http://authoritynutrition.com/20-mainstream-nutrition-myths-debunked/ [h=1]20 Mainstream Nutrition Myths (Debunked by Science)[/h] June 17, 2014 Mainstream nutrition is full of nonsense. Despite clear advancements in nutrition science, the old myths donâ€™t seem to be going anywhere. Here are 20 mainstream nutrition myths that have been debunked by scientific research. [h=2]Myth 1: The Healthiest Diet is a Low-Fat, High-Carb Diet With Lots of Grains[/h] Several decades ago, the entire population was advised to eat a low-fat, high-carb diet (1). At the time, not a single study had demonstrated that this diet could actually prevent disease. Since then, many high quality studies have been done, including the Womenâ€™s Health Initiative, which is the largest nutrition study in history. The results were clearâ€¦ this diet does not cause weight loss, prevent cancer OR reduce the risk of heart disease (2, 3, 4, 5). Bottom Line: Numerous studies have been done on the low-fat, high-carb diet. It has virtually no effect on body weight or disease risk over the long term. [h=2]Myth 2: Salt Should be Restricted in Order to Lower Blood Pressure and Reduce Heart Attacks and Strokes[/h] The salt myth is still alive and kicking, even though there has never been any good scientific support for it. Although lowering salt can reduce blood pressure by 1-5 mm/Hg on average, it doesnâ€™t have any effect on heart attacks, strokes or death (6, 7). Of course, if you have a medical condition like salt-sensitive hypertension then you may be an exception (8). But the public health advice that everyone should lower their salt intake (and have to eat boring, tasteless food) is not based on evidence. Bottom Line: Despite modestly lowering blood pressure, reducing salt/sodium does not reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes or death. [h=2]Myth 3: It is Best to Eat Many, Small Meals Throughout The Day to â€œStoke The Metabolic Flameâ€[/h] It is often claimed that people should eat many, small meals throughout the day to keep the metabolism high. But the studies clearly disagree with this. Eating 2-3 meals per day has the exact same effect on total calories burned as eating 5-6 (or more) smaller meals (9, 10). Eating frequently may have benefits for some people (like preventing excessive hunger), but it is incorrect that this affects the amount of calories we burn. There are even studies showing that eating too often can be harmfulâ€¦ a new study came out recently showing that more frequent meals dramatically increased liver and abdominal fat on a high calorie diet (11). Bottom Line: It is not true that eating many, smaller meals leads to an increase in the amount of calories burned throughout the day. Frequent meals may even increase the accumulation of unhealthy belly and liver fat. [h=2]Myth 4: Egg Yolks Should be Avoided Because They Are High in Cholesterol, Which Drives Heart Disease[/h] Weâ€™ve been advised to cut back on whole eggs because the yolks are high in cholesterol. However, cholesterol in the diet has remarkably little effect on cholesterol in the blood, at least for the majority of people (12, 13). Studies have shown that eggs raise the â€œgoodâ€ choleserol and donâ€™t raise risk of heart disease (14). One review of 17 studies with a total of 263,938 participants showed that eating eggs had no effect on the risk of heart disease or stroke in non-diabetic individuals (15). Howeverâ€¦ keep in mind that some studies have found an increased heart attack risk in diabetics who eat eggs (16). Whole eggs really are among the most nutritious foods on the planet and almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks. Telling people to throw the yolks away may just be the most ridiculous advice in the history of nutrition. Bottom Line: Despite eggs being high in cholesterol, they do not raise blood cholesterol or increase heart disease risk for the majority of people. [h=2]Myth 5: Whole Wheat is a Health Food and an Essential Part of a â€œBalancedâ€ Diet[/h] Wheat has been a part of the diet for a very long time, but it changed due to genetic tampering in the 1960s. The â€œnewâ€ wheat is significantly less nutritious than the older varieties (17). Preliminary studies have shown that, compared to older wheat, modern wheat may increase cholesterol levels and inflammatory markers (18, 19). It also causes symptoms like pain, bloating, tiredness and reduced quality of life in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (20). Whereas some of the older varieties like Einkorn and Kamut may be relatively healthy, modern wheat is not. Also, letâ€™s not forget that the â€œwhole grainâ€ label is a jokeâ€¦ these grains have usually been pulverized into very fine flour, so they have similar metabolic effects as refined grains. Bottom Line: The wheat most people are eating today is unhealthy. It is less nutritious and may increase cholesterol levels and inflammatory markers. [h=2]Myth 6: Saturated Fat Raises LDL Cholesterol in The Blood, Increasing Risk of Heart Attacks[/h] For decades, weâ€™ve been told that saturated fat raises cholesterol and causes heart disease. In fact, this belief is the cornerstone of modern dietary guidelines. Howeverâ€¦ several massive review studies have recently shown that saturated fat is NOT linked to an increased risk of death from heart disease or stroke (21, 22, 23). The truth is that saturated fats raise HDL (the â€œgoodâ€) cholesterol and change the LDL particles from small to Large LDL, which is linked to reduced risk (24, 25, 26). For most people, eating reasonable amounts of saturated fat is perfectly safe and downright healthy. Bottom Line: Several recent studies have shown that saturated fat consumption does not increase the risk of death from heart disease or stroke. [h=2]Myth 7: Coffee is Unhealthy and Should be Avoided[/h] Coffee has long been considered unhealthy, mainly because of the caffeine. However, most of the studies actually show that coffee has powerful health benefits. This may be due to the fact that coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetablesâ€¦ combined (27, 28, 29). Coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of depression, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimerâ€™s, Parkinsonâ€™sâ€¦ and some studies even show that they live longer than people who donâ€™t drink coffee (30, 31, 32, 33, 34). Bottom Line: Despite being perceived as unhealthy, coffee is actually loaded with antioxidants. Numerous studies show that coffee drinkers live longer and have a lower risk of many serious diseases. [h=2]Myth 8: Eating Fat Makes You Fatâ€¦ so if You Want to Lose Weight, You Need to Eat Less Fat[/h] Fat is the stuff that is under our skin, making us look soft and puffy. Therefore it seems logical that eating fat would give us even more of it. However, this depends entirely on the context. Diets that are high in fat AND carbs can make you fat, but itâ€™s not because of the fat. In fact, diets that are high in fat (but low in carbs) consistently lead to more weight loss than low-fat dietsâ€¦ even when the low-fat groups restrict calories (35, 36, 37). Bottom Line: The fattening effects of dietary fat depend entirely on the context. A diet that is high in fat but low in carbs leads to more weight loss than a low-fat diet. [h=2]Myth 9: A High-Protein Diet Increases Strain on The Kidneys and Raises Your Risk of Kidney Disease[/h] It is often said that dietary protein increases strain on the kidneys and raises the risk of kidney failure. Although it is true that people with established kidney disease should cut back on protein, this is absolutely not true of otherwise healthy people. Numerous studies, even in athletes that eat large amounts of protein, show that a high protein intake is perfectly safe (38, 39, 40). In fact, a higher protein intake lowers blood pressure and helps fight type 2 diabetesâ€¦ which are two of the main risk factors for kidney failure (41, 42). Also letâ€™s not forget that protein reduces appetite and supports weight loss, but obesity is another strong risk factor for kidney failure (43, 44). Bottom Line: Eating a lot of protein has no adverse effects on kidney function in otherwise healthy people and improves numerous risk factors.