The following popular diet and nutrition mythst may surprise you:
- All Fats are bad. It's a long-held nutrition myth that all fats are bad. But the fact is, we all need fat. Fats aid nutrient absorption and nerve transmission, and they help to maintain cell membrane integrity. However, when consumed in excessive amounts, fats contribute to weight gain, heart disease and certain types of cancers. The key is to replace bad fats (saturated fats and trans fats) with good fats (monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats).
- To lose weight avoid carbohydrates. The key message that many low-carb diets convey is that carbohydrates promote insulin production, which in turn results in weight gain. This is just another nutrition myth.Many low-carb diets actually do not provide sufficient carbohydrates to your body for daily maintenance. Therefore your body will begin to burn stored carbohydrates (glycogen) for energy. The drastic initial drop of weight at the beginning of a low-carb diet is mostly water that you lose as a result of burning glycogen.
- Skipping meals can help lose weight. This is a nutrition myth thinking by skipping meals means weight loss. If you skip a meal, your body will think that you are in starvation mode and therefore slow down the metabolism to compensate. You then tend to overeat at the next meal which usually ends up by having a higher total caloric intake than if you just ate more frequently throughout the day.
- Avoid nuts they are fattening. It's a nutrition myth that nuts should be avoided. If you can restrain yourself from overeating them, nuts can be a part of a healthy diet. In fact, nuts are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the good fats) as well as plant sterols, all of which have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. In 2003, the FDA approved a health claim stating that "scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces (45 grams) per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."
- Sugar Causes Diabetes. The most common nutrition myth is that sugar causes diabetes. Sugar intake will not cause you to develop diabetes. The main risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are a diet high in calories, being overweight, and an inactive lifestyle.
- Brown Sugar is better than White Sugar. Brown sugar sold at grocery stores is actually white granulated sugar with added molasses. Brown sugar does contain minute amounts of minerals. But unless you eat a gigantic portion of brown sugar every day, the mineral content difference between brown sugar and white sugar is absolutely insignificant.
- Brown Eggs are more nutritious than White Eggs. Contrary to a widely believed nutrition myth, eggshell color has nothing to do with the quality, flavor, nutritive value, cooking characteristics, or shell thickness of an egg. The eggshell color only depends upon the breed of the hen.
- Eating for two is during pregnancy. Energy requirements vary among individuals, but the idea of eating for two during pregnancy is a nutrition myth. It is generally recommended that pregnant women increase their daily intake by 100 kcal in the first trimester and 300 kcal in the second and third trimesters. An extra snack before bedtime consisting of a fruit, a serving of milk or yogurt, and a few biscuits is often enough.
- Avoid seafood to lower blood cholesterol. Another nutritional myth is that dietary cholesterol found in seafood and other meats has little effect on blood cholesterol in most people. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are the most important factors that raise blood cholesterol.
- Red meat is bad for health. It is a nutrition myth that red meat is altogether bad for your health. It is true that some studies have linked red meat with increased risk of heart disease, partly due to the saturated fat content. In fact, chicken can contain as much saturated fat as lean cuts of beef or pork. A serving of sirloin beef or pork tenderloin has less saturated fats than the same serving size of chicken thigh with skin.
Diet and Nutrition Myth Bottom Line
It's easy to buy into some pretty popular diet and nutrition misconceptions -- myths and half-truths that ultimately find us making far fewer healthier food choices than we realize. Knowing these diet and nutrition myths, and along with making better food choices can help you live a longer healthier life.