Just like the numerous fitness and exercise myths floating around, there are plenty of diet and nutrition myths as well. These can all get very confusing, and being misinformed can be a major hinge in any healthy diet. I think sometimes it’s easy to fall for a nutrition myth because we so badly want to believe them. I mean, who doesn’t want to believe bacon is the key to weight loss? Do you subscribe to any of these nutrition myths?
1. If it’s organic, it’s healthy. If only. If this were 100% true, I would live on the mac and cheese at the Whole Foods hot buffet! Organic is definitely the better option, but just because it’s made with organic ingredients doesn’t mean you can stuff your face with it.
2. Red meat is bad. Ugh, when I hear people run their mouth about how bad red meat is my blood boils. I eat red meat almost every day, and (not to brag) I’m the picture of good health. My weight, cholesterol, body fat percentage, and blood pressure are all on point. Do I eat fatty cuts of red meat every day? No, but lean red meat is fine and delicious.
4. When you can, choose non-fat. The fat conundrum. Our brain needs fat, literally! Healthy fats are total brain food, so have a couple servings a day. A full fat salad dressing made with olive oil is a much better choice than a fat-free version that’s loaded up with sugar and chemicals. Read the ingredients people, and make your choice based on that, not just the fat percentage.
5. Swapping sugar-free sweeteners for sugar is the way to go. Wrong! In general, natural is always better than artificial. Sucralose (like in Splenda) and Aspartame (like in Equal or NutraSweet) have been shown to cause everything from head and muscle aches to neurological illnesses and kidney problems. Honestly there are too many reported side effects to list. If you have a few minutes google “dangers of artificial sweeteners” and you’ll never ask for a Splenda in your coffee again. So what should you use? How about giving coconut sugar a try?
6. A vegetarian diet is healthiest. Well, that’s a pretty broad statement. Plenty of crappy food is vegetarian…french fries, ice cream, salad with a fatty dressing, pasta. All vegetarian. In addition to that, all will wreck your waistline. Lean meats, fish, and eggs are totally awesome for you, so eat some!
7. You shouldn’t eat past a certain time at night. Well, what if you work nights? Okay, I’m playing devil’s advocate there, but plan your meals around your schedule, not around the idea that you need to stop eating at a specific time. And you really do need to eat something before bed since you’re going to be asleep (hopefully) for at least six hours, and your body needs fuel to get through the night.
8. A calorie is a calorie. Well yes, but not really. Two hundred calories of lean protein and veggies is very different than two hundred calories of cake, and they do very different things for your body. And your body works harder to digest protein than carbs, so you’ll burn more calories just digesting a meal that has protein in it.
So you see ladies, don’t believe everything you hear! Doing your homework can be the difference between an easy and healthy lifestyle and stressing over these myths! Did I miss any you have uncovered? Let me know!