T Nation

Dieting Myths...

… well, at least that’s what the memo says…

This is an email that was sent by a State agency ‘health employee’. This is a Department with a lot of overweight office workers.

Discuss.

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When You Go On a Diet, Is It Healthy to Go to Extremes?

Here are the facts, courtesy of Fitness magazine:

  • The first myth: A gluten-free diet is ‘no-carb,’ so you’ll lose weight. That’s False. A gluten-free diet is NOT no-carb and it’s NOT safe for weight loss. It’s designed for people with celiac disease, which makes it hard to digest the gluten in wheat, rye, and barley.

By skipping fortified whole-grain bread and cereal, you miss out on folate and without it, you’ll raise your risk of heart attack and certain birth defects. If a doctor says you actually have celiac disease, eat folate-rich leafy greens, gluten-free fortified juices and foods, and take a daily multivitamin.

  • Another myth: No-Dairy diets are great, because most adults are allergic to milk. That’s False. Experts say that very few adults are allergic to milk and dairy is a good source for calcium and vitamin D, which builds strong bones and teeth, and fights against cancer, diabetes, gum disease, arthritis, and improves your mood.

If you avoid dairy, drink orange juice and soy milk with calcium and vitamin D.

  • Another diet myth: It’s healthy to ONLY eat vegetables! That’s False. When you cut out an entire food group like meat you also omit certain vitamins and minerals, which weakens your immune system, makes it hard to concentrate, and makes it harder for your body to repair damage to your muscles from working out.

If you go vegetarian, eat iron-rich plants, like beans, lentils, and baked potatoes. As well as protein-rich eggs, milk, and yogurt.

  • One final diet myth: Omit carbs, like pasta and bread, and the pounds will melt away. The truth is: Low-carb eating plans are a digestive nightmare. They don’t provide enough fiber, which often results in severe constipation. Healthy carbs are also crucial for energy.

Stop eating them, and you’re likely to feel tired and grumpy all the time. The fix: Eat good-for-you carbs, like whole-grain bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and oatmeal. Throw in plenty of fiber-rich veggies, like spinach, broccoli, and peas.
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The memo references Fitness Magazine. Not sure whether it’s verbatim.

Hmm I always hear people say that the calcium in cow milk doesn’t actually do anything for you, anyone have any info regarding that?

I think it’s right though in that it’s a bad idea to go to extremes - you never want to eliminate ALL your carbs or ALL your fat or ALL of anything since what you’re missing might contain some vital nutrients.

You CAN manage your macronutrients to a degree to take the most advantage of a calorie deficit though. I’m no expert though.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:

  • The first myth: A gluten-free diet is ‘no-carb,’ so you’ll lose weight.

That’s False. A gluten-free diet is NOT no-carb and it’s NOT safe for weight loss. It’s designed for people with celiac disease, which makes it hard to digest the gluten in wheat, rye, and barley.[/quote]

True.

False and True. You’re not missing out on folate if you skip eating bread and cereal. They have to add most nutrients to breads and cereals because food manufacturers strip the food of its nutrients to begin with! But it’s true that you can get folate from rich leafy greens.

However, I disagree with the recommendation for juices (too high in sugar, less nutrients), and I have yet to find any evidence that a multivitamin is actually beneficial or used properly by the body. That’s a whole other story though. All I can say is to pick up a book called “What the Bible Says About Healthy Living.” It goes into much further detail about vitamins and food in general and how things work in the body.

[quote]* Another myth: No-Dairy diets are great, because most adults are allergic to milk.

That’s False. Experts say that very few adults are allergic to milk and dairy is a good source for calcium and vitamin D, which builds strong bones and teeth, and fights against cancer, diabetes, gum disease, arthritis, and improves your mood. If you avoid dairy, drink orange juice and soy milk with calcium and vitamin D.[/quote]

Who are these so-called experts? Many people are allergic to dairy. Or they are lactose-intolerate. If you’re going to consume milk, raw, unpastuerized and non-homgenized is best and organic would be second best. Again, read the book I referenced above for more info on raw milk (no, it’s not bad for you and won’t harm you).

Also, many people don’t know this, but Vitamin D cannot be absorbed in the body unless fat is present. It is a fat-soluable vitamin. So all the people who drink skim milk, nonfat yogurt or low-fat cheeses are actually not doing themselves much good because the Vitamin D is useless without the fat.

I’ve read a few studies that showed that even low-fat milk and cheeses prevents the absorption of Vitamin D. So your best bet if you are going to consume dairy products is to go for the full-fat versions (whole milk, whole cheese, yogurt, butter, etc.).

They seriously recommend drinking orange juice? Are you kidding me? Orange juice contains more sugar than a can of Coke Cola. The only reason it has Vitamin D is because food manufacturers add it to the juice! If you’re going to drink juice, then make it yourself - fresh squeezed. Or just eat the fruit itself - less calories, less sugar, more fiber and more nutrients.

Don’t even get me started on soy. I still don’t recommend it. I don’t care if a new study comes out saying how good it is, I don’t believe it.

[quote]* Another diet myth: It’s healthy to ONLY eat vegetables!

That’s False. When you cut out an entire food group like meat you also omit certain vitamins and minerals, which weakens your immune system, makes it hard to concentrate, and makes it harder for your body to repair damage to your muscles from working out. If you go vegetarian, eat iron-rich plants, like beans, lentils, and baked potatoes. As well as protein-rich eggs, milk, and yogurt.[/quote]

They got this one right. It’s healthy to eat vegetables and lean meats along with beans, lentils, eggs, yogurt, etc.

[quote]* One final diet myth: Omit carbs, like pasta and bread, and the pounds will melt away.

The truth is: Low-carb eating plans are a digestive nightmare. They don’t provide enough fiber, which often results in severe constipation. Healthy carbs are also crucial for energy. Stop eating them, and you’re likely to feel tired and grumpy all the time.[/quote]

This is straight dumb. Studies have shown repeatedly that a lower carb diet will always win for fat loss and health benefits. Read this post from my blog for one such story and info: http://christianathlete.blogspot.com/2008/07/low-carb-and-mediterranean-diets-are.html

I don’t see any reason why you need to consume pasta and bread to get fiber. You can get plenty of fiber from vegetables, fruits, beans and lentils.

Most breads, cereals, grains and pastas are stripped of their nutrients during processing and then the food manufacturers have to add nutrients back to those foods and then they try to sell them to you as being healthy.

The only bread I recommend is Ezekiel bread. It’s the closest thing you can get to what bread is supposed to be like unless you have access to a bread-making machine and all the whole, natural ingredients to make fresh bread yourself.

Remember this: real bread goes bad very, very quickly. Most bread in the store will last for days, weeks and even months. That should tell you right away that store-bought bread is crap - even the so-called “healthy” versions.

I already mentioned bread above, but most rice and pasta is the same way. Overprocessed and then nutrients are added to them to try and make them healthy.

You don’t need bread, pasta, cereal or rice in your diet. Yes, you can still eat them, especially if you are trying to gain weight and need the extra carbs, but you should try to buy the most whole, natural versions of those products as possible if you are going to eat them.

I highly recommend reading “What the Bible Says About Healthy Living,” as it has been a great resource of how and why certain foods are good for us and the benefits they have on the body. In fact, a lot of what is covered in that book is also in Jonny Bowden’s “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth” book that was recently mentioned on T-Nation as part of an interview with Bowden.

Both books would be a great resource for everyone on T-Nation regardless of their spiritual beliefs.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
… well, at least that’s what the memo says…

This is an email that was sent by a State agency ‘health employee’. This is a Department with a lot of overweight office workers.

Discuss.

  • One final diet myth: Omit carbs, like pasta and bread, and the pounds will melt away. The truth is: Low-carb eating plans are a digestive nightmare. They don’t provide enough fiber, which often results in severe constipation. Healthy carbs are also crucial for energy.

Stop eating them, and you’re likely to feel tired and grumpy all the time. The fix: Eat good-for-you carbs, like whole-grain bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and oatmeal. Throw in plenty of fiber-rich veggies, like spinach, broccoli, and peas.
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Your likely to feel tired if you eat too many carbs too. And if you truly stop eating starches and fruits all together you wont feel tired unless you dont eat enough fat. Also, unless your retarded and dont get any fiber, there is no digestion problems associated with low carb diets.

I dont beleive anything a goverment related agency sais about food. period. I dont even like most dietitions.

The memo references Fitness Magazine. Not sure whether it’s verbatim.
… not surprising

  1. grains are horrible for many people’s digestive systems

  2. drinking juice is horrible period, tons of carbs with no fiber

  3. anything having to do with soy should be ignored

  4. fortified foods are not the same as whole foods

  5. there are other sources of calcium and vitamin D

  6. there are other sources of folate

but i suppose this isn’t surprising since almost all dieticians, nutritionists and medical professionals especially those in the government still have their diet/fitness advice stuck in the 1970’s

95% of diets end in failure.

[quote]nowakc wrote:
Hmm I always hear people say that the calcium in cow milk doesn’t actually do anything for you, anyone have any info regarding that?
[/quote]

Ive heard this too, and am interested in what people have to say about it. Not that I actually believe this.

The human body requires very little Calcium post puberty. Once your teeth are created at ages pre-birth to 1.5(baby) , 4-5(secondary set), and 12-15(wisdom), after these age ranges your body no longer creates new teeth thus no need for extra calcium.

Bones do require a bit more calcium but if you eat a normal healthy diet you should get more then enough unless you have some sort of degenerative disease.

Many people can not digest milk, more people can not then can, only two main cultures can digest milk, people of northern European and African decent. Both of these cultures have been drinking milk for thousands of years and have built an immunity or tolerance to it. People of native American, Hispanic, Asian, India, Arabic, South American, etc. decent will likely have problems with milk.

[quote]Nanan wrote:
The human body requires very little Calcium post puberty. Once your teeth are created at ages pre-birth to 1.5(baby) , 4-5(secondary set), and 12-15(wisdom), after these age ranges your body no longer creates new teeth thus no need for extra calcium.

Bones do require a bit more calcium but if you eat a normal healthy diet you should get more then enough unless you have some sort of degenerative disease.

Many people can not digest milk, more people can not then can, only two main cultures can digest milk, people of northern European and African decent. Both of these cultures have been drinking milk for thousands of years and have built an immunity or tolerance to it. People of native American, Hispanic, Asian, India, Arabic, South American, etc. decent will likely have problems with milk.[/quote]

That surprisingly high level of intolerance when it comes to milk is a pretty big surprise to me since I’ve never known anyone of hispanic decent who didn’t love milk. I can easily go through a gallon and back in the dominican republic its pretty much a mandatory thing if you want to grow into a big strong dude…although they always do drink raw milk unlike the processed stuff they serve here(no offense to anyone who likes the pasteurized stuff.)

[quote]Nanan wrote:
The human body requires very little Calcium post puberty. Once your teeth are created at ages pre-birth to 1.5(baby) , 4-5(secondary set), and 12-15(wisdom), after these age ranges your body no longer creates new teeth thus no need for extra calcium.

Bones do require a bit more calcium but if you eat a normal healthy diet you should get more then enough unless you have some sort of degenerative disease.

Many people can not digest milk, more people can not then can, only two main cultures can digest milk, people of northern European and African decent. Both of these cultures have been drinking milk for thousands of years and have built an immunity or tolerance to it. People of native American, Hispanic, Asian, India, Arabic, South American, etc. decent will likely have problems with milk.[/quote]

people from india dont do well with milk? i thought milk and yogurt were staples of the indian diet.

[quote]Nanan wrote:
Many people can not digest milk, more people can not then can, only two main cultures can digest milk, people of northern European and African decent. Both of these cultures have been drinking milk for thousands of years and have built an immunity or tolerance to it. People of native American, Hispanic, Asian, India, Arabic, South American, etc. decent will likely have problems with milk.[/quote]

Every human can digest milk. It is called breast milk. This is because when we are all very young we have have an ample supply of lactase, the enzyme required to fully digest and abosrb lactose, the milk carbogydrate made from glucose-galactose.

When most individuals age througout their lives they stop producing lactase in any significant quantities. Somewhere down the line there was a genetic mutation among some groups which enabled them to continue to produce lactase. Lactose Intolerance is normal. If I remember the percentages correctly 15% of people from european decent are lactose intolerant, while 75% of those of african american decent are, and over 90% of those of asian decent.

It is not an immunity or tolerance, either you posses the enzyme necessary or you don’t.

is this really going to turn into YET ANOTHER DEBATE ON MILK??

[quote]Nanan wrote:
The human body requires very little Calcium post puberty.[/quote]

El wrongo.

Unless you call, for example, 2000 mg/day to be “very little.” In comparison to most micronutritents though that is a lot.

(Yes, the RDA is only 1000 mg/day, but it’s incorrect to imagine, and it’s not the case, that RDA is set according to optimal levels. It’s set according to the minimum that is known to avoid an overt disease state plus an arbitrary margin. There isn’t even an effort to see what actually gives best health results let alone best performance results. However even if you, IMO wrongly, insist no one should have more than the RDA, even then, 1000 mg/day is not a “very little” amount for a micronutrient.)

[quote]Nanan wrote:
Many people can not digest milk, more people can not then can, only two main cultures can digest milk, people of northern European and African decent. Both of these cultures have been drinking milk for thousands of years and have built an immunity or tolerance to it. People of native American, Hispanic, Asian, India, Arabic, South American, etc. decent will likely have problems with milk.[/quote]

India? Really?

Think about that one for a while.