frankly, the medical/pharmaceutical cabal has been moving the goal posts for years about what is considered borderline or high. Do pay attention to your HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or "good"cholesterol), as high levels of HDL can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Strive to keep that number above 60 mg/dL. Read the book "The Great Cholesterol Con" by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick to get the real facts about cholesterol.

Myth #3 - Salt is bad for you and should be avoided. False. Salt has been given a bad rap over the years, and misinformation has led many wives to severely restrict or altogether forbid their husbands from eating salt for fear of creating or exacerbating high blood pressure or heart disease. In reality, a far bigger culprit contributing to those two conditions is the consumption of sugars and refined carbohydrates, but I digress. Salt, or sodium chloride, is a substance your body likes and needs, which is why most of us enjoy it in our food. Salt helps you to stay hydrated, promotes vascular health, improves sleep, and supports a healthy nervous system. Low levels of sodium in the body can lead to cramping, dizziness, and nausea. Salt your food to taste; your body will tell you when you have had enough.

Myth #4 - Red meat is unhealthy. I don't have proof, but this myth might have been propagated by the poultry industry. It would seem to make sense; in most cases ask yourself, "who benefits?" This myth, of course, is false, and I think people are smarter about this now than they used to be. Who doesn't love a burger or a perfectly seasoned steak? I couldn't imagine not eating those two things, which is probably why I could never be a vegetarian. In addition to tasting great, red meat is incredibly nutritious and is a fantastic source of iron. According to WebMD, "Red meat supplies Vitamin B12, which helps make DNA and keeps nerve and red blood cells healthy, and zinc, which keeps the immune system working properly." Red meat also provides cholesterol (see Myth #2) and supplies muscles with protein, which it needs for repair (particularly if you strength train). Just be careful not to overcook it, as that can diminish some of the nutritional content.

Myth #5 - Eating dietary fat makes you fat. Nonsense! I mentioned above that not all calories are created equal, and while there are more calories in a gram of fat than in either of the other two macronutrients, this does not automatically cause you to gain fat. It is actually the consumption of refined sugars and processed carbohydrates that stimulates a higher glycemic response and causes the pancreas to release more insulin in order to get energy into the cells. This, in turn, decreases your insulin sensitivity and triggers the body to store fat. Good sources of saturated fat (such as eggs, meat, fish, and olive oil) actually have a very neutral effect on your blood sugar levels. In fact, ketogenic diets (in which a majority of your total calories come from fat) have been shown to be effective in terms of fat loss and in treating traumatic brain injuries. If you consume a significant portion of your calories (50 percent) through saturated fat, you will be satiated more quickly and tend to eat fewer calories overall. Simply adding butter to a starchy food like a baked potato diminishes its glycemic effect. Combining intermittent fasting with an increased consumption of fat calories is a great way to stimulate fat loss, regulate hormone and blood sugar levels, and transition your body into ketosis (where fat is the preferred fuel source).

Big Food, Big Pharma, the medical establishment, and the legacy media have worked in concert to perpetuate many of the above myths. These entities have promoted the insidious Western diet that has been responsible for a staggering spike of modern disease and rising insurance costs over the past 50 years. Don't buy into the propaganda. Consume a diet that largely consists of single-ingredient whole foods and choose organic sources whenever possible. Eat until you are no longer hungry, and don't feel compelled to eat small meals or snacks every two hours. Most importantly, do your own research and be your own advocate. The information is easily accessible from a limitless number of non-establishment sources. Education is power.

Posted March 16, 2022 by Matthew Romans