Are you familiar with nutrition myths? Have you ever had to follow a piece of advice about your foods without any science or facts behind it? Many of these myths about food have long been in existence.
Why should you care about these erroneous food guidelines? Since myths are hardly ever supported by facts, you can learn to avoid making nutrition-related decisions that may be affecting your health.
In this post, you’ll discover ten top nutrition myths that many people aren’t familiar with. When you learn them, remember to incorporate the right thing into your diet and inform your family and friends. Who knows, you might just be saving a life.
Without much delay, let’s begin.
What are Nutrition Myths?
For many years now, nutrition science has made efforts to correct the wrong notions which people have about their foods and diets.
In fact, today, you find information on the Web telling you what to eat and what to avoid. Many health experts have done their research and have come up with a description of diet myths.
MedlinePlus describes diet myth or nutrition myths as popular beliefs about food and diet which lack supporting facts. Some of the most popular myths about weight loss, for instance, include:
- Late night eating can cause weight gain
- All overweight people are unhealthy
Now, while some of these myths seem reasonable on the surface, some of them have not been backed up by science. Hence, it becomes important that you identify the wrong practices in your life that you might innocently be following.
Why You Shouldn’t Believe Myths About Nutrition
Many nutrition myths have existed for decades. As a matter of fact, you might wonder why such myths about food and nutrition haven’t died today.
But what can you expect from an age which is filled with many journalists and bloggers trying to gain traffic to their news websites?
When you believe and follow the wrong nutritional tips, you are set up for the following:
- Unnecessary expenses on foods which may not have any special effects on your health
- Heath problems caused by following a meal plan that doesn’t fit your lifestyle or resulting from avoiding the food items that provide the most nutrients for your body
- Spreading wrong information about food since it’s often easy to convince close friends or relatives to do the same things that we do.
With this background, it becomes essential that you find out the nutrition myths that may be affecting your health or slowing down your progress to perfect health.
It is true that it’s possible to do the wrong things faithfully. However, when you discover the truth about health, embrace it with open arms.
10 Most Common Nutrition Myths
In this section, you’ll learn 10 of the most popular myths that have ever existed. Modern science has proven many of these myths wrong and shown how they can influence your health negatively.
1. All Natural Foods are Healthy for You
Many people believe that natural foods are better than processed foods.
This is a popular belief because natural foods such as fruits and vegetables contain their nutrients and little to no harmful substances which can destroy the body.
Nonetheless, this nutrition myth claims that natural foods are always good. Yet, there is evidence against this. Poorly processed cassava root, for instance, caused the death of more than 20 children due to the cyanide content found in the tuber.
Again, fruit juice or some smoothie drinks have been discouraged because they often contain only the fructose and lack fiber. Without fiber, many fruits cannot be effective.
So if you believe that natural is equivalent to healthy, check it. Grains, honey, mushroom, and fruits and vegetables are best enjoyed when taken correctly and in moderation.
2. Abstain from All White Foods
This myth is guilty of generalizing and that’s where the problem really lies. White foods such as sugar and white flour have been processed; hence, they aren’t the best food options.
Wheat, for instance, loses its natural nutrients during the processing stage. As a result, it becomes less preferable to whole wheat which still comprises rich fiber and other body-required nutrients.
Processed sugar equally lacks the abundant benefits which are associated with honey and other natural forms of sugar.
Yet, the fact that these two processed foods are unhealthy doesn’t imply that you should abstain from all white foods.
White onions, garlic, potatoes, and chicken are some of the white foods which offer essential nutrients to the body.
3. Low-Fat Diets are the Healthiest
While people have always believed it is healthier to eat foods rich in grains and low fat, science has never proven this.
Numerous studies have only found that a high-carb diet doesn’t prevent the risks of heart-related diseases neither does it speed up the fat burning process. Some high-fat foods are actually healthy for you.
4. Eat Less Salt to Reduce Your Chances of High Blood Pressure
One of the nutrition myths which are still very much alive is the salt myth.
Over the years, many people have been advised to reduce the measure of salt they add to their foods. Some have also discouraged eating in fast foods because of the high content of salt and spice in the meals.
Such warnings have been attached to the increased risk of high blood pressure and strokes. However, this myth only holds water for people who are salt sensitive. Such individuals often experience hypertension due to their salt intake.
Conversely, for the average human being who is healthy and not prone to heart attacks, eating tasteless foods isn’t scientifically supported. Reducing your dietary salt intake does not reduce your chances of stroke of HBP. Factors other than salt might just be the triggers.
5. Throw Your Egg Yolks Away
Throwing egg yolks away is one of the most popular yet unimaginable nutrition myths that have ever been. People who have encouraged the spread of this erroneous myth about egg have explained the relationship between the egg yolk and heart disease.
According to this myth, yolks are high in cholesterol while are unhealthy for the heart. On the contrary, the egg yolk houses most of the nutrients in egg and only diabetics may experience an increased risk of heart attack when they eat egg.
The cholesterol content in eggs is good and doesn’t affect the blood cholesterol or increase the chances of any heart disease.
6. You are Always the Cause of Your Weight Gain
Weight gain and obesity are two of the most common health problems in the US. Many websites and blogs focus on encouraging both men and women on how to lose weight with the right meal plan and maximum exercise.
However, the weight gain myth insists that weight gain is always about what people do or don’t do. Inasmuch as people have the power to create the body shape of their dreams, there are other factors including genetics and hormones.
You cannot always blame a person for being on the big side or being plus sized. Yes, it’s also true that sugar cravings and junk food contribute to weight gain. But as far as weight gain is concerned, a person isn’t always the cause of their weight problem.
Obviously, encouraging the “blame” narrative will do more harm than good.
7. Avoid Sugar in Every Form
Have you come across this nutrition myth before now? Most definitely! Many people believe that sugar provides no calories; hence, it should be avoided in every form.
On the contrary, science only proves that sugar may be bad because it causes diabetes, obesity, cancer, and many heart diseases. Yet, this doesn’t rule out the benefit of sugar for healthy, active persons.
If you need a midday boost, a drink with modest amount of sugar would give you the right jumpstart to keep you efficient till the close of work. Sugar isn’t always a bad guy, especially when you don’t take it frequently and in excess.
8. Dietary Supplements are Must-Haves
Dietary supplements are great, no doubt. But why use them if you can tweak your diet to comprise the right amounts of nutrients including the B vitamins and vitamin D?
As a matter of fact, this myth upholds the perspective that many of the foods we eat do not contain sufficient amounts of nutrients. As a result, you need to swallow a pill a day to get your body’s requirement for folic acid or DHA.
While it is true that multivitamins are beneficial for the body, they are often pricier than the raw foods you buy at the grocery or the farmers’ market. Again, many foods including milk and salt come already loaded with micronutrients and essential vitamins for the body’s optimal performance.
Hence, don’t feel compelled to swallow supplements. And if you have to, speak with a physician first.
9. You Need Detox Diets to Keep Your Body
Do you need to detoxify your body? This myth insists that you drink detox teas or green smoothies to wash your body of harmful substances.
But the error in this myth is that the body actually possesses organs which are responsible for detoxification on a regular basis. Your liver and kidneys are designed to eliminate all dangerous substances in the body. And they can only perform this function excellently when they receive the right foods and nutrients to achieve their purpose.
The downside of depending on artificial detoxification options such as detox diets is that you limit the body’s functions when you avoid eating a “balanced diet.” For instance, the illusion that avoiding carbohydrates causes weight loss disappears when you return to your old diet and your previously lost pounds return.
If you want to cleanse your body, eat more vegetables rich in fiber and trust your liver and kidneys to do their job.
10. Eat Frequently to Improve Metabolism
One of the nutrition myths which never seem to go away is the one about eating many times in a day. Proponents of this myth claim that the more times you eat, the more effective your digestion will be.
However, studies have found that the reverse is the case. When you eat smaller meals frequently, you overburden your digestive organs and you are likely to feel hungry after a short while.
If you really hope to boost your metabolism, eat larger food portions two to three times daily and ensure that they comprise the right amount of calories.
The Bottom Line
Overall, this post has discussed ten common nutrition myths which many people believe. What you’ve read above shows that it’s important that you get scientific facts about a nutrition tip or advice before you follow it.
If there are no studies supporting a health claim, ask questions. Don’t be overly eager to follow a meal plan or interrupt your health routines because you found some food advice on the Internet.
Your health is fundamental to your life. So go over these nutrition myths again. Find out the wrong beliefs you’ve had about your food and nutrition. Next, correct them and be deliberate about living healthy.
What other nutrition myths do you know? Please share them in the comments section.