Nutrition Myths and Fallacies

1. Vitamins will enhance your strength and endurance.
    False.Vitamins supply the body no calories and cannot be used as fuel. The body urinates out 70% of the vitamins that it does not need. Only people who are deficient in an area should take necessary supplements. Please consult your physician or a registered dietitian (RD) before increasing your intake. Some vitamins can be toxic if you take too much of them or take them unnecessarily.

2. Diet pills enhance metabolism and contribute to weight loss.

    False. Initially, you will lose weight after taking diet pills due to the lowered basal requirements of food and calories, but in the long run you will usually gain more weight back. That's because a diet pill taker has not yet learned how to control their weight through proper nutritional counseling once off the pills. As soon as they go off the pills, it will be easy to slip back into old eating habits.

3. When feeling low, an intake of refined sugar and carbohydrates from sources like honey, sodas, candy bars, and marshmallows will boost energy levels.

    False. Unfortunately, you will probably experience the opposite. A sugar snack before a workout will deplete your performance and cause you to crash in need of good carbohydrates. Choose a complex carbohydrate instead, such as whole grain bread or a grapefruit.

4. Caffeine stimulates the appetite and should be avoided if trying to lose weight.

    False. The issue that caffeine can be an appetite stimulant has never been scientifically proven. If taken properly, it can aid in raising the body temperature and possibly contribute to body fat loss.

5. Excess protein will be used as energy if too much is taken in.

    True—but only when carbohydrate and fat sources are depleted. The body will use protein as fuel as a last resort. Most excess protein is stored as adipose tissue (body fat). Make sure you consult your registered dietitian or health care professional on how much protein is necessary for you.

Updated on: 09/07/12