Food Faux Pas: 10 Common Nutrition Mistakes to Ditch for Good

This article appeared on Yoganonymous.com.

 Photo via DonnaHay.com.au

Photo via DonnaHay.com.au

Are you fueling yourself with the good, the bad, or the ugly? Read these 10 Common Nutrition Mistakes to find out how to improve your relationship with food.

10 Common Nutrition Mistakes to Ditch For Good

1. You’re Skipping Breakfast

A study published by the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that those who ate breakfast and exercised burned more calories over a 24 hour period than those who had not had breakfast and exercised. What does this mean? If you’re skipping breakfast and running out the door to catch the train to work, your body won’t be functioning as optimally throughout the day.

You need fuel first thing in the morning to help get your cells activated and running—it helps you have better brain function, an improved level of focus, and enhanced memory.

If you feel extra sluggish in the morning, be sure to get a protein-filled breakfast, like eggs, to give your body the extra jump it needs.

2. You’re Overdoing Caffeine

If you’re overbooked, need sleep, and think that extra cup of coffee is what you need to nail your current project—you’re fooling yourself. You don’t need that extra cup of coffee, and studies show you should actually avoid it. 

A study at the University of Oklahoma found that when test subjects had the caffeine of 3 cups of coffee in their system, their psychological stress symptoms increased.

The lesson here is to keep your caffeine to 2 cups of coffee or less. Any more than that and you’ll risk having your brain release the stress hormone cortisol, which means more mental haziness and less output.

3. You’re Relying on Vitamin Tablets to Keep You Healthy

An Iowa Women’s Health study compared the benefits of taking vitamin E supplements to the benefits of eating vitamin E–rich foods. The study found that those who ate foods rich in vitamin E, like nuts, were less likely to suffer from a stroke, but those who took the vitamin E supplements gained no such benefits.

Lesson learned: Supplements do not always make up for eating nutritious foods.

If you’re eating Oreos for dinner and expecting your vitamin tablet to fulfill your body’s need for essential vitamins and minerals, you’re being delusional! Do not rely on supplements. Get your nutrients from fresh foods first.

Having trouble getting your recommended daily nutrients? Meet with a nutritionist. They’ll create a personal and healthy meal plan that meets all of your body’s needs.

4. You’re Eating Processed Foods

Processed foods are filled with chemicals, preservatives, added colors, and added flavors to help food appear to be fresh—but in reality, this food sits for months on end in room temperature warehouses. How does that make your stomach feel? Unsanitary?

Lisa Hark, the Director of Nutrition Education at UPenn, states that in packaged foods “many nutrients are taken out during processing, and few are put back.” Meaning that processed foods aren’t as nutritionally beneficial as once thought. Processed foods get digested quickly, spike your blood sugar levels, and leave you craving more food.

If you like to eat foods that nourish your body and keep you full for hours, reach for the fresh stuff.

5. You’re Cooking with Canola Oil

Canola oil is the scum of all oils. It is highly sensitive to heat and light, which makes it more prone to becoming rancid. More than that, when canola oil is heated, it generates free radicals, which are linked to premature aging and cancer.

So ditch your bottle of canola oil, and pick up a bottle of cold-pressed coconut oil that’s packaged in a dark bottle. Coconut oil lowers cholesterol, prevents aging, helps even out blood sugar levels, and doesn’t produce free radicals when heated in high temperatures.

6. You’re Consuming Sugar Daily

In David Wolfe’s book, Eating for Beauty, he states “refined sugar is a drug that causes artificial highs, mood swings, depression, and energy crashes.” Sugar strips down your body’s mineral levels and depletes your body’s vitamin B levels, leaving you feeling like a drained mess.

Consuming sugar regularly is linked with chapped lips, premature wrinkles, inability to cope with stress, and osteoporosis. So let go of your sugar habit, your body will thank you from the inside out.

7. You’re Not Buying Organic

A study published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition found that “organically grown food averaged 63% higher in calcium, 78% higher in chromium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium, 60% higher in zinc, and averaged 29% lower in mercury” than non-organic foods.

What does this mean for your body? It means more energy. It’s like a caffeine boost without the caffeine and without the caffeine crashes.

Concerned about a hefty price tag of organic food? Don’t be. You’re getting more nutrients with every bite, so your food will stretch for a longer period of time. And more than that, with all that extra energy, you’re likely to be promoted and get a pay raise—but if not, at least you won’t be buying as much coffee!

8. You Drink Soda

Chronic soda drinking drains your body’s calcium levels, dissolves the tissue in your lower esophagus, impairs brain function, breaks down your muscles, weakens your bones, and is linked to breathingdisorders such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Rewire your brain to associate soda with poison. It’s incredibly important for your health to wean yourself off of this draining juice ASAP.

Looking for an alternative? Try kombucha—it has the same bubbly taste, with a plethora of health benefits (yum, yum).

9. You Don’t Cook

Why should you cook? It’s easy on your wallet, you’re able to use the freshest, best quality foods, and you can tailor the recipes to your specific taste preferences.

If you need some motivation, call up a friend and make it a date. Cooking together helps make it a fun activity, rather than a strenuous chore. Not to mention, the ability to cook usually has the power to impress everyone in the room.

10. You’re Eating Too Much

Skipping lunch and making up for it at dinner time? Stop, drop, and roll that out of your system. When you skip meals and pig out later, it only packs on the pounds.

Skipping meals sends your body into starvation mode, which slows down your metabolism and stops your body from moving into fat-burn mode. Regulate your metabolism by listening to your body’s hunger levels, and fueling yourself up with fresh, unprocessed foods.