T Nation

Nutrition Myths

It seems we are getting a lot of new visitors who are arriving with plenty of repeated questions as well as supplement and nutrition myths. Some example myths might be:

  • protein is bad for the kidneys.
    No, it isn’t, as long as you are healthy and don’t already have kidney problems.

  • creatine is bad for you.
    No, it isn’t. Many studies show creatine has numerous positive effects as well as cell volumization.

  • milk is bad for you.
    No, it isn’t. Some people are not able to tolerate components of milk, but in general, milk is a powerful tool for bodybuilders.

Anyway, I’m hoping I can get some help from regular forumites on this. Maybe we can build this thread up as we see myths and/or repeated questions showing up on the forums?

So, if you have links to good articles that destroy the myths above, or just see other myths showing up, please dump them into this thread. The same goes for often repeated questions.

Ok?

Is ecdysterone good?

Consumer Report - Bug Drug
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459842

“Carbs are bad!”
No, they aren’t!

“Fats are bad! BadFats!”( from behind a wagging finger)
NO, they aren’t!

“Creatine is like steriods”
BOOM! (my head exploded)

The only thing creatine does is give you an extra phosphate when you need it for engergy… how could that be bad for you?

It isn’t. Thats why my head explodes.
Also- see title of thread.

Good thread.

Let’s add:

You should eat clean at all times to make progress.

How you eat is largely based on your metabolism, age and activity level. If some guy is very active while still growing in height with a very fast metabolism, cheating in your diet can actually help you gain more size and strength simply bvecause your body needs the extra calories. That doesn’t mean eat hamburgers all day, but damn, if you aren’t growing, a freaking cheeseburger every once in a while will not kill you.

This could carry over to “lifting myths” as well, like;

simply lifting heavy will make you huuuuuuuuge.

No, it won’t unless the rest of your eating, training and even rest are in order. Your progress has much more to do with what you do outside of the gym than what you only do inside.

I guess if you want to add lifting-
“Deadlifting will hurt your back”
Realy? How?
“Squats will hurt your back”
HMMM? Interesting!
“Situps will hurt your back”
Izat So?

I know a lot of people with big guts and bad backs. A whole gaggle of Bobs giving me advice on lifting. These are the most frequent comments I hear.
All of which are followed by “Yea I did those one time and it almost killed me!”

“Bodybuilders eat 6 clean, small meals”

Bullshit, BBers eat whatever they can get their hands on

[quote]mindeffer01 wrote:

I know a lot of people with big guts and bad backs. A whole gaggle of Bobs giving me advice on lifting. These are the most frequent comments I hear.
All of which are followed by “Yea I did those one time and it almost killed me!”[/quote]

Amazing the volumes of WTF advice you tend to get from fatass morons between their sets on the bicep curl machine.

Interesting topic vroom… getting bored up in the big CAN are you?! :wink:

I think you might need to qualify some items. For instance, I have seen enough research/studies that milk CAN and often IS bad for you, depending on the amount and source. Drinking several servings of the pasteurized variety might not be a good idea. It may not be as bad as eating a gram of aspartame, but there may be some antibiotics and insulin (etc.) left over from the animal. Not to mention, boiled anything destroys many nutrients and generally “ruins” the food (there are exceptions). Plus, the cow was probably grain fed which typically yields are a poorer omega 3:6 profile.

Now, organic, non-pasteurized dairy, from grass-finished heffers is much healthier. I know, I know - you have to pick your battles. Not everyone can afford/has access to this high quality dairy. But, again, I had to say something because I believe dairy CAN potentially be bad for you.

Top-MI-Sirloin

Sirloin,

I’d be willing to go as far as discussing the differences between milk based on processes it undergoes and the differences in fat profiles.

Beyond that, I’d rather see something a bit more conclusive to say that it is BAD for you. I think that is a big stretch, though I know some people have bought into that belief.

Yes, there are those that have intolerance for milk for one reason or another, and as with anyone who has issues with some type of food, they should figure out what those issues are and avoid them. This doesn’t infer a problem with the food itself, at least not to me.

For example, peanuts can kill you if you are allergic to them… I’m guessing that is “bad for you”… but I wouldn’t label peanuts in general as “bad for you” on their own.

[quote]TopSirloin wrote:

I think you might need to qualify some items. For instance, I have seen enough research/studies that milk CAN and often IS bad for you, depending on the amount and source. Drinking several servings of the pasteurized variety might not be a good idea. It may not be as bad as eating a gram of aspartame, but there may be some antibiotics and insulin (etc.) left over from the animal. Not to mention, boiled anything destroys many nutrients and generally “ruins” the food (there are exceptions). Plus, the cow was probably grain fed which typically yields are a poorer omega 3:6 profile.

Top-MI-Sirloin[/quote]

There are a lot of cans, mights, and maybees in there.
What is the mode and mechanism of this damage that is done to the body by milk? I mean after all, if it is to be deemed harmfull, shouldn’t there be some damage that is directly contributed to its use?
I can understand a statement such as “Milk may not be an ideal source for protiens, sugars, and fats in regard to a specific goal.”, but come on man, we beat the milk drum last week. No one could produce anything stating explicitly that it is “bad”.
Show us something that demonstrates specificaly how and why it is bad.

Myth: Low fat or fat free is always better for you.
Myth: Don’t eat carbs.
Myth: The whole world should be converted to the Atkins diet
Myth: Soy is a miracle food

Not to change the subject but reminds me of training myths as well. I was doing a leg exercise with proper form one day and some weird chick was sighing impatiently while watching me. She finally barged in on my training and instructed me that it’s as well a BACK exercise and showed me how to use my back to do the exercise. I felt compelled to say, “you know that’s how you f**k up your back, don’t you”, but she adamantly insisted, so in order to shut her up and get rid of her I heard her out. When she finally got up and started walking away, I told her, “thank-you much, FRUITY.”

Fruity training Myth: Don’t use good form but instead use your back on all non-back exercises to strengthen it.

Training Myth: “You shouldn’t lift that much weights, you’re going to look like one of those big massive guys!” Gasp!

Training Myth: Girls should only stick to #3, 5# and 8# little tiny dumbells.

The whole milk and other raw food debate was covered by Shugs in the “It’s Sabotage!” article, he even specifically mentioned the milk issue.

As Vroom said, it’s mostly good for you if you are not lactose intolerant. Giving all the extra information will only confuse and discourage newbies.

I have read for years on nutrition and I still get surprised. Finally when noticing my own body, I realized, as long as I get enough fruits and vegetables (mostly raw) then everything is ok. So I finally ignore all those rules when it comes to eating. LDL and fasting glucose all went way down and I don’t have to go all raw and unpasteurized and organic.

I hated vegetables. I still do. But instead of listening to people who kept telling me it’s bad to eat only one kind, I ate a baby spinach salad each day. Once a week or so I ate peas and brocolli. I hated everything else. That is not a lot of diversity but you know what? It was good for me and got me started eating vegetables, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. And esp. for newbies it’s more important to learn basic principles and put them into practice, than get them bogged down in minutiea.

If someone wants to go beyond that, they can do the research themselves. But let’s not confuse people with too much information, which I think was part of the point of the thread.

For instance, here is my contribution:

“food X causes cancer!”
Everything causes cancer. Your best bet is to eat less prepared foods and less “junk” foods, and more fruits and vegetables. That alone is enough to help stave off diet related cancers and diabetes and other diseases.

This is why I said, “Now, organic, non-pasteurized dairy, from grass-finished heffers is much healthier. I know, I know - you have to pick your battles. Not everyone can afford/has access to this high quality dairy. But, again, I had to say something because I believe dairy CAN potentially be bad for you.”

But, you guys are correct, in general (very general) processed milk is not necessarily bad for you. Therefore, I supposed, milk would not be 100% under the myth column.

Still, food for thought: do you take insulin shots when you are not diabetic? Do you pop old penicillin when you are not sick? Do add bovine GH to your PWO shake? I doubt it, but this is what is being found in processed milk.

Not everything has to directly cause cancer like uranium! As most health and fitness-minded people know, our diet is additive. The milk is merely one area with potential side-effects that are real and proven. If you add in all the other foods that could also be potentially harmful to your health, the sum total is significant.

I digress though… the point has been well covered - enough out of me!

Top-MI-Sirloin

[quote]TopSirloin wrote:
Still, food for thought: do you take insulin shots when you are not diabetic? Do you pop old penicillin when you are not sick? Do add bovine GH to your PWO shake? I doubt it, but this is what is being found in processed milk.[/quote]

I want you to prove this statement. Penicillin found in milk could be deadly to some people. I want to see the findings of some research group or study that found insulin and penicillin in milk.

Dude, you are talking about the “processed food” wars.

However, even in the processed food wars, you have to look at the levels of the materials present, how often it is actually present and whether or not the material actually survives digestion.

The government sets health standards on these things, so the proper course of action is to convince the government to set appropriate standards and enforce them, not make claims that common foods are unhealthy, per se.

This is similar to the “oft” quoted concept that there are standards for how much mouse shit can appear in a box of cereal. I’m sure the standard is probably measures in grams per ton or something, but yes, in the real world, bugs and other contaminants enter the food chain.

Our bodies are designed to handle small quantities of natural contaminants, it’s part of life.

Most of us eat paint chips and dirt as children, it probably wasn’t “good” for us either!

If you really feel strongly about these types of issues, I’d suggest starting a web site or something. Most of us are content to hope that the scientists setting safety standards are at least somewhat competent.

Anyway, the organic option is certainly out there for those that choose to exercise it. I would point out though, that most of humanity lives into a pretty ripe old age considering how many things in life are “bad” for us.

I think a healthy lifestyle, involving exercise, a balanced diet including a wide selection of nutrients and decent EFA consumption will go an awful long way against protecting us from the risk inherent in every day of our lives.

Personally, I think the protection factor is what most of the population is lacking, in which case indeed, everything that can cause a problem, is much more likely to cause a problem. I don’t think food is generally at fault, though it will always play a role because it modulates our systems.

Anyway, obviously we both feel strongly about our views on this topic. I don’t intend to be bashing your views… and I don’t think there could be any harm in following the suggestions you make based on your concerns.

Myth: If you buy it at Whole Foods it must be good for you.

Myth: If all three meals come from a bright Healthy Choice box, you are a healthy person

Myth: Being a Vegetarian makes you healthy and lean

Myth: Red meat is bad for you

Myth: Eating before bed will make you fat

Myth: Eating before after you workout defeats the calories lost from the workout

Myth: Restaraunt food is better than home cooked food (loaded with calories)

Myth: Jamba Juice is the key to being healthy (They just have great marketing)

Myth: Juicing your fruits is healthier (you actually lose a lot of fiber this way, however Juicing your veggies is better)

Myth: Cooking your vegetables ruins their nutritional value. (Vegetables such as spinach actually have better bioavailability when cooked which makes up for items lost in cooking)

Myth: The more vitamins the better.

Myth: Vitamin C is the key to defeating a cold (I’d argue that its more about maintaining your caloric intake than boatloads of powdered Vitamin C. One study showed that a huge breakfast was a better immune system boost then a spike of Vitamin C)

Myth: Carrots are unhealthy

Myth: Fruits are worse than snickers because they have more sugar

I took 2 Spike before writing this.

[quote]vroom wrote:

  • milk is bad for you.
    No, it isn’t. Some people are not able to tolerate components of milk, but in general, milk is a powerful tool for bodybuilders.
    [/quote]

There is a reason why our enzymes shut down and inhibit the digestion of milk, we’re not designed to consume it after the nursing phase. No other animal on the planet consumes milk after the nursing period and we are no different.

Man, we have a lot of milk haters in here today.

I think, generally, that we are designed to eat just about any damned thing, plant or animal, that isn’t inherently poisonous.

This doesn’t mean we should only eat one thing, but that whatever nature happens to make available, be it snakes, grasshoppers, chickens, cows, roots of plants, fruits, nuts, vegetables, eggs, dandelions, or whatever, we can consume it.