For reasons I have disclosed before, I prefer not to get in to online arguments with nutritionists.
I used to enjoy it, but ended up becoming frustrated so I gave it up.
But… I often observe these arguments online.
It’s fun. Usually.
There’s an annoying pattern I’ve noticed though.
The people who are arguing with the nutritionists, who seem to have all the facts straight and are trying to make their point, don’t cite any studies.
This is a problem!
I get it…
Not everyone has a ton of studies bookmarked on their computer and it can be quite a hazzle to start looking them up at the time of need.
But citing studies is critical in an argument about science. Nutrition = science!
So, with this article I decided to collect studies for the main arguments against some of the more foolish claims made by nutritionists, vegans and know-it-all low-fat zealots.
All of them are in a copy-paste friendly format. Just highlight the URLs to the studies and Click Ctrl+C (Cmd+C on mac) or right click and select “Copy.”
If you tend to get in to these online arguments a lot, I suggest you bookmark this page!
Remember Kris’s Law:
“Whatever the nutrition authorities have to say… the exact opposite is likely to be the truth!”(Disclaimer: Many nutritionist are good people and seem to know what they are talking about, but the ones that seem to be the most active in the mainstream media seem to do little other than spreading potentially dangerous misinformation.)
Nutritionist Says: Protein is Bad For Your BonesPut on: this face.
There are some short-term studies showing that the increased acid load from a high protein intake can lead to increased calcium excretion. That is true, but this is only a short-term phenomenon.
The long-term epidemiological studies on protein intake and bone health shows the exact opposite. Increased protein intake correlates with improved bone health and a lowered risk of fractures.
Nutritionist Says: Protein is Bad For Your KidneysPut on: this face.
There is NO evidence that increased protein is harmful for people with healthy kidneys.
In fact, the studies show that increased protein can lower blood pressure:
…and improve blood sugar control in type II diabetics:
High blood pressure and diabetes are the key risk factors for kidney failure. Consequently, eating more protein, not less, should be good for the kidneys.
The advice to restrict protein intake for the bones and kidneys is likely to have the exact opposite effect.
Here are two review articles that show no harmful effect of protein consumption on kidney health:
Nutritionist Says: Whole Wheat is Good For YouPut on: this face.
Whole wheat raises the blood sugar faster than most other foods and its glycemic index isn’t much lower than refined wheat..
Additionally, gluten is likely to be harmful for people who don’t have celiac disease.
Whole wheat raises small, dense LDL, which is extremely atherogenic and can lead to heart disease:
Nutritionist Says: Low-Carb Diets Are DangerousPut on: this face.
This is simply not true. There are no documented severe reactions to low-carb diets and they tend to improve all the main biomarkers of disease, including HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, LDL particle size, blood pressure and body fat levels.
Low-carb diets have an outstanding safety profile and appear to be healthier, more effective and easier to follow than low-fat diets:
A lot more studies on this here.
Nutritionist Says: Eating Fat Makes You FatPut on: this face.
This seems logical enough, but doesn’t hold up in practice.
Diets that are high in fat, but low in carbs, and eaten without restricting calories are usually a lot more effective than low-fat, high-carb diets that are calorie restricted.
Again, more studies here.
Nutritionist Says: Saturated Fat is UnhealthyPut on: this face.
Not true. Saturated fat raises HDL cholesterol and changes the LDL pattern from small, dense (bad) to large, fluffy (good).
This has been studied extensively and an association of saturated fat with heart disease has never been proven.
Nutritionist Says: Eggs Are Bad For YouPut on: this face.
Not true at all. Eggs, especially the yolks, are incredibly nutritious and highly satiating. There has never been any proven association between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease.
Nutritionist Says: Diet Soda Can Help You Lose WeightPut on: this face.
This is true in the context of a controlled diet. However, most people don’t count calories and do not eat a controlled diet.
In the context of a western, ad libidum diet, epidemiological studies show that diet soda consumption is associated with severe weight gain, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.
Nutritionist Says: Sugar is Just Empty CaloriesPut on: this face.
It’s true that sugar is empty calories, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Sugar can also lead to fatty liver, insulin resistance and may be a significant contributor to the metabolic syndrome.
ConclusionKris’s law still holds.
It doesn’t seem like it is about to change in the next few decades. Modern nutrition keeps on clinging to the old ideas that brought us the obesity epidemic and for some reason they seem completely unwilling to change their minds.
Are there any other myths (lies?) you would like me to cover? Shoot me a comment below and I’ll see if I can add them to the list.
I’d love for this post to become a “weapon” for all of us to change the world, one nutritionist at a time.