There is SO much fokelore about nutrition facts out there. Carbohydrates are bad for you. Lots of protein is good for you. Drink as much water as you can. The list is endless! The good news is that there are a number of nutrition basics that will set you up for life but in order to weed these out you need to be able to tell the nutrition facts from the old wives’ tales so that you can have good nutrition for life.
Nutrition Facts 101: Myth #1 – Carbohydrates are Bad for You
With diets such as Atkins and Banting, carbohydrates have gotten a very bad rep. As a result, people are throwing out pasta, bread, rice, potatoes and the like in favour of cauliflower mash and zucchini spaghetti.
This – says Elaine Magee, MPH, RD – may not be such a great idea. Carbohydrates provide essential energy for our bodies but there’s a difference between good carbs and bad carbs:
“We can reap the health benefits of good carbs by choosing carbohydrates full of fiber. These carbs that get absorbed slowly into our systems, avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels. Examples: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans … We can minimize the health risk of bad carbs by eating fewer refined and processed carbohydrates that strip away beneficial fiber. Examples: white bread and white rice.”
The trick to choosing good carbs over bad carbs is knowing which kind the food that you eat contains. Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Specialised Nutrition Course will teach you how to read food labels properly – among so many other nutrition basics – that you’ll be set up for life in terms of fundamental nutrition.
Nutrition Facts 101: Myth #2 – Lots of Protein is Good for You
Yes, protein is essential in building muscle and – if you’re following an intensive bodybuilding routine – you’ll need to consume more protein than others. However, make sure to watch your calorie intake.
According to fundamental nutrition experts at the University of California Los Angeles one gram of protein is equivalent – calorie wise – to one gram of carbohydrates: they both contain 4 calories each. So if you binge on protein, and avoid carbs like the plague, you won’t lose weight. Chances are that you’ll actually put on weight.
Nutrition Facts 101: Myth #3 – Lots of Water is Good for You
Granted, you do need to keep well hydrated and you do need to replace water that you lose during workouts or on a hot day. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to drink water to excess: if you drink too much water you run the risk of washing out all the minerals in your body that are essential for survival.
In fact, drinking too much water can cause a syndrome called water intoxication:
“Also known as water poisoning,” says Arlene Semeco, MS, RD, “water intoxication is the disruption of brain function due to drinking too much water. Drinking a lot of water increases the amount of water in your blood. This water can dilute the electrolytes in your blood, especially sodium. When sodium levels fall below 135 mmol/L, it is called hyponatremia.”
For more information about our specialised nutrition course – as well as any of our other fitness courses – click here.