Whether you know it or not, you’re probably carrying around some nutritional lies courtesy of concerned parents everywhere.
Maybe you were told that you need to drink milk every morning for stronger bones, or that you should choose low-fat treats to stay healthy.
Your parents were trying to make sure you grow up healthy and nutritionally sound, but time and research debunked many nutritional myths we’re still following. Check out the top 10 myths that people still believe.
1. Choose low-fat versions of products
Skimping on fat makes you fill up on other things that aren’t so great for you, like refined carbs and sugars. Fat in itself isn’t your enemy. As one of the macronutrients, it’s essential for your body to function optimally. Instead, choose to moderate the amount you’re eating instead of cutting it out.
Many low-fat and no-fat versions of products get infused with sugar to compensate for the loss in taste. Studies demonstrate that people who eat low-fat are more likely to compensate for the lack of fat on their diet.
2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Simply put, no, it’s not. But thank you, cereal lobbies, for trying to make us believe it.
According to Marion Nestle, a nutritional expert who runs the blog Food Politics, “Many — if not most — studies demonstrating that breakfast eaters are healthier and manage weight better than non-breakfast eaters were sponsored by Kellogg or other breakfast cereal companies whose businesses depend on people believing that breakfast means ready-to-eat cereal. Independently-funded studies tend to show that any eating pattern can promote health if it provides vegetables and fruits, balances calories, and does not include much junk food.”
Eat when you’re hungry and listen to your body.
3. Fruit Juice is healthy
Even if it’s 100% fruit juice, it’s jam-packed with sugar. According to a large-scale US study, drinking fruit juice raises chances of early death by 24%! Why? Because our bodies don’t distinguish between sugars very well. So, whether it’s juice or a can of soda, your body is still getting a jolt of the sweet stuff, which isn’t good for you.
4. Yogurt is good for you!
This one is tricky. Yes, yogurt can be a great snack, but not the kind you got used to as a kid. Choose a plain yogurt without any additives. Flavored yogurt is full of sugar and other additives that aren’t so great.
5. Limit your egg yolks
While the egg yolk has higher cholesterol levels, they have never been associated with a higher risk of heart disease in any of the studies conducted over the decades.
6. Eat your multivitamins
Once again, studies show that multivitamins do not help our health in any significant capacity. Sometimes, too much of a vitamin can do a lot more harm than good. Your best bet is to eat a variety of foods and not use vitamins as a crutch.
7. Drink milk for strong bones
No evidence suggests milk is better than other calcium-rich foods. It is merely a source of calcium, like legumes or leafy greens. So if you’re not into milk, choose another source of calcium and forego the dairy.
8. Calorie count to lose weight
Staying conscious of calories in and calories out is effective in controlling weight, but not if we ignore what kind of calories they are. A vitamin-rich salad and a piece of a donut equaling to the same amount of calories are not the same. So pay attention to the types of foods you’re counting as well.
9. Drink water so your pee is clear
Clear urine means you’re over-hydrated. Listen to your body and your thirst level. Your body is very attuned to what you need, so as long as you’re not ignoring your thirst, you’re okay in terms of hydration.
10. Eat more protein
This one’s tricky. You’re most likely getting enough protein in your diet as long as you’re not on any restrictive diets. The catch here is that you might be overeating animal protein, which is linked to earlier death and various diseases. Substitute animal protein for plant-based ones.