If you play sport or take part in some kind of sporting activity you probably do so because you enjoy being active, maybe your sport is your passion, your life purpose. But, in my experience, many recreational athletes don’t take their diet as seriously as they could. I have talked about this a lot on social media, but exercise needs fuel, for us humans that fuel is the Calories we get from food and beverages. If you take your sport or exercise performance even semi-seriously and you aren’t taking 24-hour energy balance (Calories in Calories out) into account you might be reducing your performance potential, not to mention harming your health. There isn't an evidence-based practitioner in the world who would say otherwise.
It seems like every day the newspapers print some rubbish about fitness or nutrition. The headline is more often than not scary and sensationalist. No surprises there then. I mean, the job of the press isn't to educate you (perhaps controversial nut unfortunately true) but to sell papers. Using click-bait headlines that evoke emotional responses from readers is the most tried and tested way of doing this.
If you are serious about your sport you have to get serious about your diet, not just counting Calories to keep the fat off but understanding the role of each macronutrient and how they benefit your performance, recovery and health. When it comes to sports nutrition the evidence is clear that carbohydrates are god (1). The ISSN recommend 3-5g/kg of body weight for moderately active exercises and 5-8 g/kg for elite level athletes (2) and, in some cases even higher (1,2). Although there is some sparse evidence to imply that a high fat low carb (HFLC) diet may benefit ultra-endurance athletes (9,10). The evidence in favour of HFLC isn’t great to be honest and trials done on cyclists showed that, at best, performance is unaffected and at worst it is negatively impacted. (3,4).