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A dietitian’s response to a personal trainer’s advice to a client.

Nicholas Rush, RDN, CDN

1. “Carbs are best utilized around activity (morning and afternoon) therefore are best consumed minimally at nighttime, and never before bed!”

Myth or Fact? Myth

  • There is no credible evidence to support this statement.

2. “Fats are best used during long periods of fasting and work especially well at providing energy over a long period of time, which makes consuming fats at night time Ideal in order to optimize recovery while the body is asleep and no longer running on Carbs. It’s best to avoid fats in your breakfast but include them in lunch/dinner. Fats DO NOT make you fat.

Myth or Fact? Mostly Myths

  • Fats are a good source of sustained energy – also our body uses fat to help digest and absorb fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K).
  • There is no credible evidence that a high fat intake at night will optimize recovery during sleep.
  • Are you “no longer running on carbs” at night? False! You’re body is always utilizing carbs, even at night. While your body is fasting at night your liver produces enzymes (phosphorylase kinase & glycogen phosphorylase) to break down glycogen into glucose for blood sugar regulation.
  • “fats do not make you fat.” Fats CAN make you gain undesirable body weight when eaten in excess. But so can carbs and protein when eaten in excess. Healthy fats like avocados, nut butters, monounsaturated fats in olive oil are your best for cardiovascular health.

3.Protein should be the most consistent macro during your day.

Myth or Fact? Myth

  • All of the macro nutrients, protein, fat, and carbohydrates, should be consistent at each meal to balance energy and maintain good health.

4. “For an extra boost in your recovery try 30g of protein before bed.”

Myth or Fact? Myth-ish

  • Protein uptake by your muscles is at its peak just after exercise and then slows down as time passes.
  • Eating a lot of protein just before bed could result in an upset stomach and potentially constipation.

5. “It is NEVER a good idea to skip a meal!”

Myth or Fact? Myth-ish

  • While I mostly agree with this statement there are times when skipping a meal can be appropriate.
    • fasting for religious reasons
    • if you are ill and having a difficult time keeping food down you may want to focus on electrolytes until you are able to eat
    • if you are having or had surgery that requires you to fast
    • or otherwise directed by your medical team

6. “Always take your multivitamin.”

Myth or Fact? Myth

  • If you consistently consume a diet with a wide variety of foods from each food group (fruits, vegetables, protein, fat, grains) you likely don’t need a multivitamin.
    • Consult with your doctor or dietitian before taking any dietary supplements. There may be interactions with medications you are taking and nutritional supplements.

7. “Peanut butter powder instead of peanut butter (to minimize fat).

Myth or fact? Fact…BUT,

  • The process of removing the healthy fats in peanut butter also removes vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant!

8. “2% or less skim milk or Fairlife brand over whole/almond/soy/oat milk (minimize fat without getting rid of protein).”

Myth or fact? Needs clarification

  • Soy and Oat milk are still good sources of protein and low in fat.
  • Soy and Oat milk are a good option for anyone avoiding dairy given that they are fortified with beneficial nutrients like Vitamin D and Calcium.
  • Almond milk is very low in protein and low in fat, but typically fortified with other nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.

9. “Ezekiel bread over any other breads (maximize protein intake without excess gluten).

Myth or Fact? Myth

  • If you have been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease you should follow the advice of your doctor and dietitian on ways to avoid gluten.
  • Most people consume enough protein in their diets without needing to seek out high protein breads.

10. “Jerky or protein shakes over nuts (maximize protein intake without added salt and fats).

Myth or Fact? Mostly Myth

  • Jerky is a typically high in saturated, high in salt, and contains few vitamins and minerals.
  • Nuts contain healthy monounsaturated fat. They are high in vitamins and minerals (especially calcium, iron, b-vitamins, & magnesium). They are also a great source of fiber. But, do consume in moderation as they are calorie dense.

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