Women Nutrition Myths Debunked

Our nutritionists set the record straight with scientific backed and accurate knowledge to empower you on your health journey.

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in women's health and well-being. However, with a plethora of information available, several myths and misconceptions exist. Our nutritionists set the record straight with scientific backed and accurate knowledge to empower you on your health journey.

Myth 1: Carbs lead to weight gain 

Carbohydrates have a bad reputation in many popular diet trends, being associated with weight gain. But this concept is oversimplified and does not take into account overall diet, metabolism and type and amount of carbohydrates consumed. Carbohydrates are in fact our body's primary source of energy and play a crucial role in various functions (2).

The problem usually lies in the overconsumption of refined and processed carbohydrates, such as soda, sweets, or white bread. These lack essential nutrients and fiber, which can spike blood sugar levels and lead to more cravings (1). However, complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables provide sustained energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals important for women’s health. 

Myth 2: Diary is a must for bone health 

While dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich sources of calcium, which is essential for maintaining bone density and strength, they are not the only sources available. Leafy greens, soy products, beans, lentils, and fortified products (non-dairy milk alternatives) also contain calcium and can contribute to overall bone health.

In addition to calcium, other nutrients are important for bone health, including vitamin D, magnesium (green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains), phosphorus (red meat, seafood, legumes, nuts), and vitamin K (broccoli, kale, spinach). 

Myth 3: Cleanses are necessary

Some proponents of cleanses claim that juicing, fasting, or other restrictive diets can alleviate menopausal or premenstrual symptoms and promote overall well-being. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims, and in some cases, cleanses may even be detrimental to women's health during menopause (3). 

Extreme dieting and rapid weight loss can disrupt hormone levels, potentially making symptoms such as mood swings and fatigue worse (4). Additionally, some cleanses may not provide sufficient protein or healthy fats, which are crucial for female hormone production and balance. 

Many cleanses involve severe calorie restriction and/or cutting out food groups, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. This is especially risky during certain life stages like pregnancy or breastfeeding, which require increased nutrient needs. Women going through menopause also require adequate intake of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and other nutrients to support bone health and overall well-being (5). 

Myth 4: Supplements replace a healthy diet  

Many women turn to dietary supplements as a convenient solution to meet their nutritional needs. While supplements can be beneficial in addressing specific deficiencies or health conditions, with the guidance of a healthcare professional, they should not substitute a balanced diet. 

Whole foods provide a plethora of nutrients, phytochemicals, and fiber that work synergistically to promote health and prevent disease. Excessive supplements can lead to nutrient imbalances and potential harm. Also many supplements are not well regulated, meaning they may contain inactive or even dangerous ingredients (6). Focus on nourishing your body with diverse whole foods to optimize your nutritional intake with Lifesum. If you are interested in supplementing, consult a physician. 

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