7 Popular Dieting Myths Proven Wrong By Science
When navigating the Internet, and even your local book store, it is prudent to watch for folks making claims for one type of diet or another that have been proven false in peer-reviewed clinical studies. This happens ALL the time. Many authors of top selling diet programs don’t include citations in their work (citations are references to the clinical data that supports their assertions) and generally, say whatever they want.
When reading the best diet program reviews on this site, you’ll notice we “call” authors on claims that are not supported by existing clinical data.
Dieting myth #1: Low carbohydrate diets are dangerous.
For the longest time, dieticians and nutritionists slammed low carbohydrate dieting as potentially hazardous, largely on the basis of the amount of fat consumed on such a plan.
Dieting myth #2: High protein diets are dangerous.
There is no evidence that increased protein intake causes any issues in healthy people with normal kidney function.
One study concluded…
“… we find no significant evidence for a detrimental effect of high protein intakes on kidney function in healthy persons after centuries of a high protein Western diet.”
Dieting myth #3: Only extremely intense, back breaking workouts are effective for burning fat.
Research shows moderate moderate intensity cardio is very effective for both weight loss and the protection of lean muscle (AJP – Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol 261, Issue 2 E159-E167, Lipids Volume 35, Number 7 / July, 2000).
Dieting myth #4: A high carbohydrate diet is better at suppressing hunger than a high protein diet.
Dieting myth #5: High carbohydrate diets consistently outperform higher protein diets.
Actually, this study concluded…
“…that higher protein diets have quite consistently been shown to result in greater weight loss, greater fat loss, and preservation of lean mass as compared with “lower” protein diets.”
Dieting myth #6: High carbohydrate diets boost the metabolism.
Believe it or not, it is protein rich meals that elevate the metabolism by raising post-meal thermogenisis and resting energy expenditure (Journal of American College of Nutrition, 21(1):55-61, 2002).
Dieting myth #7: Low carbohydrate diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Believe it or not, this is sort of a “half myth”.
Half myth because it’s true that if you severely restrict carbohydrates over the long haul you are going to be missing out on the sort of vital nutrients, phytonutrients and fiber that are found in fresh fruit and vegetables.
It’s untrue in that…
1) Most low carb diets only feature a short period of extreme carbohydrate restriction, during which time you are encouraged to supplement with the appropriate vitamins and minerals. After this period, fresh fruit and vegetables are reintroduced into the diet.
2) Most people implementing a extreme low carb diet have not been eating properly anyway, so it’s not like they are removing these critical foods from their diets; they were not eating them in the first place.
And there you have it; the top 7 dieting myths proven wrong by science.