Top 3 Nutrition Myths - Busted!


At Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy in Belfield, we are proud to announce our guest blogger:

Stefanie Valakas - who is currently studying Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics (Student Dietitian) at the University of Sydney.

With nutrition advice changing as quickly as this Sydney weather, it can be difficult to sort fact from myth. So here are the top 3 nutrition myths that I hear people falling for and they're all busted!


  1. Carbohydrates will make you gain weight.

No one nutrient, food or food group will make you gain weight, when you make good choices and enjoy these foods in appropriate portions. Did you know that carbohydrates and protein have the same energy (kilojoules or calories) per gram? (By the way, fat has the most, followed by alcohol). Let's stop making carbs the devil! They are the optimal fuel for your muscles and brain and every
other cell in your body!

Choosing wholegrain sources of carbohydrates such as grainy bread and making low GI choices where possible to keep you fuller for longer and release the sugar (glucose) into your blood slower, this includes foods such as Basmati rice or wholegrain pasta. Carbohydrate containing foods are rich in essential nutrients such as fibre and vitamins and minerals such as B-vitamins including folate. Fruits and vegetables also contain carbohydrates, these foods also come loaded with a variety of nutrients your body will love. A quarter of your plate of wholegrains or low GI carbohydrates is a great step towards getting enough nutrition every day without feeling deprived.


     2. Coconut oil is a good fat.

Coconuts, avocadoes and olives are the only plant foods that are rich in fats. Whilst both olives and avocadoes (as well as their oils) produce very heart-healthy fats, coconuts do not. Coconut oil is mostly filled with saturated fat, whilst this may feel great on your skin and hair it isn't too good for your heart. Enjoy in small amounts in the occasional stir-fry or dessert, but maybe it's time to ditch the teaspoon full of coconut oil in the morning with breakfast and switch to using extra virgin olive oil or another plant oil. A few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil a day is enough to meet your body's needs.

     3. The sugar in fruit is bad for you.

When I tell people that they should probably aim for 2 medium pieces of fruit a day, or suggest it as a snack, I'm often met with a baffled expression followed by; "Isn't that full of sugar?" Yes, fruit does contain naturally occurring sugars mostly made up of fructose. However, this type of sugar shouldn't be considered equal to the sugar in a doughnut or the kind you add to your coffee (that's sucrose, by the way). This is because fruit provides you with an abundance of key nutrients, without too any calories, and being nature's candy it will help you satisfy those sweet cravings whilst packing in stacks of fibre, vitamin A, C and a range of B vitamins as well alongside minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

Want to read more about various topics in nutrition? From recipes, finding out the foods that will help your mood to the dietitian hacks to get more veggies into your diet (without it being a chore!) Head to Stefanie's blog at