We all think we know the first and last thing about nutrition and how to properly take care of our bodies. After all, who knows us better than us? However, we know even less about nutrition than we think we do. There’s a lot that goes into the nutritional science and practices that would blow our minds if we were told about it. So that’s what this article is about to do right now. If you are a man over 25, you probably think you got nutrition all figured out, but this list is going to prove you wrong. To wit, here are the 6 biggest nutrition tips you wouldn’t normally consider or otherwise just don’t know about. Note this list does not cover everything, so if you feel like experimenting, by all means do so.
Fat does not make you fat, sugar does
You have the sugar and candy companies of the early 1900’s to thank for this confusion. Since learning that sugar can make someone much fatter far faster than fat could would cause a dent in their business, they spread a false narrative that continues to this day. If you’re buying low fat foods to try and lose weight, you may lose a bit, but since taking out fat takes out a lot of flavor, the food company pumps in more sugar to compensate. Sugary drinks are especially bad for you, because the brain doesn’t register those calories like it would for solid foods, meaning it’s less likely to tell you to stop when you should. With that said, naturally low fat foods like fruits and vegetables are perfectly fine. But anything processed, packaged and sold, probably isn’t nearly as healthy as it’s telling you.
Feed your stomach bugs
So, good news and bad news. The bad news is you’re only 10% human, as the bacteria in your intestine, referred to as gut flora, outnumber the human cells in your entire body by a ratio of 10 to 1. The good news is that gut flora are completely harmless, and in fact are designed to help your body’s health by aiding everything from your body weight to your brain functions.
These bacteria feed on soluble fiber, which is part of the reason fiber is such an important part of your diet. The idea of having tiny little insects living in your intestines, whose numbers outrank even the number of cells in the human body (not an easy feat) may be the type of thing you’d read on the back of a boilerplate science horror novel, but feeding these little guys is vital for your health. So be sure to include plenty of fiber in your diet.
Health goes beyond weight
Humans like to think in gains and losses, it’s how con men are born and can flourish like they do. We like to think of everything fitting into neat little categories, because our brains crave efficiency above all else. But health and nutrition goes way beyond weight gain or loss. Your body weight plays a huge part in your health, do not misunderstand, but even obese people can be metabolically healthy, in fact most are. Meanwhile, a person who’s healthy with their body weight all things considered may have the metabolic problems normally associated with obesity. The fat that should concern you is belly fat, as the fat around that area is the one associated with metabolic issues, while fat buildup under the skin is more of a cosmetic issue. It may look nasty, but it isn’t going to harm you.
Junk food is addicting
This is not saying that junk food manufacturers have laced the Twinkies with cocaine, but frankly, they may as well have. What we define as “junk food” has evolved a great deal over the past 100 years it’s existed as a mainstream food industry. Nowadays, the engineers who create these deviously concocted treats have found a way to make food that directly stimulates the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. This causes a flood of dopamine throughout the brain whenever a person eats it. If you know someone who suffered from drug abuse, this likely sounds eerily familiar to you. For this reason, if you want to be more nutritious but lack impulse control, then junk food should be avoided like the plague.
Gluten free and organic does not instantly mean healthy
In general, the health claims on a food package should not be trusted. They want you to eat their food, and there’s not a lot stopping them from saying whatever they need to say to get you to eat. That includes using buzzwords like gluten-free and organic. The food may indeed have tons of organic ingredients, but a lot of junk food out there is made from organic materials. If food is naturally gluten free, then it’s fine, but a processed food that claims to be gluten free has likely had a lot of other, less savory material put in it. Because gluten is like fat; too much isn’t healthy, but gluten is vital to the flavor of certain foods.
Intense calorie monitoring is pointless
Calories are vital, that is objective fact. However, not so vital that intense calorie counting is in any way important. Calorie counting may work for many people, but there’s a lot of ways to lose weight, while still enjoying high calorie foods. That’s because, though calories have a high impact on our body weight and nutritional health, they aren’t the most important thing. If you don’t want to give up your high calorie food, for example, the solution is simple: eat more protein. Protein is a natural calorie restrictor and contributes greatly to your body’s ability to burn through weight. And you don’t have to give up any calories.