Food myths have been around for centuries. While some have quickly come and gone, others have persisted and can have adverse effects on our health. Preconceived ideas of what is and isn’t healthy can be hard to correct. Based on the most current facts, here are some of the most persistent myths about eating a healthy diet and the truth, if any, behind them.
Myth: Fat-free and low-fat foods are healthier than their full-fat versions.
Truth: Fats are good for you, and the body needs them in order to function at its best capabilities. Fats help you metabolize vitamins, helps with brain functions, producing hormones, and keeps your organs healthy. When choosing meats, less fat is generally better. However, the opposite is true for packaged/processed foods. When fat is removed, companies have to add ingredients, usually sugar, to compensate for taste. You might be getting less fat, but you’re getting much more sugar or salt as a result.
Myth: Eating after 6:00 PM is unhealthy.
Truth: The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t eat three hours before you go to bed. Your metabolism slows down later at night and eating close to your bedtime can keep you awake longer. Starving yourself just because it is after a particular time can do more harm and cause health problems. Stick to a regular eating schedule and a healthy lifestyle.
Myth: All organic food is healthy.
Truth: Organic foods are produced with no GMO, pesticides, or additives and are generally exactly the same as food not labeled as organic. The only difference is usually the higher price tag on organic items.
Myth: Carbohydrates should be avoided.
Truth: There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbs are found in items that are generally not so healthy such as chocolate, white bread, jam, and sweet drinks. Complex carbs are extremely healthy and are found in foods such as vegetables, grains, beans, and greens. Eating whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and helps you feel full longer.
Myth: Juices are as beneficial as the fruit themselves.
Truth: Fruit is always going to be more beneficial to your health than juice. Juices have next to no fiber, are much lower in vitamins and nutrients and are usually high in sugars. Always opt for fruit when you have the choice.