Fact or Fiction? 5 Common Misconceptions About Nutrition
But have you noticed that, for certain topics, the information available seems to be constantly changing? This is especially true when it comes to health and nutrition. One week, everyone is sharing how good eggs are for you, and the next week you’ll find information about why you should eliminate eggs from your diet. Sometimes you’ll even find one website that says one thing, and the next website you visit will tell you the exact opposite. It can be frustrating and confusing. And if you don’t have the time or ability to fact-check their sources, you may end up following the wrong advice.
Lucky for you, we’ve done some research to find the truth behind 5 of the most common misconceptions when it comes to nutrition. Here’s what we found.
1. Fat Is Bad For You
This one goes both ways. There was a time when the most common nutritional advice was to eat a low-fat diet, but today we know that you don’t necessarily want to cut back on all fats.
There are certain, healthy fats, like omega-3s and omega-6s, that your body needs in order to function. Then there are unhealthy fats, namely trans fats and saturated fats, that are known to do more harm than good. Transfats in particular are mostly found in processed foods, so cutting those out of your diet and replacing them with healthier, whole food options can make a huge difference when it comes to your overall health and wellness.
If you’re looking to include more healthy fats in your diet, turn to foods like eggs, avocados, fatty fish, nuts, and chia seeds.
2. Low-Fat, Light, and Diet Foods are Healthy Alternatives
When making changes to your diet, it can be tempting to reach for items labeled as “diet,” “low-fat,” or “light.” However, before you add any of those items to your cart, take a second to stop and examine the nutrition label. Chances are, you’ll find that it’s not as healthy as you originally thought. Research has shown that many of these “diet” foods actually contain more added sugars and sodiumthan their counterparts. In general, if you think some of the items on your grocery list contain too many unhealthy fats, it’s best to just skip them completely instead of opting for the “light” option.
3. Carbohydrates Are Bad for You
This is one of the most common beliefs when it comes to nutrition. Much like with fats, people have begun to believe that carbohydrates cause weight gain and other adverse health effects. Because of this, many diets have been designed to reduce or eliminate carbs from your meal plans. However, carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy, and they are found in nearly every food, including bread, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
The idea that carbs are bad for you likely stems from the fact that simple carbs have very little nutritional value and are digested quickly, which means you’ll feel hungry sooner. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are in foods that have higher nutritional value and are digested at a slower rate, helping you stay full longer. Because of this, it’s best to choose foods with complex carbs instead of simple ones if you are looking to maintain a healthy weight.
Plus, consuming carbs in moderation likely means that you are choosing foods that contain other important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which will benefit your health, not harm it.
4. All Juices and Smoothies are Healthy
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your diet, chances are you’ve come across advice to drink more smoothies or juices. While it’s true that adding smoothies or juices to your daily routine can be an easy and effective way to ensure you get more fruits and veggies in your diet, it’s important to be aware that they aren’t all healthy. Most of the juices or smoothie mixes sold in stores contain added sugars and excess calories, which makes them substantially less healthy than they originally appear. However, if you want to make your own smoothie or juice at home with fresh produce and other healthy, whole foods, then go for it!
5. Nutritional Supplements are a Waste of Money
This is one we hear all the time, right? If you just eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, you don’t need to take supplements. It’s true that it’s best to get as many nutrients as possible from the food you eat, but that doesn’t mean that supplements don’t have a place.
If you are on a restrictive diet, whether it’s by choice or for a specific health-related reason, you’ll likely need to rely on supplements to help ensure your body is getting any nutrients you may be missing.
Not following a restrictive diet? You may choose to supplement anyway. After all, even the healthiest of diets can still be lacking in certain nutrients. By adding a nutritional supplement to your routine, you’re basically putting an insurance policy in place to help your body during those times when your diet may not be enough.
There’s more to the story though. It’s not enough to grab any supplement or vitamin off the shelf and call it good. If you do that, there is a chance you will be wasting your money. Why? Because not all supplements are made the same. There are many artificial supplements out there that may do more harm than good. So be sure to take your time and do some research to find a high-quality, food-based supplement to add to your routine.
Live the #NewEarthLife
You only have one body, and it deserves the best care possible. Make sure you’re giving your body everything it needs, and nothing it doesn’t, by doing your due diligence before jumping headfirst into the next fad diet. When in doubt, stick to fueling your body with whole food goodness because whole foods are, and will always be, an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re ready to start making a shift toward a healthier lifestyle, we are here to help! Try our favorite superfoods and join us in living the #NewEarthLife!
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Tina “Your Nutritionist” McDermott