There’s so much misinformation in the health and wellness space, which made us wonder: What are the myths that really drive nutritionists crazy? So we turned to Dr. Frank Lipman, integrative and functional medicine expert, author of The New Health Rules and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, to find out. Here’s what he told us.
Egg Whites Are Better for You Than the Whole Egg
Contrary to popular belief, the cholesterol in the food you eat has virtually no impact on the cholesterol level of your blood. It’s sugar and carbs that trigger production of bad cholesterol in your body. So, eat your eggs and eat them whole — no more egg white omelets. When you eat fragmented foods, your body starts to crave the rest, and that can make you reach for something unhealthy. Egg yolks contain choline — essential for the functioning of all cells, especially brain cells — and deliver more of those good fats your body needs.
Fat Is Bad for You
It’s a myth that fat will make you fat. The opposite is actually true — healthy fats help you burn fat. Fats provide slow-burning energy, moderating the entry of glucose into our cells, so we don’t need to eat as frequently. This is why foods high in fats, such as nuts and avocados make great snacks. Fats give us a feeling of satiety — we are less likely to reach for a sugary treat when we incorporate healthy fats into our diet.
Eating Whole Grains Will Help You Lose Weight
Wheat is not your friend. It’s addictive and an appetite stimulant, and the gluten it contains can make you sick. Pasta and bread are trouble — and the whole wheat varieties are no better. Whole wheat has a high glycemic value and stimulates insulin release, which leads to fat storage. My experience has been that eliminating sugar and wheat have been the most important factors in weight loss. Lose the wheat, lose the weight!
Drinking More Caffeine Will Help You Feel Full and Lose More Weight
No, because too much caffeine over-stimulates the adrenal glands. When your adrenals are taxed, it causes you to release cortisol (the stress hormone), and an excess of cortisol in your system is linked with inflammation and weight gain. Caffeine also interferes with your sleep, and sleep is essential for weight loss.
Diet Soft Drinks/Foods Are a Good Way to Cut Calories and Lose Weight
This is a big myth! Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners in diet sodas and foods is a diet disaster. Aspartame (in NutraSweet, Equal, Diet Coke, Crystal Light and some chewing gum) is a dangerous food additive with toxic effects. And though Splenda claims to be made from sugar, it is made by chlorinating sugar. This means if you use Splenda, you are essentially dumping chlorine in your coffee. Recent studies have shown that aspartame may actually stimulate appetite and bring on a craving for carbohydrates. The “low-calorie” and “fat-free” foods are usually processed. It is the quality of nutrients that is important, not whether a food is low-fat or low-carb. Get good quality carbs and fats into you. These nutrient-dense foods are energizing and will make it easier to lose weight. I try to get my patients away from this obsession with calorie counting or looking for fat-free foods (which are often loaded with sugar).