Don’t we all want to be always in shape and healthy? The Internet provides countless pages with dos and don’ts on the subject of food. But what is right and important when it comes to staying fit or getting first? And what is simply wrong? There are just as many nutritional myths out there as there are different foods. Some just meet us again and again.
Reason enough for us to visit francescamyer – our nutrition expert with a great passion, not only for sport, but also for a healthy lifestyle – once ask more precisely. The fitness blogger took a close look at 5 nutritional myths for us.
Myth 1 – fat is unhealthy
The bad reputation that fat makes you fat probably comes from the fact that it has a relatively high energy density of 9 kcal per gram. In addition, our body can only absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K with the help of fat. Therefore, fat should make up 30% of our caloric intake.
Of course, it depends on the type of fat: Fats should for the most part be obtained from unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce itself).
We should therefore not do without fat entirely. Fat is important and is needed everywhere in the body: it serves as an energy supplier and store, carries flavors and aromas, protects organs from mechanical influences and protects us from the cold. In addition, fat supports cell structure and our nervous system.
Good and healthy sources of fat are olive oil, avocados, nuts, linseed oil, chia seeds, salmon and eggs.
Myth 2 – Natural sugar is not sugar
Sugar is an integral part of our diet. According to the Statista portal, the per capita consumption of sugar in Germany in 2017/18 was around 34.8 kilograms – this corresponds to a daily amount of around 95 grams.
The majority of the amount does not come from sweets, as you might expect, but from fruit juices and finished products.
Every sugar substitute has its advantages and disadvantages. In order to take advantage of the positive effects of the vitamins, minerals, trace elements and secondary plant substances that some sugar substitutes contain, one would have to consume an unhealthy amount of them. The bottom line is that consumption would have more disadvantages than advantages.
In order not to fall into the sugar trap, it is worthwhile to try to completely avoid industrial sugar. Because sugar alternatives such as sweeteners, for example, also “trigger” the desire for sweets.
If you want to know how you can effectively escape your cravings for sweets, here are 7 valuable tips.
Myth 3 – Eating after training is better than eating before
Before and after you exercise, it is important that you eat the right thing. Because if the timing and composition of your meal are right, you support the training effect and get the best out of yourself! However, when the optimal time is cannot be generalized, it depends on your training goals:
If you want to get in shape, it is advisable to eat a small protein-rich snack before training. So that your body has time to digest the food you eat before your workout, you should eat something about an hour before. Large meals should be eaten 2-3 hours beforehand.
If you want to build muscle, you should have a meal of carbohydrates and proteins after your workout. This allows your body to regenerate after exercise and replenish its energy reserves.
Trying it out is the motto: Don’t start on an empty stomach and listen to your gut feeling!
Myth 4 – Cheat Days are unhealthy
Burgers, pizza and cakes: On a Cheat Day, everything is allowed that may be prohibited in the context of a healthy diet. But does it really make sense to indulge in unhealthy foods on Cheat Day? In my opinion: no!
I often observe that in most cases on Cheat Day it is grossly exaggerated: In one week you eat 80% healthy and 20% feast to your heart’s content. Then, however, the insulin level is so high that it takes some time before the absorbed energy can be used up again.
Although some studies prove that Cheat Days actually support weight loss instead of boycotting it, I am convinced that cheating does not build a healthy relationship with food:
The whole week you long for that one day on which you are “allowed to eat anything” and then you scourge yourself for 6 days with prohibitions and commands! In my opinion, this makes a balanced diet and sufficient exercise more of a compulsion than it becomes flesh and blood.
Myth 5 – Superfoods are exotic and expensive
Most of you have probably heard of superfoods – at least in the media, the term has become a real buzzword. But the trend to buy expensive and exclusive food in dried form or as a powder from South America, Africa or India is now on the decline again.
What many may not know: Superfoods don’t always have to be expensive and exotic. A look at Germany and our own region shows that true superfoods also grow here: barley grass, linseed, berries and vegetables often have a similar high nutrient density as chia seeds, matcha powder or acai. The advantage: They only cost a fraction!
Superfoods are ideal as dietary supplements when there is an increased need for micronutrients (e.g. in phases of illness, high physical or psychological stress, during pregnancy or breastfeeding …) or whenever we do not manage to do it on our own, with enough healthy food and to supply enough vital substances.
The key to a healthy diet, however, is not superfood, but balance! Anyone who uses regional products in their everyday life does not need superfood.
Eat a varied diet and eat as many unprocessed foods as possible, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes or whole grains.
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