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Nutrition

Common Diet Myths

Common Diet Myths

Eating fat causes you to get fat.  All calories are the same and just reducing total calories no matter what you eat will make you lose weight.

Eating high glycemic carbohydrates causes the most fat storage.  High glycemic carbohydrates trigger the creation of large amounts of insulin which then stores much of the food energy as fat. 

 Insulin activates fat storage.  Glucagon activates fat burning.  Eating a diet of protein and fat activates more glucagon to be created to burn fat from the body.  Carbohydrates are digested very quickly whereas proteins and fats are digested much more slowly.  Fat is the slowest to digest and is often almost a neutral or non-participant in the sugar/insulin/fat storage chain.

Low fat, high carbohydrate diets are good for you.

Low fat and high carbohydrate diets are what has lead us to an ever increasing amount of diseases.  Low amount of fats, in particular essential fats and saturated fats, leads to many diseases.  A low amount of fats usually means a low amount of protein that causes more fat storage in the body.  A large amount of carbohydrates leads to eating much sugar and other high glycemic complex carbohydrates.  This causes high insulin levels, which leads to many degenerative diseases.  The typical result of low fat, high carbohydrate diets is high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, obesity, and diabetes.

Eating a lot of cholesterol will raise your cholesterol level significantly.

Most of the cholesterol is manufactured in the body, especially at night.  The amount manufactured dependents on the amount of insulin created by the food you ate that day, and especially what you ate for supper and before bedtime.  High glycemic foods create a large insulin response and a subsequent large production of cholesterol in the body.  Reducing your cholesterol intake can only typically reduce your total cholesterol level by a maximum of 5%-10%, unless by luck you eat lower glycemic foods.  Then it is really the lower glycemic foods that are reducing your cholesterol and not the lower cholesterol foods.  In many people eating lower cholesterol foods does not reduce cholesterol at all and can raise it if it causes you to eat higher glycemic foods.   Usually this approach also decreases the good HDL cholesterol more than the bad LDL cholesterol.  Eating proteins and fats, even with cholesterol, and only low glycemic carbohydrates can lower your cholesterol level by 25-75% or more depending on how high your cholesterol level is.  Eating mostly proteins and fats and only low glycemic carbohydrates can even reduce a cholesterol level of 400 to 200 without medication.  Don’t be afraid to eat real eggs and beef.  Just don’t have high glycemic carbohydrate foods with them.

Very low cholesterol levels are healthy for you.

Lowering your cholesterol level will indeed reduce your chance of death by heart disease, but very low cholesterol levels (below 150) lead to an increasing number of deaths by other factors like cancer, internal bleeding, and other diseases. In fact people with very low cholesterol generally die sooner than similar lifestyle people with high cholesterol.  It has been shown that cholesterol readings of 180-300 are perfectly fine for most people and does not lead to increased death rates from all causes.  People with low cholesterol levels often have very low HDL levels.  This is very bad.  A total cholesterol of 160 with HDL of 30 is much less healthy than a total cholesterol of 230 with HDL of 60.  Cholesterol is important to the body and must be present in sufficient quantities to perform its life-needed functions.  Cholesterol is a precursor to many important hormones, helps build cells, and helps with the control and repair of damaged cells.  Your cells need a lot of cholesterol.  You just do not want it hanging out in the blood too long.  Then it gets oxidized or damaged and that is the truly bad cholesterol.

The fastest way to lose weight, especially fat, is to severely restrict your calorie intake.

Low calorie diets cause the body to activate the survival instinct and reduce the metabolism in the body.  This will result in slower and slower weight loss. This leads to greater muscle and organ weight loss instead of fat loss.  Many LPL (lipoprotein lipase) enzymes are created so when you resume eating, the body will store almost all newly eaten food as fat more quickly.  The human body was designed to survive famines.  Any sort of famine (short or long) makes the body react by storing the next food very quickly as fat because the body does not know when another famine may come.  To lose weight (fat) faster, you need to increase the metabolic rate and in particular the rate of burning fat.  This is done by eating a significant amount of protein and only moderate amounts of low glycemic carbohydrates.   This will activate glucagon production.  Glucagon is a hormone which activates burning fat for energy.

Skipping meals will help you lose weight.

Skipping meals will again activate the body’s survival metabolism and lead to more fat storage when you next eat.

Stimulants like caffeine help you lose weight faster.

Caffeine and other stimulants can increase your appetite once the high wears off.  This will lead to greater food consumption when your “high” wears off or continuously using the stimulant drug to keep you alert and temporarily suppress your appetite.  Do you want to use heavy amounts of stimulants to continually suppress your hunger?  Long term heavy use of stimulants is dangerous and even deadly.  Once the use of stimulants is stopped, you can gain the weight back very fast.

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