6 Muscle Building Foods That Suck (Part 1)
It’s 2013. It’s a new year and you have no excuses to make this one your best. I know it’ll be mine. I’m a proud uncle, I have a sweet website that I love to write for, and I love my apartment in downtown Toronto. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.
To kick off the new year, I’ve invited my french Canadian brother, Nick, to write a two part series on muscle building foods that suck. Some even call Nick a “nutrition nerd”. I’ll let you decide…
6 Muscle Building Foods That Suck (Part 1)
By Nick Pineault, Author, Healthy or Not
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot on how to eat to build more muscle.
Of course, you can always take the “eat-everything-you-can” approach to bulking… but we all know most of us with normal genetics will end up becoming fat slobs puffing for air instead of looking like Vince Gironda.
A smartest approach to building muscle is the one used by athletes worldwide: eat unprocessed, natural foods.
Professionals don’t have time to screw up their bodies with toxins if they want to achieve their maximum performance.
Some go even further in the healthy eating trend. Last year, the entire Green Bay Packers team decided to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet to recover faster and perform better.
So… eating healthy foods leads to building more muscle, right?
Not so fast.
My experience coaching normal dudes and athletes on food choices taught me one thing: if you improvise, you’ll screw up 99% of the time.
Food manufacturers that sell you so-called “healthy foods” are looking for a quick way in your wallet. Your muscle-building rate or performance is the least of their concerns, trust me.
What happens is this: they make manufacturing mistakes that basically renders all your muscle-building food useless.
Yes, the same quality food you pay a premium for… is actually slowing you down.
Here are 3 of them:
Don’t freak out just yet.
I’m NOT talking about all honey. Honey is, like you already know, a superfood that can be part of your diet when consumed in moderation (that means 2-3 teaspoons per day… not 2-3 cups).
The problem is: more and more stories come out about adulterated honey that has been cut with glycerine, or worse, with high fructose corn syrup.
In fact, one controversial study by the Food Safety News showed that up to 75% of all honey sold in the US may be fake.
Because of a special costly filtration process, manufacturers are able to remove pollen from their honey, removing any possibility to trace its origin. Some say it’s a way to sell cheap Chinese honey to unwary consumers, and some other say it’s BS. I think it’s a little bit of both.
When I’m not sure if a food is healthy or not anymore, I try to find local sourcing that guarantees me that this is the real deal. So: find a local honey producer you can trust, and buy from them.
Also, ALWAYS choose non-pasteurized over the pasteurized stuff that is basically devoid of all the nutrition and benefits honey is known for.
2) Olive Oil
It makes me cringe every time I see olive oil packaged in a transparent bottle at the grocery store. I thought everyone knew all plant-based oils’ polyunsaturated fats are prone to oxidation…
Okay… let me talk in plain English instead of the scientific lingo most food manufacturers try to blind you with.
What this means is that olive oil shouldn’t be exposed to air, light and heat too much. Stick to oil that is stored in those dark or opaque bottles.
Wait, it gets worse (again!).
According to the US Pharmacopeial Convention, 16% of all olive oils on the market are adulterated in some manner.
Because of different loopholes in labeling and commercial rights, it seems that corporations get away with importing olive oil mixed with corn, soy or canola oils and still sell it as “extra virgin olive oil”.
Again, finding a trustworthy manufacturer is the key to make sure your oil is the real deal and brings you the nutrition it promises.
The olive oil you want is organic, first cold-pressed, and stored in a cool, dark place.
And if you’re still wondering if your olive oil is fake or not, try this: put the bottle in the fridge overnight. If the oil is solid by morning then it’s real. If it’s liquid then it’s fake.
3) Agave Syrup
It’s all the hype these days.
Low GI, they say.
All-natural, they say.
The truth: 99.9% of all agave syrup is WORST than high fructose corn syrup. Yes, you read that right.
Unlike what manufacturers made you believe, almost 100% agave syrup is NOT made from the plant itself – but from its root bulb, which is converted to fructose after a heavy high-temperature chemical processing.
Even though the final product is low-GI, it contains more fructose than high fructose corn syrup, the most fattening and damaging sugar out there.
If you want to use agave, you’ll have to find a manufacturer who commits to providing an outstanding product. A rare treat.
Your agave syrup should be:
• Processed at low temperatures
• Low fructose (around 50% is the best)
• Organic, without the use of pesticides
These are just 3 of the healthy foods that can become completely useless and even detrimental to your progress when manufacturers cut corners.
For the final 3 (and these ones are definitely foods you eat every day) you’ll have to wait until tomorrow. That’s when Part 2 will be available.