Some myths demonstrate particular staying power. Here are some nutrition myths that continue to live on despite the lack of research to substantiate them
1. Don’t eat past 6 p.m: There is no research that eating dinner at a particular time in the early evening makes a difference. People just tend to snack and eat more at night. Bottom line: Eat a sensible dinner at the table at a time that works for you, don’t stuff yourself, and go to bed early enough to allow for a good night’s sleep.
2. Drink eight 8-oz glasses of water every day: This has been dissproved. Bottom line: no need to force feed water, but keep some on hand to quench your thirst throughout the day. All beverages count as intake of water.
3. Carbs are bad: It’s not just what we eat in terms of carbs but how we eat them. For example, a 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that mixing protein, fat and fiber with a meal substantially lowers the glycemic response. Bottom line: Make at least half your grains whole and enjoy your favorite refined grains with a balanced meal (i.e., salad topped with protein, olive oil-based dressing and a French roll).
4. More protein will build muscles: The key is to make sure you have enough non-protein calories (fat and carbs) so the protein is utilized for muscles and not energy needs. Bottom line: Get the right amount of quality protein, but not too much and at the right time
5. Multivitamins are good insurance: According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there is little evidence that multivitamins prevent chronic disease. That’s not all — there may even be some negatives to consuming too much of certain nutrients like folic acid, but more research is needed. Bottom line: Don’t take vitamins for insurance. Understand what you are getting from the supplements you take and why.