In part, nutritional myths are created and propagated by manufacturers of pseudo-healthy foods and beverages such as packaged juices, sports drinks, and most energy bars. Sometimes this is just outdated information that we have learned a long time ago and no longer "updated" in our head. It is rather difficult for a person who does not have the relevant knowledge to understand what is actually useful and what only looks like this. Many common claims have no scientific basis at all.
Myth number 1. Healthy foods are low fat foods
It is often said that healthy foods are low in fat (and thus fatty foods are bad). But this is not the case. First, many low fat foods are not actually healthy at all. To make the product attractive to the consumer in terms of taste, the manufacturer compensates for the absence of fat with a high salt and sugar content, which are extremely harmful to the body.
Secondly, you need to understand that fats are different. Many fats are essential and incredibly healthy for us. Some vitamins are absorbed in the body only when there is fat in our diet.
Monounsaturated fats, which are abundant in avocados, olive oil and nuts, help fight obesity, as well as promote heart health and lower cholesterol levels.
Therefore, when choosing a product, it is important to know not only the amount of fat it contains, but also what type of fat it is, and it is also necessary to take into account the nutritional value of the product.
Myth number 2. Any vegetables are a healthy choice
Following the advice of popular nutritionists, many increase their daily intake of fruits and vegetables, but are misled as to which vegetables to avoid. For example, potatoes (in any form) are not the best choice. While potatoes are a good source of fiber, B vitamins and potassium, they are classified as starchy and not the most optimal ingredient for a healthy diet. To increase your vegetable intake, try replacing baked potatoes with sweet potatoes (yams) or mashing parsnips, sweet potatoes, or rutabagas.
Myth number 3. Natural is synonymous with healthy
This is one of the most common misconceptions. Oil and snake venom are completely natural products (like sugar), but not at all safe to eat. This is, of course, an extreme example, but it illustrates the ambiguity of the term "natural". Food manufacturers often use slogans like “natural,” “organic,” or “no chemicals,” with no specific intent but solely to grab the consumer's attention. Therefore, it is imperative to read what is indicated on the label. Information that a product "contains natural fruits" does not always mean that it is a healthy and safe product, since these "natural fruits" can be supplemented by colorants, flavor enhancers, preservatives and similar substances, by the way, are also quite natural.
Myth number 4. Vegetarian diets cause protein deficiency in the body
This is my favorite plant-based diet myth. The first reaction to the fact that I eat mostly plants is concern about the lack of protein in my diet.
Firstly, a varied plant-based diet easily provides the full range of amino acids the body needs, and secondly, the average person does not need as many amino acids as many believe.
It's not just the average person who can live on plants. There are a number of successful athletes in various sports as well as bodybuilding who have given up on animal foods.
An added bonus for those who avoid meat is the absence of negative side effects from animal foods.
Myth number 5. Brown sugar is healthier than white
A lot of people are trying to find a way to indulge in sweets and still stay healthy. It is believed that brown sugar is healthier than refined white sugar, but this is not the case.
Although brown sugar contains small traces of minerals, in fact, the amount is so negligible that there is no real benefit. Brown sugar is sugar, after all, and it contains all the same calories and health risks as white sugar, including an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.
Myth number 6. Breakfast cereal is the healthiest start to the day
Active advertising of breakfast cereals, which have appeared in large quantities recently, inspires us with the perfect start to the day for children and adults, as well as a way to combat excess weight. This information is misleading because even the healthiest brands of breakfast cereals often have high sugar levels. A recent study found that only one of the top 100 grain brands has “healthy” levels of fat, sugar and salt. While 22 brands for kids contain one more sugar than a jam donut.
Myth number 7. Fresh is always better than frozen
If you think that fresh peppers, even from a distant country, contain more vitamins than local frozen ones, then you are wrong. A “fresh” product often travels a long way from the region or country where it was grown and then stays on the shelves, where warm air and water can cause nutrient loss. In addition, plants from distant countries are harvested from a branch long before ripening and treated with protective agents so that they can get on the counter in good marketable form.
Myth number 8. Low carb diets are dangerous
Low-carb diets are an effective remedy for most common health problems in Western countries. A low-carbohydrate diet usually leads to a reduction in body fat, lowers blood pressure and bad (LDL) cholesterol, and lowers blood sugar.
However, you should not forget about carbohydrates at all, because they are a source of energy for our body, the main thing is to choose the right carbohydrates. Unprocessed cereals (buckwheat, quinoa, black wild rice), as well as fresh vegetables and fruits are irreplaceable sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other useful substances
Myth number 9. Food intolerance is synonymous with allergies
Often the terms "food allergy" and "food intolerance" are used synonymously, but this is incorrect. Many people who think they have food allergies are more likely to have food intolerances. The consequences of food allergies are much more serious and can even be fatal. But food intolerance is mainly associated with the reaction of the digestive system: although the symptoms are unpleasant and even painful, they usually do not pose a danger to life.
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