Myth #1 – Calories in, Calories Out: A Flawed Concept
The type of food you eat is more important than how many calories it has. Many people just think counting calories is enough.
While you might think that all calories are the same, your body doesn’t react the same way to everything that you put into it. Researchers Richard Feinman and Eugene Fine debunked the “calories in, calories out” myth in a 2004 article published in the Nutrition Journal.
Myth #2 – Whole Wheat is the Ultimate Grain
Wheat based products may not be that healthy for you after all. The “heart healthy” labels you see on whole grain wheat products may not be true. First, researchers are discovering that wheat might increase a number of heart disease risk factors. Nutritionists are also discovering that many people globally are suffering from various levels of wheat gluten intolerance previously unclassified by science. A wide spectrum of gluten-related disorders exist and more people are being diagnosed with gluten sensitivity every day.
Myth #3 – Avoid Coffee, Avoid Caffeine!
In 1999, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition declared that coffee can elevate your blood pressure in the short term. It is also true that caffeine can also dehydrate you. This might mostly be due to the fact that many people substitute coffee for water. In other words, coffee isn’t detrimental to your health if you consume it moderately. Check out these health boosting facts about coffee that you might not know:
- Coffee can lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes by up to 67%
- It can reduce your risk of liver disease
- Caffeine can boost cognitive function and mental performance
- Caffeine increases your base metabolic rate, boosting your metabolism
Consider these researched facts before you put your cup of coffee down. Also remember that it might be the one component of your diet that gives you your antioxidants. A 2004 study of antioxidant intake found that most participants received their highest level of antioxidants from coffee.
Myth #4 – Eggs Are Not Good For You
Eggs are actually one of the best foods you can eat! They are packed with protein, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins and minerals with well-known health benefits. Eggs get a bad reputation for high levels of cholesterol. What you might not know, is that several recent studies have proven that eggs can actually help increase “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels. Scientists in a 2006 study directly addressed the myths about eggs and argued that more people should add them to their diet. Eggs also have two important nutrients proven to protect your eyes—lutein and zeazanthin—these aren’t found in many other natural sources.
Myth #5 – Saturated Fat is Bad for You
For some reason, it became common knowledge that you should avoid saturated fat because it increases your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It turns out that this claim is far from being true and no evidence supports it. Researchers with the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition used a survey of 21 studies on saturated fat to determine that there is no correlation between heart disease, cardiovascular disease, or stroke and saturated fat intake. The truth is that in moderation saturated fat is not bad for you!
Myth #6 – Meat is Bad For You
More people are turning to vegetarian diets in an effort to stay healthy. For some reason, a misconception developed that red meat contains harmful substances that can lead to heart disease and cancer. Researchers who looked into the health history and eating habits of over one million individual diets determined that consumption of unprocessed red meat did not lead to higher instances of diabetes or heart disease.
Myth #7 – The Low-Fat, High-Carbohydrate Diet Fad
Diets that cut out fat don’t work. It is puzzling that people still follow diet plans that require low fat intake. In a seven year diet study, researchers proved that a low-fat diet only allowed women to lose about one pound less than a normal fat diet group. If the results aren’t unimpressive enough, a low fat diet ends up cutting out some healthy fats that actually improve your HDL or “good” cholesterol.
Myth #8 – The Low-Carb Diets are Harmful
Many nutritionists raise concern over the impact of low-carb diets. Let’s take a look at the facts—which prove that low-carb diets actually have many significant health benefits for people who are overweight, the most important of which is that it is one of the most effective methods of losing weight quickly.
A 2003 study proved that low-carbohydrate diets did not increase risk for type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular risk factors. Additionally, researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association recommended low-carb diets as one of the most effective way for obese people to lose weight. The nutritionists and scientists who advocate low-carbohydrate diets acknowledge the lack of information on the long-term impact they might have on metabolism, however, low-carb dieting helps people quickly return to a healthy weight.
Myth #9 – Everyone Needs to Eat Less Salt
Sodium has a bad reputation in health circles when it is actually a vital electrolyte that fuels many physiological functions. Lower sodium diets can help people with high blood pressue, but everyone else should maintain a normal sodium intake. According to American Diabetes Association researchers a low sodium diet can increase your risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Myth #10 – Eating 5 or 6 Meals a Day Promotes Weight Loss
Here is the problem—first, science has proven that eating six meals a day does not help you lose weight. Among many studies, one study in the International Journal of Obesity Related Metabolic Disorders found no difference in metabolic rate between individuals who ate two meals, four meals or six meals per day. Aiming to eat more meals per day to increase your metabolism and lose weight isn’t just wrong—it can actually lead you to eat more.
Myth #11 – Eat Fish to Get Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It’s true that fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that have heart helping benefits. What’s also true is that water pollution contaminates fish with known environmental toxins that can cause a myriad of diseases and health problems. A study conducted by scientists at Indiana University determined that you can’t even get away from environmental toxins with farm-raised fish. Farm raised fish actually have higher levels of toxins in them than wild fish. You can eat fish, but don’t make it your only source of omega-3s. Look for flaxseed oil and other sources which also contain helpful fatty acids.
Myth #12 – Fat is What Makes You Fat
If you don’t eat fat you won’t get fat, right? Wrong. Fat is not why people are obese. The British Medical Journal summed up the reasons why well, showing that it diets in sugar and carbohydrates are the culprit. According to the journal, studies from as far back as the 1950s prove that high fat diets can actually lead to weight loss in the absence of carbohydrates.
Myth #13 – Eating Lots of Protein is Bad For You
Protein actually has a number of important health benefits and unless you have kidney disease, you should be eating more of it. First, protein boosts your metabolism. A 2012 diet composition study determined that calories from protein increased resting energy expenditure and were less likely to be stored as fat. If your fitness goals are to boost your metabolism or grain lean muscle—you need protein. It also helps increase bone density in older people, reduces your chances of getting diabetes, and helps you maintain muscle mass if you want to lose weight.