Common misperceptions about nutrition, weight loss and supplements create obstacles to good health and wellness.
It’s no secret that most Americans are still not eating well despite the plethora of information and resources available for people who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and nutrition-based diet. Surprisingly, most people think they are actually adopting healthy eating habits despite ample evidence to the contrary.
Approximately 69% of adults in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, and a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates more than 80% of people do not consume the minimum recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables. However, in a recent poll by NPR conducted with Truven Health Analytics, 75% of respondents said they do eat a healthy diet.
“There is clearly a major disconnect between what people are eating and what they think they are eating,” said Dr. Matt Chalmers, a health and wellness practitioner. “A lot of this has to do with an incomplete understanding of diet and nutrition and how the body processes and uses different types of foods.”
Chalmers adds that “one of the most common misconceptions in nutrition is that everyone should eat the same diet. Whether that be vegan, carnivore, paleo or keto, not everyone needs the same food. Food sources and macronutrient sets are very different for everyone. Just because a diet or nutrition regimen worked well for one person does not mean it will work the same for another person.”
Dr. Chalmers offers some additional insight:
• Contrary to what most people think, the body does not really need protein. What the body actually needs is amino acids. Proteins are digested for the purpose of getting amino acids. Therefore, many vegans must supplement their diets; most vegan protein is not a complete protein (which means it carries all 9 amino acids). All amino acids are important, however some such as leucine and histidine are more important depending on a person’s health goals.
• Intermittent fasting is not the same as skipping breakfast. A person still needs to get total calories and macros in for the day. Additionally, dropping too low on calories can be detrimental to a person’s health. If someone fasts and skips breakfast, they must get those calories in during their eating window or they will end up missing their goals. This is seen a lot with female athletes; when they drop too low in calories, they stop having menstrual cycles. It’s called Red S and it’s not from fasting, but rather from fasting improperly.
• Weight or fat loss is all about what a person puts into their mouth. While exercise is certainly important and offers a multitude of health benefits, losing fat does not require exercise. Losing fat can be easier with exercise, however the main thing is diet and proper nutrition. Losing fat is all about keeping calories in the proper macro set and in the proper range.
• If a person wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle, they are going to have to use some form of a nutritional supplement. The sad reality is that food generally does not have the same levels of nutrients in them that they had 30 years ago. These nutrients are what make the body run and keep a person healthy.
Dr. Matt Chalmers is a health and wellness professional, practicing doctor, author and speaker. He has a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, a Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness, is a Certified Clinical Chiropractic Neurologist, a Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner and has additional certifications in spinal decompression and quantum reflex analysis. Dr. Chalmers is the author of the bestselling book “Pillars of Wellness” and has a patient list that includes many prominent athletes and public figures. Dr. Chalmers operates Chalmers Wellness, a health and wellness clinic in the metropolitan Dallas area. More information is available at ChalmersWellness.com, CWellStore.com, and on social media @DrChalmers1.