You can’t turn on the television or open up a newspaper without seeing a story on some new piece of information about nutrition. So much of this nutrition information told by the media is wrong or contradictory. One day the story is that butter is bad, later on they change their story: oh it’s only margarine that’s bad for us. It can be difficult for us as individuals to discern what’s true and what’s not. Here are the top 10 nutrition myths told by the media that just aren’t true.
1. Saturated Fat causes heart disease
Saturated fats from animals and vegetables actually provide the materials needed by your body to grow and strengthen cell membranes, hormones, and other vital bodily compounds. Fats are also required to create vitamin A, absorb minerals, and perform other important functions. It’s true that excessive saturated fats cause health problems. Moderation is key to staying healthy.
2. Calorie control
According to this myth, the number of calories you consume is the most important measurement. Under this belief, 100 calories from candy is the same as 100 calories from vegetables or lean protein which simply isn’t true. Sugar and carbohydrates are the primary causes of obesity. If you’re trying to lose weight, focus on a low carb diet rather than just counting calories.
3. Low fat foods
One of the most harmful myths is that eating fat makes you fat. The main cause of weight gain is consuming too much grain and sugar, not fat. Fats that come from food are required for numerous functions by our bodies and depriving our bodies of these fats with low fat diets can lead to all sorts of health problems. Furthermore, foods advertised as low fat tend to be high in sugars so eating low fat foods can actually be counterproductive to losing weight.
4. Begin your morning with Orange Juice
This popular American tradition was invented by marketers to sell more orange juice. Orange juice is actually a terrible way to begin your day because it’s full of sugar. Most store bought orange juice is has extra sugar added as well.
5. You should eat a lot of grains
You’re probably aware of the FDA’s food pyramid. Grains appear on the bottom of that pyramid, which means grains should be eaten in larger amounts than meats, fruits, or vegetables according to the FDA. This is a massive lie. Grains have fewer nutrients than fruits and vegetables. Some grains such as wheat can even cause more health problems.
6. Artificial sweeteners are safe
A lot of people use artificial sweeteners such as aspartame in place of sugar either because they’re diabetic or to lose weight. However studies show that people who use artificial sweeteners actually gain weight. When we consume artificial sweeteners our bodies crave sweets even more and they also make it difficult for our bodies to monitor its calorie intake. More and more evidence suggests that these artificial sweeteners are toxic to our bodies.
7. Egg yolks are bad for you
Don’t throw away those egg yolks just yet. Eggs are one of the healthiest and most inexpensive sources of protein but the yolk has a bad reputation for causing cholesterol. Eggs don’t cause high cholesterol. In fact the yolk is the healthiest part of the egg and contains vitamins A & B, choline, folate, and numerous antioxidants and minerals.
8. Too much protein is bad
Contrary to popular belief, there is no credible evidence that a diet high in protein causes kidney disease, osteoporosis, or other health problems. In fact, studies have shown the opposite: high protein diets are quite beneficial. One such study found that eating at least 30 grams of protein in the morning helps you lose weight. It turns out that many of the purported health risks of high protein diets – high blood pressure, kidney disease, and diabetes – are actually caused by obesity and high carbohydrate diets instead.
9. Soy is healthy
The results on this one are mixed. It’s that true soy has numerous health benefits but studies make it clear that soy is not the health panacea that some claim it to be. Some research shows unfermented soy to cause malnutrition, immune system problems, hormonal imbalances, and increases the risk of certain forms of cancer. In addition about 90% of soy crops have been genetically modified which carries its own set of risks, many of which are still poorly understood. If you eat soy, we recommend you stick with organic and properly fermented soy and understand the possible risks.
10. Sodium is a major cause of heart disease
Sodium is an essential nutrient our bodies need to operate and survive. It’s a fact that high amounts of sodium causes slightly higher blood pressure in the short term but there are no studies that link reduced sodium intake with a lower chance of heart attacks.