Cabbage soup or fruit before exercise?: Nutrition experts clarify five diet myths


When it comes to diet and exercise, there are countless myths and misconceptions that can confuse even the most health-conscious individuals. Nutrition experts are constantly debunking these myths to help people make informed decisions about their diet. In this article, we will clarify five common diet myths and provide expert advice on the best practices for optimal nutrition before exercise.

Myth 1: Cabbage soup is a miracle weight loss food

One of the most persistent diet myths is the belief that cabbage soup can magically melt away excess pounds. While cabbage soup can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet, it is not a miracle weight loss food. The idea behind the cabbage soup diet is that consuming large quantities of low-calorie soup will lead to rapid weight loss. However, this approach is not sustainable in the long term and can result in nutrient deficiencies.

Nutrition experts recommend focusing on a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Instead of relying on a single food for weight loss, it is important to create a calorie deficit through a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.

Myth 2: Fruit should be avoided before exercise

Another common myth is that consuming fruit before exercise can lead to digestive issues or hinder performance. In reality, fruit is an excellent source of natural sugars, vitamins, and minerals that can provide a quick energy boost before a workout. The fiber content in fruit also aids in digestion and can help prevent constipation.

However, it is important to choose the right type and amount of fruit before exercise. Opt for easily digestible fruits such as bananas, apples, or berries. These fruits are low in fiber and high in carbohydrates, making them ideal for pre-workout fuel. It is also recommended to consume fruit at least 30 minutes before exercise to allow for proper digestion.

Myth 3: Skipping meals is an effective weight loss strategy

Many people believe that skipping meals, especially breakfast, can help them lose weight. However, this is a dangerous myth that can have negative effects on both physical and mental health. Skipping meals can lead to a drop in blood sugar levels, resulting in decreased energy and concentration.

Nutrition experts emphasize the importance of regular, balanced meals for weight loss and overall well-being. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can help maintain stable blood sugar levels and prevent overeating. It is essential to fuel the body with the right nutrients to support physical activity and maintain a healthy metabolism.

Myth 4: Carbohydrates should be avoided for weight loss

Carbohydrates have long been demonized as the enemy of weight loss. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal, and they play a crucial role in providing energy for exercise. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, are rich in fiber and essential nutrients.

Avoiding carbohydrates entirely can lead to nutrient deficiencies and low energy levels. Instead, focus on consuming the right types of carbohydrates in moderation. Opt for whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes to fuel your workouts and maintain a balanced diet.

Myth 5: Protein shakes are necessary for muscle gain

Protein shakes have gained popularity as a quick and convenient way to increase protein intake for muscle gain. While protein is indeed essential for muscle repair and growth, it can be obtained through whole food sources as well. Protein shakes are not a necessity for muscle gain and can be expensive.

Nutrition experts recommend consuming a balanced diet that includes lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, tofu, and beans. These whole food sources not only provide protein but also essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for overall health. If needed, protein shakes can be used as a supplement, but they should not replace whole foods in the diet.


It is important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to diet and exercise. Nutrition experts have debunked several common diet myths, including the belief that cabbage soup is a miracle weight loss food and that fruit should be avoided before exercise. Skipping meals and avoiding carbohydrates are also not effective weight loss strategies. Lastly, protein shakes are not necessary for muscle gain and can be replaced with whole food sources of protein.

By understanding these myths and following expert advice, individuals can make informed decisions about their diet and optimize their nutrition for exercise and overall well-being.