Don't Be Fooled By These 8 Nutrition Myths
1. All Fats are bad for you
I guess this makes sense on the surface. Fats make you fat; therefore, they are unhealthy, right? The truth is that fats serve many important bodily functions including vitamin absorption, cell structure, insulation, and nerve transmission. In addition to these health benefits there is an important distinction between types of fats. The main thing to be aware of is the type of fat you are consuming since not all fats are the same. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered healthy fats because they have been shown to improve blood cholesterol levels which can reduce the risk of heart disease. The fats that are bad for you are Saturated and trans-fats which are considered unhealthy fats because they have been linked with elevated cholesterol levels and increased risk of heart disease. Fats do contain 9 calories per gram as compared to 4 calories per gram for both protein and carbohydrates, so they should be consumed in moderation.
2. Carbs make you fat
Carbs don’t make you fat. The thing that will make you fat is consuming more energy (calories) than your body uses. This is the case with any food. However, there are different types of carbs (carbohydrates) just like there are different types of fats. Two major types of carbohydrates are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs are foods, which contain vitamins, minerals such as B vitamins, zinc and iron. Oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, beans, peas and lentils are examples of complex carbs. These are considered the healthy carbs due to the higher amount of nutrients and slower release of sugar compared to simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates include white bread, white rice, baked goods, and sugar. These are easily digested carbohydrates are rapidly absorbed, causing a spike in blood sugar and quick boost in energy. Simple carbohydrates have been stripped of most of their nutrients.
3. Cane Sugar Is Not As Bad As High-Fructose Corn Syrup.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that because cane sugar sounds more natural than high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) it is the healthier option. This is one of the latest marketing attempts by soda companies to convince you to buy their product. There are few long-term studies on the effects of HFCS; however, the medical community classifies both HFCS and sugar as added sugars. Added sugars may increase your risk of obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
4. Detoxing diets cleanse the body of toxins
The human body already has a very effective system for removing toxins with help from the kidneys and liver. There isn’t any credible evidence showing that detox diets such as juicing or fasting can do a better job of removing toxins from the body.
5. Gluten-free means healthier
Unless you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance there is no reason you should waste your time and money on anything marketed as gluten-free. Celiac disease, a condition that affects 3.5% of the US population, is when the body cannot digest gluten, a protein found in rye, wheat, and barley. Gluten-free products do not contain this protein. Gluten intolerance on the other hand is when abdominal distress or fatigue occurs after consuming gluten. If you don’t have a medical reason for following a gluten-free diet then you are simply wasting your money.
6. Sea salt is healthier than table salt
Sea salt comes from evaporated seawater while table salt comes from salt mines. Both contain roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon. Advocates of sea salt like to point to the minerals it contains like magnesium and iron. However, these minerals are present in trace amounts. Sea salt also does not contain any iodine which is regularly added to table salt in order to regulate the body’s hormones. Iodine is difficult to consume from food sources alone.
7. Diet soda is better than regular soda
Diet soda uses artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause migraines, nausea, depression, and memory loss. Regular sodas use cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup as their sweeteners. Sugar is addictive, negatively affects cholesterol, and may lead to diabetes. The moral of the story is that both regular soda and diet soda have many negative health effects and should be avoided as much as possible.
8. All calories are equal
Whoever first said this must have been really looking for an excuse to eat some cake and ice cream without feeling guilty. Eating 100 calories of salmon is not the same as eating 100 calories of ice cream. The body uses and stores calories differently depending on the nutrients in each food.