Nutritional Myths

July 29, 2023

With all the endless nutrition advice in the media these days, we have a highly requested topic to dive into today. Over the next hour we will be discussing our top asked-about nutrition myths. These are questions we discuss with clients each and every day in clinic and we want to shed some light on a few of our most asked-about nutrition myths so that you can start putting into practice the things that will really benefit your health.

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TERESA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight Wellness. We have a highly requested topic to dive into today. Over the next hour, we will be discussing our top asked about nutrition myths. So these, all these myths that come out in the media, people are always wanting to know, what's your opinion on this?

BRITNI: Mm-Hmm. We're going to do some debunking this morning.

TERESA: That's right. These are the questions we discuss with clients each and every day when we're working in our clinics. And it's not surprising that these questions are asked so often. There is endless nutrition advice in the media these days. Clients often come to us saying, “I've read so much conflicting nutrition advice out there, I just don’t know what to believe anymore.” And it's no wonder after so many mixed messages we read and hear regarding the newest diet, things to promote good health and the secrets to, to weight loss.


TERESA: We understand the confusion and that's why this morning we are shedding some light on some of the most asked about nutrition myths. Before we get into this discussion, let me introduce myself. I am Teresa Wagner. I am a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And joining me today is Britni Vincent. She is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. Over the years that Britni and I have counseled clients, we have noticed trends in the questions that come up. So Britni, what's the first common myth that clients come into your office asking you about and seeking a better understanding of, or more clarity on the topic?

BRITNI: Yeah. Well, first of all, good morning. I think you're right. There's so many mixed messages out there. I mean, even with social media, it's everywhere.

TERESA: Yes. Everywhere.

BRITNI: You know, everybody eats food, so, you know, everybody thinks they're a little bit of an expert on it sometimes.

TERESA: That's right. I eat food, therefore…

BRITNI: Yeah. So when we're working with clients, that that is really part of our job is to clear up all that confusion so they walk away with a clear plan and understanding of how to eat to, to feel their best.

Common nutrition myth #1: “Red meat containing saturated fat clogs arteries”

So let's start with a common myth that we often hear. First time clients or people who are taking our classes for the first time often say, “My doctor told me not to eat beef or steak because it contains saturated fat and will clog my arteries.” Is that fact or fiction or is that a nutrition myth that has been told over and over? Does eating steak, especially good quality grass fed steak or grass fed ground beef, really clog our arteries? And the answer is no. But Teresa, how did this myth even get started?

Research surrounding saturated fat and effect on health

TERESA: Well, it's such an interesting answer, actually. Because the roots of this started right here. So this saturated fat myth started at the University of Minnesota. And a physiologist named Ancel Keys conducted a study on the influence of diet on health outcomes. He hypothesized that saturated fat causes heart disease. And I think with many scientific researchers that when they have these hypotheses, they become attached to them, and this is very much the case for Ancel Keys, where he just believed so deeply that saturated fat was going to be the cause of heart disease and really stuck to it and was a highly influential person at the time. His personality was, was very bold. And if you argued with him, many times you lost the argument just because he was just that great of a, of a influencer I guess.

Well, anyway, so he conducted these studies to see if heart disease was related to saturated fat intake. And I guess in hindsight, it's no surprise that it's since been discovered that some of these studies were funded by the sugar industry. So these studies that were correlating heart disease and saturated fat were funded by an industry that had, you know, money in the game and liked the idea. Right? That being, being the, the meat industry that was behind the heart disease.

So that's right. Some of these studies were funded directly from the sugar industry to sway research in their favor. So publications linking saturated fat in our diets to heart disease were flawed. Yet unfortunately, it influenced dietary advice for decades to come. Fearing clogged arteries, people stopped buying beef. And that really had an effect on the sales of beef.

It, the, the the sales dropped tremendously, but what happened to people's health is really interesting. You would think that if this were true, that people's health would've gotten better and there would've been less heart disease. But there was actually an increase in heart disease.


TERESA: Since then, there have been studies that show the long-term effects of this poor dietary advice of eating low fat and fat free. The Women's Health Initiative studied close to 50,000 post-menopausal women for eight years who had been following a low fat, high carb diet that was basically prescribed to them from their doctor. The results showed that this diet failed to lower their risk of heart attack, diabetes, stroke, or death. On top of that, a systematic review and meta-analysis published by the British Medical Journal in 2015 concluded that saturated fats are not associated with all cause, excuse me, with all-cause mortality, which basically means dying of anything.


TERESA: Cardiovascular disease, which is just sort of a generic term for heart disease, coronary heart disease, which is a little bit more specific: that's related to the buildup of plaque and arteries, which then decreases blood flow to the heart. It's not associated with ischemic stroke, which is, that's when we have blockages in the brain reducing blood flow to the brain or type two diabetes. So let me just kind of review that just again, cause it's just a lot of words.

BRITNI: Yeah it is.

TERESA: So this meta-analysis, which meta-analysis are actually excellent ways to look at data across multiple studies, so they look at the statistical evidence from many different studies and compile those together. And what they had found is that saturated fats are not associated with dying of anything of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, or type two diabetes.

BRITNI: So we, I mean, people have been eating this way, like you said, for decades, and here we are in 2023 and this message is still around. And though Dr. Key's saturated fat and heart disease study has been proven to be flawed and many studies linking saturated heart to heart disease had financial influence. Again, many have that fear of saturated fat still.

Sugar is a cause of clogged arteries and heart disease

It's kind of ingrained in your brain, but we really just can't keep believing in this old, outdated research. So the question is, what are people actually eating that is causing clogged arteries and heart disease? So you longtime listeners know the answer. It is sugar. And Teresa, you had mentioned that after this research came out and people reduced their saturated fat intake, heart disease actually went up. So people ended up eating more carbohydrates and sugar and that's why the rate of heart disease ended up going up.

TERESA: Right. Because if you take out one food you have to replace it with something else.


TERESA: And they replaced it with carbohydrates.

BRITNI: Yep. So that stack of pancakes at brunch, that movie theater popcorn coated in fake butter, the beer and pretzels, all of those examples of ultra processed high carb foods, those are the ones that are actually clogging arteries. And those foods really don't have any nutrient value either.

TERESA: Right. And you know, it's funny 'cause that makes me think of the popularity of the, the breweries right now which is fun. And I'm always pro-business, right? Like, I want people to be successful in, in their endeavors. And, and that certainly has been an area where people have been successful.

But if we think about just the habits that maybe some people have that go there, you know, maybe it's going there after, you know, just for a night out or after, you know, at the baseball game, maybe we're having beer and pretzels and all that kind of, you know, fun food, junk food. Maybe you have a man in your life that you might be worried about 'cause a lot of times beer and it's a very manly thing. Although ladies, I think we've jumped on the craft brewery.

BRITNI: I think so. Yep.

TERESA: I mean, the popularity of those those places has really gone up. But those types of things. So that can really, really have an influence on our heart health. And we'll get back to that in just a moment. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. In today's discussion, we're diving into our top asked about nutrition myths. Stay tuned because we've got a lot more to cover this hour.


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you're tuning in live today, I want to share something fun coming up this week. Due to popular demand, we will be offering another Zoom cooking class with chef Marianne this Wednesday, August 2nd at 6:00 PM. The theme of the class is the highly requested topic of “Cooking for One”. I know when counseling clients, you know, working with people living alone, often they just don't feel inspired to cook for themselves.

So in this Zoom class, chef Marianne will leave you excited to get back into the kitchen and create some dishes that are nourishing, simple and easy for those who are cooking for one. To sign up, visit our website:, or call us at (651) 699-3438.

Sign Up for a Cooking Class

So before break, we were talking about the foods that actually clog our arteries, not the saturated fat. And you were giving us some examples.

TERESA: Right. We were just talking about how well beer, you know, is one of them that can really be, play a role in that. It's high in carbohydrates. It's also alcohol is, is inflammatory and then some of the junk food that sometimes comes along with that.


Animal protein is healthy

TERESA: But really it's not limited to those things. It can just be other high sugar foods, high carbohydrate diet. As opposed to, you know, the thought was that it was red meat and eggs and high saturated fat or high cholesterol foods. But as far as beef is concerned, grass fed beef with naturally occurring saturated fat is safe to eat and even healthy.

We encourage every client to eat a variety of animal protein, not just beef, but mix it up, you know, have, have some chicken and turkey, fish, seafood, eggs; game meats if you, you know, if you can get ahold of it. And just have a broad spectrum of these different types of proteins, because they all have different nutrient profiles and so they offer different sort of nutrients that are beneficial for the body.

BRITNI: And your food doesn't get boring.

TERESA: Right.


TERESA: That's really important. That's one of the things I tell my clients. It's, it's really important to be excited about what you're going to eat so that you stick to it. So I would say the next time a medical professional or your neighbor, or maybe even your mom tries to tell you that beef is bad, pull out the research and show them that what they believe is bad was based on poor research. We can't keep believing this outdated, flawed research because really our life can depend on it.

Myth #2: “All fats are bad & will make you gain weight”

BRITNI: Yeah, that's so true. So that this myth relates to our next myth in our discussion today. Myth number two: “All fats are bad and will make you gain weight”. In his book, Eat Fat, Get Thin, Dr. Mark Hyman notes that fat is one of the body's most basic building blocks and the average person is made of between 15 and 30% fat. I think that that creates a, a picture of just proving we need fat for our body to function efficiently. And at NWW we have been advocating for eating healthy fat since this company was founded almost 30 years ago.

TERESA: Which is so funny when I think about that 'cause that was like, you know, the, the time when low fat was the, was king.


TERESA: And I cannot imagine the pushback that was, that people would give.

BRITNI: Oh, I bet.

TERESA: To that advice.

BRITNI: Yeah. Can only imagine. You know, we we always advise to include a tablespoon or two of natural fats and every meal or snack, you know, however, all fats are not created equal when it comes to your health. Natural fats support the tissue of your brain to keep you thinking sharp, hydrate your joints, keep you moving pain-free, plump up your skin to prevent wrinkles. And on the flip side, the fake manmade fats, refined oils, they break down and damage your tissues, causing your brain to feel foggier, your joints to become stiff and achy and your skin cells to become hard and crusty, which then cause wrinkles to start to appear.

So look in the mirror and if you have been following a low fat diet for a long time, do you have some extra wrinkles you would like to get rid of? If yes, let me suggest adding a tablespoon of healthy natural fat to each meal, or eating seven to eight tablespoons of fat daily. So you know, it tastes delicious. It's more satiating. And then we get all the health benefits from it too.

TERESA: You know, what's kind of funny about that is we have a, a new person working at Nutritional Weight and Wellness and she goes, what is in the water here? Everybody's skin looks so good.

BRITNI: Oh, I love it.

Healthy fats vs. manmade fats

TERESA: It's perhaps because we all eat a lot of fat. All right, so let's get just a little bit more specific with the fats. What do we mean when we say healthy, natural fats as opposed to those fake, manmade fats? The next time you're shopping for fats and oils in the grocery store, think about which fats are natural from the earth and which ones are manmade. Avocados, nuts and seeds, they all grow from the earth. Extra virgin olive oil comes from olives that grow on a tree. We've got cold pressed coconut oil and canned coconut milk. Also coconuts are growing on trees.


TERESA: These are natural healthy fats. And we encourage you to eat a variety of these fats to get a broad spectrum of nutrients like we were talking about with the proteins. Get those different nutrient profiles which benefit your tissues.

Now on the flip side, think about which fats and oils are manmade. And this can be kind of confusing because a lot of these are vegetable and seed oils, which you could think, well, vegetables are natural.


TERESA: And they grow, or, and you know, they grow from, the farmers are growing these vegetables and seeds are pretty natural. But if you think about those things, it's, well, how do we get the oil from those things? Vegetables are not high in fat, and so how are we making fat from something that doesn't have very much fat in them.

And that's what we want you to be thinking. Where is this coming from? So vegetable oils are used in, I would say almost everything in the grocery store that comes in a bag or a box. They're also used in restaurants to fry foods. So not only is it a, a manmade fat, but it's also getting really hot. And that's not good for fats to get really hot like that.

BRITNI: And reused probably multiple times.

TERESA: Yes. Good point. Reused. So it's heating up and cooling down and heating up and cooling down. Cottonseed oil. Now if we think about that too, cottonseed; cotton is a textile. And we're using the, the seeds from this to make oil. And that's commonly found in roasted nuts or trail mix, you know, which also has the nuts in it, of course. If we're thinking about other manmade fats, you could think of the tubs of margarine or the butter replacements with the long ingredient lists that have lots of different vegetable oils and additives. These are certainly not natural. I mean, if you think about butter, all it is is cream.


TERESA: …that's been agitated, right? You can put cream in a jar and shake it, and then eventually it'll turn into butter. Whereas if you look at the butter replacements, nowhere near nowhere near that. So I guess my question to you is, have you thought about it in this simplistic way before in terms of natural versus manmade instead of just reading the marketing claims on the label? You know, usually those are on the front of the label to determine whether these foods are healthy or not.

So the next time you're shopping at the grocery store, give that extra thought and take time to actually read the ingredient label, which is usually on the back of the packaging. Remember, the best foods to choose only have one ingredient. And with that being said, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition.


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. A new session of our Ongoing Support and Education starts next week, the week of August 7th both in person and in or in person at our offices and online via Zoom. So this, this class is for individuals that have taken our Nutrition for Weight Loss Foundations class. And I can tell you that clients that I work with that participate in the Ongoing Support and Education groups are the most successful in staying on track and feeling their best.

It really, really helps to have that weekly support, accountability, and discussion with like-minded people. And, you know, leading these groups is so fun. It's, it's wonderful. Seeing the familiar faces continue to show up and learn and support each other is, is really beautiful. So to learn more and sign up, visit or call us at (651) 699-3438.

Sign Up for Ongoing Support and Education

Common nutrition myth #3: “Eating egg yolks raise cholesterol”

So we were talking about the second nutrition myth. So let's move on to the third most common nutrition myth that we hear. It is, “Eating egg yolks will raise my cholesterol.” And this is, I mean, I get this one all the time.

TERESA: All the time. And some myths die hard.

BRITNI: Yeah. And people have a hard time overcoming this one. And thinking about the advice that you've gotten over the years, have you been told by your doctor or heard on the news to avoid egg yolks because they will raise your cholesterol? Chances are, yes. You probably have at some point, and I know for myself, I used to think I need to limit my eggs or I'd buy egg whites, which frankly to me don't taste as good either.

And it's, you know, the same thing that I hear from many of my clients. Much like the saturated fat discussion, this claim that dietary cholesterol raises blood cholesterol was a message we heard for decades, but really has been proven to be not true for most people. You know, clients really are often relieved by this that they can eat the whole egg. They don't need to limit the amount.

Egg yolks are nutrient dense & do not raise cholesterol

And in fact, these egg yolks often referred to as liquid gold you know, specifically coming from pasture raised chickens, they contain a lot of great nutrients like DHA, omega-threes for our brain and our eye health, choline for our brain, as well as B vitamins, vitamins A, E, and even a little bit of vitamin D, which is really rare to find in a food. So really, if you are removing the egg yolk, you are missing out on a lot of really good nutrients.

And I also want to add here, eight years ago, back in 2015, the United States Nutrition Advisory Board, they came out and said, “You no longer need to limit the foods that contain cholesterol”. Because this whole idea that cholesterol from food increases your blood cholesterol is just not true. So that was eight years ago, and we are still, you know, hearing that message a lot.

TERESA: Yeah. And I think it's just because it makes logical sense.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah.

TERESA: You eat cholesterol, your cholesterol, it would it makes sense that your cholesterol would go up. But we know that that is not true. And in fact, our liver is mostly responsible for the cholesterol that we have in our body.

What does raise cholesterol?

So what actually raises cholesterol then, if it's not the cholesterol in egg yolks and in other foods that contain cholesterol? Well, it may come as no surprise at this point, but the culprit for raising cholesterol is sugar and ultra processed carbs. Yes, that includes breads, pastas, crackers, cereal, granola bars, chips.

These are in addition to lifestyle factors that may come as no surprise, like keeping physically active, avoiding alcohol and managing stress. Now, since you're listening today, you may be interested in listening to an episode specifically on this topic. And we have a great episode from last year where Melanie and Britni dive deep into all you need to know about managing cholesterol. The episode is from January 8th, 2022 titled Diets for Cholesterol Management. So we invite you to give it a listen and learn more on that topic.

BRITNI: You know, and I'm sure you can agree with this too, we see clients that actually increase their egg consumption and then they reduce their carbohydrates and their cholesterol improves. Their whole profile improves for the better.

TERESA: Yeah. That lipid profile.

Myth #4: “A fasting detox diet protocol is necessary to cleanse the body”

BRITNI: We see it on a regular basis. So let's move on to the next diet myth we often hear about in relation to lifestyle. Myth number four: “A fasting detox diet protocol every now and then is necessary to cleanse the body.” So have you ever attempted a special restrictive diet cleanse? Maybe it was after a week of vacation or after the holidays where you overindulged in rich foods and special drinks and afterwards you felt like your body needed a little reset.

You know, I think after January 1st, that's a really common time for people to do this. And often people start a detox powder product along with these drastic diet changes coming back from a vacation just to lose the five to 10 pounds they gained. Well, I have some good news because our bodies are designed to naturally cleanse and detoxify themselves with our detox organs, the main one being the liver.

Foods to support detox organs

TERESA: Right. And these organs need plenty of nutrients to help them function efficiently. So restricting nutrients, particularly protein, will just add stress to these already hardworking organs. So foods that we can eat to support our detox organs like the liver, are foods like fruits and vegetables, rich in color that contain nutrients that fight off toxins and support the liver function. Think deep colored berries and dark leafy greens and herbs. And like I was saying too, protein is so important for the functioning of those organs.

BRITNI: You know, I actually talk about natural ways to detoxify the liver with most of my clients because it is so connected to many health concerns, you know, including weight loss. And the number one food group I encourage to include in your daily diet to help support liver detox are those cruciferous vegetables. You know, these are often the stinky ones. Think broccoli, cauliflower, dark leafy greens, cabbage. And we recommend including these detox powerhouse veggies into your diet every day to support your liver and really your, your whole body.

Simple ways to incorporate vegetables into your diet

TERESA: And you know, for a lot of people, their families don't necessarily like to eat vegetables and think it's not very realistic for them to be cooked every day. But don't worry, there are a lot of simple ways to incorporate them into your diet so you don't even know that they're there as consistently as we are recommending.

For example, anytime I'm making a soup or a stew, I throw a handful of dark leafy green veggies in like spinach, you know, they just wilt down very easily. So you barely even know that they're there, but you're still getting those detoxifying nutrients. And it really doesn't affect the flavor either.

BRITNI: That's a great idea. Yeah. Anytime, just think about anything that you're cooking. How could I incorporate some of these vegetables in there? You know, I often have clients throw some riced cauliflower or kale into their protein shake to get in a serving and it really does not change the taste like you might think. I use that frozen riced cauliflower a lot in, in random things, again, just to bulk it up, add more nutrients, and then it's as if sometimes it kind of just dissolves and you don't even know it's there.

TERESA: Yeah. I think it's, and another easy place to do it is with rice.

BRITNI: Yes. For sure.

TERESA: You know, if you're having something that has rice with it, do half and half rice and cauliflower rice. You're getting that, that detoxifying cauliflower. You're reducing the number of carbohydrates you're having and it, you really cannot tell that it's there.

BRITNI: Good suggestion.

TERESA: Another, another thing that I do that incorporates those cruciferous vegetables is make the egg roll in a bowl recipe, which you can find on our website. It uses cabbage as the main vegetable, but it tastes so good. I love it. And it makes great leftovers. So this is one of those where I'm like, I love to make it because then I know I have lunch for at least one, maybe even two days. And it's, yeah, it's a really, really good recipe.

BRITNI: And it's an easy recipe.

TERESA: Yeah. Egg roll in a bowl. That one is fantastic.

Supplement to help with hormone detoxification in the liver

BRITNI: Like I mentioned, I discuss with my client's natural ways to detox the liver without having to do this restrictive cleanse with really doesn't even help in the long run 'cause you're missing out on those key nutrients to detoxify. So since most of us are not getting enough of those cruciferous veggies in our diet, I often recommend a simple liver support supplement that is specifically great for hormone detoxification.

One of my go-tos is called Estro I-3-C, and it is basically a very concentrated amount of cruciferous vegetables in a capsule form with some other added things in there. So the nutrients are designed to naturally support liver detox. And again, especially when it comes to those excess estrogens, which so many people have an issue with.

TERESA: Right, I love that. I love that particular supplement, the Estro I-3-C and yeah. It just supports the pathways in the liver so that we can process, metabolize those those things correctly so that we naturally detox versus like, yeah. It's just, it's a, it's a really great product.

Well, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today we are discussing our top nutrition myths. Did you know that we collect ideas for our show topics from listeners like you? One way to ask us your specific questions or to suggest a topic for our show is to join our private Facebook group. Just open up Facebook and search for Dishing Up Nutrition to join. We'd love to hear from you.

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BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today we're discussing our top nutrition myths. You know, it might be easy to think that dietitians are perfect with our diet and we expect our clients to be perfect too. It is truly a myth. We're here to tell you firsthand, we have busy lives just like everyone else, but that doesn't mean we don't make a conscious effort to do the best we can even if it isn't perfect. You know, progress not perfection. And it really truly is a continuous learning process for us too. And we want to help you make the changes you need to feel better. So let us see how we can help you. Give us a call at (651) 699-3438.

TERESA: You know, I think that's a really interesting point that you're making there, Britni, as far as we're not perfect. And I think that's why, that's why it's we make better counselors or we make good counselors is because we get it. We understand, we understand, right? And so many of the things that some of the advice that we have, it comes from personal experience of this, the struggles 'cause it is hard.

BRITNI: A hundred percent.

TERESA: There are so many decisions to make about food every single day, and we are tempted with the same things. And it's, yeah. It, it's, it's such a challenge. But I would also say it gives evidence that you can do it. You don't have to be perfect.

BRITNI: It's a great point.

Nutrition myth #5: “Don’t eat anything after dinner”

TERESA: That it's a journey and it’s doable. Well, getting back to our topic today about nutrition myths or debunking those myths, our next myth, number five, is don't eat anything after dinner. On the contrary, I often recommend a bedtime snack for my clients. And they notice that it makes a big difference in sleep improvement and helping to maintain a healthy weight.

Balanced bedtime snacks balance blood sugar

The reason is that a balanced evening snack will help keep a steady blood sugar through the night. This is not only a key component for sleeping through the night, but some of the long-term listeners may know that balanced blood sugar is a key component to healthy weight. And I also would say with that too is that many people like to snack before at, you know, after dinner at some point. And when you have something that's planned versus it being, well I'm just going to go look in the cupboard or the pantry or the refrigerator and just see what sounds good, at that time of day, it's really difficult to make smart food decisions. It's more based on desire versus true hunger.


TERESA: And so if we plan it out, then it's then we know what we're going to have and the idea is that we stick to that and then it's versus just kind of that munching all night or…

BRITNI: That is so true.

TERESA: …those simple things that we like to have before bed.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah. I've definitely had clients have really good success with that planned snack and eliminating that just grazing all night long situation. And, you know, before you get excited about having this snack before bed and thinking about, I'm going to have ice cream tonight or a bag of potato chips, it really matters what the snack is. Absolutely. The foods you eat before bed, they're going to make a difference in how you sleep and how you feel the next day.

Balanced bedtime snack examples

So for an evening snack that will stabilize your blood sugar through the night, for most people, the combination of about a half a cup of carbohydrate with a couple tablespoons of healthy natural fat, that's kind of the magic combo. So here are some examples of a balanced bedtime snack: half a cup of berries with two tablespoons of heavy cream. If you want to take the extra step and even whip that up. You know, one trick my clients really like is to blend this up with frozen berries and it tastes like soft serve or like half a frozen banana works really well in this situation.

TERESA: Yeah. It's so good.

BRITNI: It's so good.

TERESA: I do that every once in a while too and I love it 'cause It is, especially this time of year where, and it's been so hot, it does feel like ice cream.

BRITNI: Uh huh. It's really satisfying. You know, another one that people really tend to love: two tablespoons of, you know, peanut butter, almond butter, any sort of nut butter with a small apple or half a large apple sliced up. That is also really delicious. So if this is a new idea for you and you struggle with sleep, you're hungry before bed, give it a try and notice how you slept and how you feel the next morning. It really for some people does wonders for their sleep. And it, it's a simple addition.

I had this client or this question come up this week from a Nutrition for Weight Loss class participant. I was teaching the class. And this individual, she had worked really hard to eliminate her nighttime eating 'cause she would find herself just kind of grazing and mindlessly eating. So at this point she's no longer hungry after dinner and her sleep is really good and she's like, do I need to add the bedtime snack? And in that example, no. You know, if you're not hungry after dinner, your sleep is really good, then it's not necessary. But if you are hungry and you struggle with sleep, I would definitely recommend it.

TERESA: Well, yeah, and I think that goes into just how nutrition advice is very individual. So what we can say works for a general population might not work for the individual. And so that's why like with nutrition counseling, it's very important to be able to take this type of information without all these nutrition myths, and then be able to come up with a plan for that individual so that they can be successful. And it sounds like for that person, she's successful with not having a bedtime snack. Whereas there are people who having that fat before bed, it's just so great for their sleep. And then when you sleep better, then weight loss comes easier or whatever their goal is.


Nutrition myth #6: “Avoiding cravings is a matter of willpower”

TERESA: Our final nutrition myth for today is avoiding cravings is all a matter of willpower. I have clients come into my office all the time feeling defeated and saying things to me like, “I just couldn't say no to those cookies in the jar or that bag of potato chips. Then all of a sudden I just lose control. I have no willpower.” They beat themselves up because they think it's all their fault and there's nothing they can do about it.

The biochemical connection behind cravings

Well, we see food cravings as a biochemical process, not a character flaw. If you try to restrain yourself from something that your brain is craving, you will likely fail, but it's not your fault. We have short term control to restrict food, but it really is unsustainable. When your taste buds, your brain chemistry, your hormones and your metabolism have been hijacked by sugar and ultra processed foods over the course of your life, willpower alone may not work. If you are addicted to sugar and refined carbs, you can't white knuckle it for very long. You have to naturally support your brain chemistry and hormones by eating real food in balance to allow the cravings to disappear and the hunger to come back into a healthy balance.

BRITNI: You know, I have to tell you that I have heard, you know, the same thing from so many people who start coming to Nutritional Weight and Wellness thinking that we might be able to help them with their health goals, but they're just going to be stuck with those cravings. And that's not true. I mean, for some people, even within a week of changing their eating, those cravings disappear.

TERESA: Yeah. And they feel like it's just magical. Right? Like, I thought that could happen for other people, but it wouldn't happen for me. Yeah. And we find that, that sugar cravings are one of the first things to improve when you start eating real food in balance. You know, in eating the, this way throughout the day, you know, breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, if you've been battling food cravings and blame it on your willpower, let us help you. We have some simple but effective answers so you won't have to live a life held back by out of control cravings.

BRITNI: You know, we hope today we answered some of your questions this morning, cleared up some confusion around your, these nutrition myths that we often hear about. And just remember, we are here to help. Let us take the time to answer your questions through our many class offerings, during an individual consultation. And we have tons of resources on our website, as well. So call us at (651) 699-3438.

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TERESA: Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thanks for joining us today.

BRITNI: Thank you.

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