10 Nutrition Myths – Debunked

Zeus, Big Foot, and The Boogie Man – all are examples of myths that you’ve long recognized for what they are. While you may leave these characters to the pages of mythology that they hail from, there are other myths that you may be holding on to. The world today abounds with nutrition myths that are hard to let go. Let’s examine a few of these.

10 Nutrition Myths - Debunked

Myth #1: Carbs Make You Fat

This blanket statement is rightly number one on the list of nutrition myths. It is true that sugary, refined carbohydrates like white bread, pastries, and pasta aren’t good for your health. That being said, there are good carbs, like whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables that are your body’s main source of fuel and nutrients.

Myth #2: Calories Eaten At Night Are More Fattening

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” — or so goes the advice. Recent studies, however, have shown that it doesn’t matter when you eat. Weight loss only depends on burning more calories than you take in.

Myth #3: Eggs Are Bad For You

After a long and arduous deliberation, the jury is in, and eggs have been found not guilty. While egg yolks are high in cholesterol, for the majority of people, it’s not a big deal. Your body will naturally compensate by producing less of its own cholesterol. Before you head out to celebrate with a three-egg breakfast, remember that you still need to be balanced.

Myth #4: Radiation From Microwaves Makes Your Food Dangerous

While the word radiation may sound off alarm bells in your head, there are some things that need to be clarified. Radiation simply refers to energy that is sent out in waves and spreads out as it travels. While x-rays and gamma rays do pose health concerns, the radiation used in microwaves is much weaker. Any changes that occur in microwaved food are simply due to the heat that is generated inside the food itself, and not to the microwave. The same thing happens when you cook on the stove top.

The biggest concern with microwaves is the dishes that you microwave in — some dishes can leach compounds into your food during the cooking process. Only use microwave-safe containers!

Myth #5: Fasting Helps Cleanse Toxins From Your Body

Your body already has a complex and finely tuned system to cleanse itself — your liver, kidneys, and spleen. These have been doing this job for centuries, and there’s no evidence to prove that the cleansing process is improved at all by fasting or only drinking cleansing juices.

Myth #6: Gluten Is Everybody’s #1 Enemy

Just because gluten-free products are in the health food aisle does not mean that it’s the healthiest choice for everybody. People with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity are the only ones who truly benefit from a gluten-free diet. The rest of the population can eat gluten with a clear conscience. If you find that you don’t feel well after eating gluten, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor and get tested for celiac disease.

Myth #7: Eating Many Small Meals Revs Up Your Metabolism

This nutrition myth has been clearly debunked by science. People who eat 2-3 meals per day burn the same amount of calories as those who eat many small meals per day. For some people, this method may help curb excessive hunger or control blood sugar, but beyond that, there’s really no benefit. One recent study even showed that it may be linked to a dramatic increase in liver and abdominal fat.

Myth #8: You Shouldn’t Drink Coffee

While coffee gets a bad rap because of its caffeine content, there are also many benefits that the media has ignored. Coffee is one of the biggest sources of antioxidants that you’ll find in the western world — even outranking some fruits. It has also been shown to lower the risk of depression, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Remember that the next time people are dissing your favorite beverage!

Myth #9: Calories Are Calories

One of the leading methods of losing weight is counting calories, but this hinges on the idea that all calories are created equal. They’re not. Different types of calories will have different effects on your body. For example, protein calories have been shown to rev up metabolism by 80-100%, while carbohydrate and fat calories do not. The key is to focus more on food quality than calories.

Myth #10: Fat Makes You Fat

Since you think of fat as the soft, pudgy stuff under your skin, you would think that fats in general would create more of that. This is completely untrue. It depends entirely on the context. What are you eating the fat with? What kinds of fats are you eating? While trans fats are bad for you, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats are quite good for your body. These healthy fats can be found in safflower and olive oils, nuts, and fish. Overall, when you eat good fat, it can help you to feel fuller faster, so you don’t eat as much.

Just as you no longer shake at the thought of the boogie man in your closet, hopefully the words fat, calorie, and microwave will also free you from their mythical grasp. With these nutrition myths debunked, you can enjoy a more balanced view of your nutritional needs.

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