As a dietitian, I meet a lot of patients who come out with these crazy myths about diets. Everybody who can read and has internet connection is a doctor today. Some of them argue with me, based on things they read on some website. Now let’s bust some myths about diets, proven by science, not made up by grandma.

Eggs increase cholesterol. Wrong, you can actually eat 2 eggs a day for your whole life and be as healthy as a bull (diabetic bulls are an exception). Yes, except diabetics, who actually increase the risk of a heart attack by eating eggs, nobody is in any real danger here, eggs increasing the “good” cholesterol (we call it HDL), and having no effect on the “bad” cholesterol (called LDL outside internet web pages). A lot of people with elevated LDL and triglycerides avoid eggs for some reason. You probably don’t even have an elevated LDL level anyway. Some time ago, the cholesterol markers went down. A normal cholesterol level 30 years ago is a dangerous level today. All this because of some pharmaceutical companies who started selling cholesterol pills and decided along with some shady doctors that the cholesterol level should change, and so almost everybody should have an elevated LDL and buy their product. If you are not a diabetic, eggs are very good for you.

Whole wheat bread is good, the others are bad. All wheat is bad today. Unless you are a farmer and grow your own wheat, you will not be able to get some good wheat out of it. Everything is processed, everything is treated, sprayed and has nothing to do with health. It raises the cholesterol level just as much as a normal bread. Same thing with whole grains. Whole grains and refined grains are absolutely the same thing.

 Coffee is bad. Coffee is probably the richest “food” in antioxidants you can get your hands on. You will not get more antioxidants from fruits and vegetables combined. It’s proven to keep away Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Parkinson’s and many other diseases. Coffee is amazing (as long as you don’t combine it with poison…sorry, I meant sugar).

Low fat diary products are better than full fat ones. Only if you sell low fat diary products. Actually full fat diary products from grass fed cows lower the risk of a heart disease by more than 60%.  It also reduce the risk of obesity by a fair amount. The low fat products are processed, has less nutrients and will eventually make you eat more. Also, removing the fat makes them taste like crap, so the manufacturers add shady ingredients to them in order to make them more appealing. Sugar can be found in such products, and we all know what sugar does (definitely not fighting weight loss).

 Diet is all about willpower. No. It’s all about genetics, not ONLY about calories in and calories out.  It’s about hormones, centers in the brain that regulates the amount we eat and what we eat. Some food can be addictive and broken links in the brain can be victims of these junk-foods and sugar. You cannot blame obese for lack of will, they probably have more will than you, but fighting against your brain is a big deal. It’s true, still an individual battle to lose weight, but those that do not succeed are not lacking the will power, they just have bad genetics, bad hormones and more broken links in their brains to be able to defeat hunger and cravings. It’s like telling you that if you flap your arms fast enough, you can fly. It’s true, you could, if you would flap it as fast as a helicopter. It’s not your willpower, it’s your brain telling you that you can’t, so you don’t even try. (did you try yet? no no, faster! much faster!!! oh crap, you lack the willpower to fly. booooo!)

You burn more calories if you eat less and often. No, the body burns the exact amount of calories either way, eating less per day and exercising more will burn more calories, not how often you eat. If your body in relaxing state burns 1650 calories, eating one meal a day containing 1650 calories will make you keep your weight. Same with 4 meals of 412.5 calories.

I will probably repeat this in every single article and people will still google for an alternative:) There is no magic trick, no secret plant, no shortcut. You either eat less than you burn, exercise more, or stay at your current weight (if lucky). I know you read about the obesity and the lack of willpower, but it’s not impossible, it’s just harder. Today, even staying healthy is hard, considering the amount of unknown ingredients we ingest. Stop trying miraculous cleansing rituals (drink only water one day/month), trending diets, heavy exercise. They don’t work. Not because the idea is bad, it’s not. Some people manage to lose weight like that, but going from fast food every day to “only water”, and from being a couch potato to starting TRX or P90X will be a waste of time. Your brain won’t let you. Start small, eliminate things one of the time. This is being smart, the other ones just make you look desperate.

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2 Comments

  1. Liked your article. Sensible and clear

    1. Thank you

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