The Roundup: Let’s debunk bad nutrition science & praise coffee
I’m always checking up on questionable things I hear trainers tell their clients.
My life in spent in gyms and exercise studios. Therefore, my life is spent around trainers. As I’ve mentioned other times, trainers say some things that aren’t exactly scientifically true. But they do have the well being of their clients in mind. Close, but no cigar.
A while back, I had heard one of my friends mention to several clients that consuming alcohol reduces your metabolism by 30%. Now that’s exactly the kind of statement that will make me pause and think “That just doesn’t sound right.”. Again, my friend only meant the best for his clients but a little more research could have been done.
Try as I might, I couldn’t find a single article anywhere that mentioned any correlation at all between alcohol consumption and a change in overall metabolism. The closest I could find was this article which describes the way the body metabolizes alcohol, that it becomes the #1 priority and reduces the metabolism of other foods in the body. But that is an immediate response to the foods your body is currently metabolizing and should not be taken to imply a change in your overall metabolism.
But regarding that rather clean cut 30% number, I did find something. However, it’s not metabolism that is affected in this amount, it is the protein synthesis in Type II muscle fibers. That’s pretty specific. Keep in mind that the majority of the calories your body metabolizes are used just to remain alive. So while this magical 30% number does exist for a specific type of muscle growth, and while alcohol is completely empty calories that usually lead to even more empty caloric intake (SNACKS!), there’s no science behind my friend’s claim.
And I check up on what blogs say too. Just in case you hadn’t heard, saturated fats are NOT bad for you.
I had found a review for a snack made from the meat of coconuts (Bare™ Coconut Chips) and in the review they mention the relatively high levels of saturated fats for this snack. While the article mentions that the science on saturated fats has been partially debunked, it waffles a bit by recommending using the current standard dietitians guidelines advising limiting saturated fat intake.
Since I have read many articles about the recent plethora of scientific evidence showing that there is no correlation between saturated fats and heart disease, I looked up some of that evidence. This is a GREAT article from the Wall Street Journal Online outlining the weak case for the correlation between saturated fats and heart disease as well as the unintended consequences of pushing this scientifically questionable nutritional “advice”. It’s quite a read!
Once again, the beautiful black medicine is actually good for you!
The love of my life (who is a Rolfer and yoga instructor, so totally about health and wellness too) recently moved in with me and from living together, she’s taken up my love of my daily coffee. While she loves good coffee, she still refuses to believe there are positive health benefits to drinking coffee. Clearly, she’s never read my Healthy Breakfast article, specifically the section about coffee (which I do needle her about regularly).
Anyhoos… aside from the numerous health benefits I already laid out, I just found a new one. Protection against tinnitus. A little known (to you, my readers) fact about me is that I’m a huge metalhead. The music I mostly listen to is death metal and black metal. Heck, I was in a black metal band years back. So listening to loud music over and over… yeah, that’s me. And at the age of 48, my hearing is pretty darn good and I have no issues with tinnitus. Could my wonderful addiction to coffee be part of the reason I don’t suffer from tinnitus? Well, I can’t guarantee it, but I’m happy to give coffee the credit.