Media messages about nutrition can be contradictory and confusing. We broke down some of the biggest misconceptions into simple terms to help you recognize how to make better food choices!
1. Egg yolks raise your cholesterol
Many people have cut egg yolks out of their diet to avoid the high cholesterol found in the yolk. Trans fats and certain saturated fats, not the dietary cholesterol, are what cause unhealthy blood cholesterol. The yolk actually has many nutritional benefits such as omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients. So yes, you can have your egg and eat the yolk too!
2. Low fat foods will help you lose weight
When fat is removed from food, something else has to take its place. We tend to see loads of sugar, wheat, and chemicals in order to replace the taste. These harmful additives work against your weight loss efforts putting your health in jeopardy. Your body needs the right type of fat to function properly and feel full!
Alternatives: Avocado, nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs
3. Gluten-free foods are healthier
In the past couple years, the gluten-free diet craze has slowly made its debut. The question of whether gluten is good or bad for you remains a hot debate, so we will leave that up for you to decide. If you do decide to go gluten free, it is important to note that food products that replace gluten are actually not any healthier for you. Many products replace gluten with unwanted ingredients such as saturated fats, sodium, and artificial materials. If you decide that you want to cut gluten out of your diet, you should eat products that are naturally free from gluten.
4. Eat plenty of healthy whole grains
Contrary to above, you might be someone who is a big whole grain fan. Before stocking up your pantry with whole grain bagels and crackers, read this: Starches in whole grain bread are pulverized into very fine flour. This causes them to break down quickly in the digestive tract and enter the bloodstream as glucose. As a result, a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin levels occurs. If you want to get the benefits of whole grains, choose them in their whole form. Some examples are steel cut oats, brown rice, and quinoa.
5. High Fructose Corn Syrup is the same as table sugar
It seems like the media is telling us high-fructose corn syrup is fine one week and then harmful the next. Why is this an unsettling topic? Table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contain a similar amount of fructose which is the only argument supporting the notion that HFCS is no different than table sugar. What the corn industry doesn’t tell us is that HFCS is much more difficult for your body to metabolize.
Alternatives: Cane sugar, stevia, guava, honey
6. “All Natural” labeled foods are better for you
When you think of an “all natural” food product, you would like to expect the item to be minimally processed with no artificial additives or preservatives. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Since the FDA has not developed a definition for the term natural or its derivatives, many food companies have slapped the “all natural” label on their packaging without regard to the ingredients. The moral of the story is that you need to read the ingredients of the food you would like to buy in order to avoid being a victim to misleading labels. Just like “Don’t judge a book by its cover”; don’t judge food by its label claims.