Why is nutrition so confusing? To start, there is a plethora of conflicting information available on the subject. Many people *think* they know how to eat right. There are individuals giving advice to the public without the proper nutrition knowledge or credentials (Registered Dietitians are the food and nutrition experts). And the diet industry continues to come out with the next best supplement/pill/meal replacement, etc. There are roughly 100 million dieters and it’s a 20 billion a year industry. Can you guess what percentage of those who lose the weight gain it back (and more)? Researchers debate this, however the number can be stated at over 90%.
B.Komplete wants to help dispel some of these nutrition myths. Here are a few common nutrition misconceptions, with the truth.
Misconception 1: Diets are the best way to improve your health.
Research has studied popular diets and found that the diets don’t provide enough or the right macro (protein, carbohydrate and fat) and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals). People who stay on these diets for an extended time period may face health risks. So, what is the best way to lose weight? A healthy lifestyle that includes a variety of foods and is abundant in fruits and vegetables along with regular physical activity can help most people manage and maintain weight loss. Take into account other factors in your life such as stress, sleep, support and time, that all impact your overall health, weight and wellness.
Truth 1: Realistic, holistic, improvements are the best way to improve your health.
Misconception 2: Don’t eat or exercise later than 6 PM.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Weight Control Information Network, “it does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight.” In terms of timing for exercise, a study from the Arizona State University in Phoenix found that it was entirely appropriate to exercise at any time during the day or evening.
Truth 2: This is highly individualized, and it is possible to eat and exercise past 6 PM for optimal health.
Misconception 3: A healthy weight is your lowest weight.
A healthy weight is one that is right for your body type and height and is based on your body mass index (BMI) and the size of your waist (waist circumference). Your BMI is only one measure of your health. A person who is not at a “normal” weight according to their BMI may be healthy if she has healthy eating habits and exercises regularly. People who are thin but don’t exercise or eat nutritious foods aren’t necessarily healthy just because they are thin.
Truth 3: A healthy weight is based on numerous factors including your BMI and waist circumference.
Misconception 4: The internet is the source for reliable nutrition information.
The internet has been compared to the Wild West. There are no rules, and anyone who is a little computer savvy can put up a website and write whatever she thinks sounds good/will sell/interest people. In general, be cautious of any website telling you that you must never do something or you must buy their products to achieve the nutrition result you are looking for. Some useful websites that B.Komplete will reference in research include: WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/), The Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition (http://www.eatright.org/Public/), PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), The American Heart Association (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/), USDA (http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome), FDA (http://www.fda.gov/Food/default.htm), and the Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.org/). All of these websites are from accredited sources and/or agencies and reference clinical research.
Truth 4: Certain accredited websites and Registered Dietitians (RDs) are the source for reliable nutrition information.
Misconception 5: Avoid ‘processed’ food.
It is impossible to avoid processed food, because a food has been processed after it has been harvested. There is a very wide spectrum of processed food; from minimally processed (bagged spinach) to highly processed (shelf stable meat). Processed food can be beneficial to your diet – it is all about choosing wisely. Milk can be fortified with calcium, vitamin D and omega-3, and breakfast cereal may have added fiber. Frozen fruits and vegetables can have even more micro-nutrients than fresh. Meals created from your local markets can be a nutritious option. Eating processed food is unavoidable, and be aware of hidden sugar, sodium and fat.
Truth 5: Processed food can offer nutritious and well-balanced options AND select wisely.
B.Inspired. B.Educated. B.Komplete