10 Nutrition Myths Debunked

There are lots of information on the Internet on how we can achieve weight loss by choosing the right food to eat and having a healthy balanced diet. However, it seems like nutrition myths will always be present, especially with the unfiltered nature of the World Wide Web. In the past, nutrition myths were passed on by socializing with other people or through word of mouth, especially in gyms and health clubs. Now, through the use of social media, it’s so much easier to spread false information on the internet even if they have the best intentions for the readers.

The best way to start your nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle is to know which nutrition facts to believe in. It is also important to do some research before diving into conclusions. You should take this quite seriously in order to achieve the body you want while eating the best food for you.

Behind the most common nutrition myths, is a gist of truth. Let’s enumerate some of the most common food and nutrition myths while we try to divulge more misinformation on what we hear in our everyday lives.

Nutrition Myth #1: Do not eat after 6 PM or late at night

Several studies have confirmed that we can trim down fats by eating early. However, our metabolism doesn’t plainly get off. It is still a matter of choosing which food to eat during the time of the day when we tend to rest more, which is at night before heading to bed. Well, you will absolutely produce fats if you take a snack and sit lazily while watching your favorite TV shows or having a movie marathon.

The truth here is that you should not eat just for comfort; you should eat because you need the energy from food to keep you going and your body functioning properly. If you eat more late at night, it will surely have an effect on your body. In this regard, you can always go for light snacks even at night, but keep in mind that the food you eat is more critical than the time when you eat it.

Nutrition Myth #2: Do not eat at fast food chains

We hear this every time we crave for a fast food meal, don’t we? Someone will give negative remarks about eating at a fast food chain like a broken record. They will say it’s unhealthy and that you will gain weight afterwards. Really? What if you do not have time to prepare your meal and opt to get a nice meal at a restaurant instead? A lot of fast food restaurants today can somewhat fit into your diet plans. You can easily order a meal and request to modify it by asking to lessen the salt or sugar content.

The truth here is that you just need to know what food to eat. It’s not about where you eat it. The place or how they prepare a meal won’t matter at all.

Nutrition Myth #3: Oatmeal is good for your diet

Indeed, oatmeal is really good for our health. This is true if the oatmeal you eat is made from scratch and you are the one who sweetens it with some fruit or honey. But if we are talking about the oatmeal (sweetened or not) that are packed and sold in the grocery stores, then that’s an entirely different matter.

The truth here is that these oatmeal packages, like the instant oatmeal with chocolate or banana flavor, for example, entice us as we’re thinking of flavored and colorful oatmeal. What we don’t know is that those dried fruits were injected with what they call a creaming agent, mixed with corn syrup or corn starch that contain trans-fat.

Nutrition Myth #4: Avoid eating white bread; turn to wheat bread instead

Carbs have also been known as a fat builder. This is the reason why most people think that bread has an enormous amount of gluten, which is not good for our health. But even if gluten and carbs go hand in hand, they are still not the same. White bread is made from wheat flour while whole wheat bread may contain gluten and proteins. They produce the same amount of calories; however, whole wheat bread has lower amounts of glycemic and insulin. For that reason, whole wheat bread is said to be a healthier alternative to white bread.

The truth here is that there is a comparatively small difference between white bread and whole wheat bread. It’s true that whole wheat bread has more fiber content than white bread, but it’s not necessarily as helpful compared to the fiber content we can get from eating fruits and vegetables.

Hence, wheat bread is just white bread with caramel and molasses substances that make it dark in color and look healthy while the so-called multi grain bread has several junky refined grains in it. What we need to do is to always check the package if the bread is “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat.”

Nutrition Myth #5: Avoid red meat; take white meat instead

It’s said that red meat can possibly cause cancer. It was found that smoked meat has poly-aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs that can harm our genome and lead to having cancerous substances in our body. There are also evidences, which suggest that people who eat red meat a lot can be prone to cancer, especially if they have poor food choices and an unhealthy lifestyle.

In actuality, however. if you are a non-smoker who exercises regularly and eats your fruits and vegetables, there is really a lesser chance of getting cancer by eating red meat. The truth here is that a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet are still proven to be truly more indispensable and helpful for your body than controlling your processed, cured ,or red meat intake.

Nutrition Myth #6: Do a detox diet

When you hear detox diet, you’re thinking about cleansing your body, getting rid of toxins, and clean eating, right? This type of diet limits your food intake to fruit and vegetable juices, topping it up with a supplement. However, it looks like no one ever figured out which toxins this detox diet really targets. Toxins are compounds or substances that may be harmful to the human body. It may be plant or animal-based and can also include heavy metals, preservatives, and synthetic materials.

The truth here is that when you’re done with your detox diet and resume your normal eating routine, the pounds you had trimmed down will eventually keep coming back to give you water and sugar. Thus, it will be more helpful if you focus on eating habits that you can sustain on a daily basis.

Nutrition Myth #7: Low-fat or fat-free foods are healthier than the regular ones

It is true that less fat from meat and dairy products is the better choice. But there’s a big difference when we talk about pre-packaged or processed foods. The main reason why low-fat or fat-free products have the same taste as full-fat foods is because when they remove a fatty ingredient, it needs to be replenished by adding other ingredients that are also unhealthy, like flour, salt, sugar, or other thickening and chemical agents. Thus, it’s still a poor food choice.

The truth here is that you can avoid those artificially- flavored or fat-free food products by eating those that have healthy fats. These healthy fats can be acquired by eating plant-based food products that you can incorporate in your diet. These include legumes, nuts, soy products, whole grains, seeds, and eggs.

Nutrition Myth #8: Go vegetarian to lose weight

A lot of “health conscious” people avoid eating red meat, chicken, seafood, and even dairy products just so they can lose weight. They think that going vegetarian is the key. However, when they opt to not get protein from these food variants, their choices become limited. To cope, they may tend to rely on eating too much rice, pasta, or bread. Vegetarians may also think that they need to eat sweets, snacks, or potatoes to compensate for their lack of protein intake.

The truth here is that in order to lose weight while you’re on a vegetarian diet, you have to make sure that you still get all the required nutrients your body needs. You also need to get the necessary amount of calories in a day. To add to that, losing weight is not always about the food you eat because in reality, the total amount of calories you intake in a day is still the turning point.

Nutrition Myth #9: Eating several “small” meals can help in weight loss

A lot of people may give advice that you should eat in small portions so that your metabolism will perk up. Sadly, science doesn’t prove that eating often in small amounts will actually make a difference throughout your day. It really doesn’t matter if you eat it in small portions or not. As a matter of fact, eating small snacks may accumulate extra pounds as it means you have more chances of consuming more calories as you eat more frequently. Hence, your cholesterol and your blood sugar levels will not be affected by how many times you eat in a day.

The truth here is that the kind of food or snacks you eat is more critical to your overall nutrition than the number of times you eat snacks in a day. If you still want to eat in small portions, it would really be best and helpful if you plan your snacks by listing them per day. Say for example, your snack number one will be composed of fruits with a total calorie count of _____, and so on.

Nutrition Myth #10: Vitamin supplements can boost your energy and metabolism

Many of us take supplements in place of food intake. But in reality, vitamins don’t really provide energy the same way calories do. They just serve in assisting and helping our body carry out proper functioning if we’re tired during the day. Even if you have met your nutrient requirements for the day, taking vitamins and minerals won’t provide any further benefits for your body. Actually, it may be harmful to your body if you take too much of it.

The truth here is that you may take a multivitamin or mineral supplement that will help you function well throughout the day, but it won’t be sufficient to replace a balanced meal.

Conclusion

Nutrition can really be confusing. Food myths are continuously changing as time goes by. Even so, these myths are still present because of our lack of nutrition education and inadequate reliable information.

Having said that, it’s so much better to rely on simple food facts to be able to achieve a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet. Eating fruits and vegetables, getting proteins, eating in moderation, regular exercise, maintaining the required calorie count per day, and drinking plenty of water can be a great start. What we all need to do is to have the right kind of mindset and discipline.

In conclusion, your attitude to eating healthy is the most important factor. It’s your own choice on how you can be comfortable with the food you eat, with your own body, and with your perspectives in life. You can decide to get healthier options because you are sure that this will make you feel better. If you’re too pessimistic, you might end up having poor choices when it comes to your health and nutrition.

Self-improvement is good, but self-acceptance is way better. In the end, you should always ensure that aside from being healthy, you’ll also enjoy eating foods that will not only fill your tummy, but will also satisfy your taste buds.

Throw away your old-fashioned eating habits and help make the world a healthier place. Visit http://www.borderlesscharity.org to know more.

Sources

Eating Well. The 13 biggest nutrition and food myths Busted. Retrieved from

http://www.eatingwell.com/article/16296/the-13-biggest-nutrition-and-food-myths-

busted/

Enos, D. (May 2, 2014). 3 Common nutrition myths dispelled. Retrieved from

https://www.livescience.com/45310-common-nutrition-myths-dispelled.html

Gelman, L. Reader’s Digest — Eat healthier: 13 food myths you still think are true. Retrieved from

https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/eat-healthier-food-myths-you-still-think-are-true/

Healthline Media. 20 mainstream nutrition myths (Debunked by Science). Retrieved from

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/20-mainstream-nutrition-myths-debunked/

University of Washington Medicine. Diet and nutrition myths. Retrieved from

http://www.uwmedicine.org/patient-resources/nutrition-services/nutrition-myths

Borderless Charity, Inc

Written by

Philanthropy reinvented with Blockchain and Smart Contract Technology. We aim to empower emerging individuals.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade