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The 10 Dumbest Diet Myths

Lake Tahoe, Hyatt Regency Resort breakfat bacon

6. Oh No! I Didn’t Get My Daily Allotment of Riboflavin!

I’ve written about how people who ate only nutrient-dense food could theoretically eat as much as they want and not gain weight. The “trick,” of course, is that nutrient-dense foods are usually calorically sparse, and if you fill yourself on low-calorie foods, you’ll quash your appetite and you won’t gain weight.

However, I’ve discovered a sub-sect of people who, despite eating “healthy,” are still managing to fatten themselves up. They’ve apparently found a loophole in my argument and they’re exploiting it mightily.

Here’s what’s happening: They’ll have breakfast. They’ll order eggs and whole grain toast with organic butter. And some yogurt. And Granola. Oh yeah, some orange juice and a bowl of fruit. And bacon. Almost forgot the bacon.

They’ve embraced the idea of complete nutrition and nutrient-dense foods, but they’ve taken it to an absurd extreme by trying to get all their nutrients in every meal. As a result, their calorie-intake is off the charts. Despite their sound nutritional choices, they get fatter and fatter.

What they’ve neglected is that you don’t have to get all your nutrition in every meal. It’s like the old beans and rice thing practiced by vegetarians. Rice is lacking in the amino acids lysine and threonine, so you had to eat beans with it to make a complete protein because beans had the lysine and threonine that rice lacked.

Well, it’s true, but you don’t have to have them in the same meal. You can eat your rice and have some lysine-containing food later on in the day.

You don’t necessarily even have to get all your micronutrients in one day. Instead, you can look at your nutrition in blocks of two or three days, or even a week. While there are daily requirements for many vitamins, many others are stored for later use.

As an extreme example, the daily requirement for Vitamin B12 is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. However, the body recycles some of the Vitamin B12 and stores can last between 5 months and 30 years before any kind of deficiency would become apparent.

Eat your nutrient-dense foods, but there’s no need to get every macronutrient, vitamin, mineral, phytochemical, or antioxidant in every meal, you fat bastard in the making.

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