Going Against Common Sense

Aug 26, 2010

100 calories must be OK right?

Today I really wanted to write about common sense, because I feel it's something that really holds us back. Your natural sense of understanding makes the topic of nutrition quite difficult to grasp. It's like when I first read about how hockey players born in January have a way higher chance of making the NHL then the people born in September, to me it didn't make sense. Why would the month they are born in have anything to do with it. Well it does read here to find out. 

The examples I wrote below have such a common sense feel to them that If I knew very little about nutrition it would make a lot of sense to me too. As you will see they don't.

"If I eat fat, I get fat"

Truth: Fats are not what is making people fat. Insulin is is what regulates fat accumulation and the only macronutrient out of the 3 (protein, carbs, fat) that produces high amounts of insulin is carbohydrates. Fat has no effect on insulin.  Even though common sense would tell us that fat would be the thing to avoid. Carbohydrates convert to fat and the're really the one's to be avoided.

"If something is fat free it's healthy. 

Truth: Fat free is unhealthy. Our bodies need fat (except trans fat) for survival. Not only that, when a companies remove it's fat from a product it usually adds sugar. Sugar again, is the real issue in making people unhealthy. Skittles are fat free does that mean the're healthy?" 

"I'll restrict my water intake for a few days so I will look great for that day on the beach"

Truth: The human body is always looking for homeostasis, if one hormone is imbalanced another will change in order to counter it's effect. Well, the same is true for holding water, the more water you drink the more your body will rid itself of water. The less you drink the more it holds on to it. Better strategy? drink a lot of water and lower your carbohydrates because they hold water.  

"To lower my cholesterol I just need to avoid eating cholesterol"

Truth: Cholesterol is essential and needed for rebuilding important hormones. Avoiding natural foods that contain cholesterol like eggs will only make your own cholesterol levels rise not decrease. Similar to the water situation I described above. If something is needed for survival to the human body and it's not getting it, it will find a way to store it. In this case storing it is not a good idea.   


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