Working as a nutritionist for over a year, I have heard about every food myth—documentaries, social media channels, and influencers that promote inaccurate health advice. So many food myths have been propagated over the years, and people are quick to share them. For example, certain foods burn fat – nope. Carbs make you gain weight, and gluten is toxic – nope and nope. Let’s take a look a look at more food myths.
#1. Fat-free is healthy
Consider how a product like sour cream has the fat removed. First, the food product is highly processed to lower fat content. Second, “fat-free” doesn’t mean calorie-free, preservative-free, and carbohydrate-free. Third, the U.S Food and Drug Administration allows labels to be listed as “fat-free” if it contains less than 0.5 grams of fat. So that man, if you have a box of fat-free cookies, you are consuming several grams of fat and lots of preservatives. You better off controlling your portions and eating whole real food.
#2. Gluten-free is for everyone
Unless you are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease, you don’t have to avoid gluten. Gluten is a protein found in rye, barley, wheat, and spelled. When gluten intolerance becomes unbearable, it is known as celiac disease. moreover, some assume celiac disease is an allergy when in fact int is an autoimmune disease and causes extensive damage to the digestive tract.
Whole-wheat products have great nutritional benefits, such as essential B vitamins and fiber. One of the most significant health benefits of whole grains is that they lower your risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. Additionally, fiber helps give bulk to stools and reduces your risk of constipation.
#3. Everyone should avoid eggs and shellfish because of cholesterol
In fact, eggs and shellfish are high in cholesterol and low in saturated fat. In fact, saturated fat can raise your level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. Unless you have high cholesterol, eggs and shellfish are a good food option and great source of protein. In addition, both offer vitamins and nutrients.
If you are concerned about possibly health risks with cholesterol, simply limit your intake and know your risks. If you have a health issue, verify what you can and cannot have.
#4. Coffee is bad for you
There is a lot of information out there claiming coffee is addictive and increases the risk of cancer. It is true that more than four cups a day can cause anxiety, insomnia and gut issues however, there is no evidence that it increases risk of cancer.
Coffee contains polyphenols which have been shown to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. It also increases blood supply to the brain, reducing the risk of Parkinson’s and dementia.
#5. Use unrefined sugars, such as honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar in place of white table sugar.
Sugar is sugar! Unrefined cane sugars go through a great deal of processing but much less than refined cane sugars. The word “processed” means to alter something from its natural state for safety, taste, aroma, convenience, availability, and consistency. All cane sugars are processed in some way, either mechanically or by temperature. Our body can hardly tell the difference between unrefined and refined cane sweeteners as both are a blend of sugar (sucrose, fructose, glucose) and water.
There are many more food myths out there. We are all influenced by deeply ingrained or inherited myths about food (breakfast is the most important meal of the day, fat is bad, fish is good, and so on), and these can be hard to shake. In addition, the global food industry throws billions of dollars every year into manufacturing and marketing processed foods that some believe are designed to leave us wanting more. Your best bet is to eat whole real foods, wash your fruits and vegetables and read those labels – anything over 5 ingredients is probably best avoided.
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