Today, most people have strong opinions about how to eat, what kind of diet is best, and what is considered healthy and unhealthy when it comes to food and nutrition. It seems there is. The reality is that nutrition is a sensitive topic. What may work for some people doesn’t work for others. That said, experts agree that some myths and misconceptions about food persist.
To help clear up confusion for people trying to eat healthier, Yahoo Life reached out to eight nutritionists, science-focused food experts, to help clarify some of the most prevalent nutrition myths. We asked them about the things they wanted to debunk and destroy forever. Here’s what they said:
Myth #1: Only shop around the grocery store.
While the grocery store environs are often praised for offering fresh produce, meat, seafood, dairy, and fortified non-dairy products, their shelves are lined with processed and prepackaged foods. , some suggest avoiding the center aisle.
But nutritionist Lauren Harris Pincus is the founder of NutritionStarringYou.com and author of the following books: All Easy Prediabetes Cookbook“The center aisle is a treasure trove of nutritious cultural foods, including frozen fruits, vegetables, seafood, canned beans, fruits and vegetables, as well as dried beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and spices. There is.”
She told Yahoo Life that this is the most harmful myth because it robs people’s shopping carts of a delicious, affordable and easily accessible source of essential nutrients. Only 1 in 10 Americans eats the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, and 95% don’t meet their daily fiber recommendations. To better meet your nutritional needs and eat a balanced diet, Harris Pincus recommends shopping all areas of the supermarket stocked with high-quality whole foods in all forms.
Myth #2: Low calorie, low fat means healthy
“When you choose foods with the lowest possible calories, you usually don’t feel hungry or satisfied and end up overeating,” says Alyssa Pacheco, nutritionist and founder of PCOS Nutritionist Alyssa. told Yahoo Life. “Additionally, not eating enough calories can slow down your metabolic rate, which can be counterproductive in the long run.”
It is also important to note that high-calorie foods such as nuts, avocados, and oils are highly nutritious and have health-promoting effects. As with calories, low fat is not better than full fat. Fat makes you feel full, increases absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and imparts flavor. Kathryn Kurnutt, nutritionist and founder of Nutrition Education RD, says many low-fat and fat-free products, such as yogurt and salad dressings, contain large amounts of fat in an attempt to compensate for the flavor lost due to weight loss and weight loss. It warns that it often contains sugar. Remove fat.
Rather than focusing on low-calorie, low-fat foods, experts recommend eating enough calories and fat to stay healthy and satisfied. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends that 20-35% of your daily calories come from fat, with less than 10% coming from saturated fat.
Myth #3: Natural sugar is healthier than table sugar
Honey and maple syrup both have antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, but they are not very nutritious and are not necessarily healthier than table sugar. This also applies to other natural sweeteners such as date sugar, agave nectar, and brown rice syrup.
“At the end of the day, your body digests all of these foods and recognizes them as sugar,” says Pacheco. Importantly, consuming too much sugar of any type can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, metabolic disorders, depression, and cognitive impairment.
Pacheco says that people shouldn’t be too picky about which type of sugar they choose, but rather choose what they like and enjoy it in moderation. The American Heart Association advises women to limit added sugar to 6 teaspoons per day and men to no more than 9 teaspoons per day.
Myth #4: Sea salt is healthier than table salt.
Like sugar, sea salt and Himalayan salt are ultimately salts, and like table salt, they contain about 40% sodium. Sea salt is minimally processed and may contain trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium, while table salt is further processed to remove impurities and typically contains Fortified with iodine for health benefits. If you have a balanced diet, you don’t need to seek minerals from sea salt.
Americans already consume more than 150% of the maximum guidelines for sodium. “Excess sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure and other health problems, so it’s important to limit your overall sodium intake regardless of the type of salt you use.” Michelle RauschA nutritionist at the Actors Fund tells Yahoo Life.
Rausch suggests using salt sparingly to maintain a healthy diet. The DGA recommends limiting salt intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day, but ideally no more than 1,500 mg per day.
Myth #5: Eggs are bad for you and raise your cholesterol.
For years, there have been reports that steered people away from eggs due to their high cholesterol levels. However, with increasing research showing that saturated fat, but not dietary cholesterol, may increase heart disease risk, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines removed the 300 mg daily limit on dietary cholesterol. Ta. Consuming 6 to 12 eggs per week is generally considered safe based on a heart-healthy eating plan.
Eggs are an affordable, high-quality protein and are rich in B vitamins, vitamin D, and choline, with incredible health benefits. “They can be part of a healthy diet, support muscle maintenance and overall health, help meet your daily protein needs, and are a versatile source of protein that can be added to a variety of meals.” says Umo Kalins, sports nutritionist and owner of Well. Rooted health and nutrition, she tells Yahoo Life.
Myth #6: Don’t eat after 6pm or 7pm (or after the sun goes down)
“The human body doesn’t have an internal clock that tells our cells, ‘It’s 6 p.m., time to store this food for weight gain!’ Energy is energy no matter when it’s consumed,” says Eat Swim Win Katie Schimmelpfenning, founder of , tells Yahoo Life.
Schimmelpfenning points out that for those who exercise later in the day, a post-workout snack is still key to muscle repair and growth. And those who work at night need to eat while awake. Also, many studies have shown that it is not necessarily eating later in the day that leads to weight gain, but rather eating large amounts of food in the evening. Eating more early in the day can help you cope with later hunger pangs and prevent overeating.
Rather than setting arbitrary time limits, nutritionist and author Ryan Geiger recommends taking a closer look at our entire eating habits and working on them. She recommends having a meal or snack if a person is actually hungry and not eating out of boredom or emotionally. “It all depends on the type of food you choose,” Geiger told her Yahoo Life. “Choosing fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is very different from choosing cookies, candy, and sweets.”
However, if eating too close to bedtime affects your digestion, reflux, and sleep, consider having your last meal or snack two to three hours before you lie down.
Myth #7: Coffee is a meal.
There are many people who cannot start their day without a cup of coffee. However, it is in no way a replacement for breakfast or a meal. A cup of freshly brewed black coffee is rich in antioxidants, but contains only about 5 calories and no protein, fat, or carbohydrates.
“meanwhile [some] “Because coffee contains milk proteins and fats, it doesn’t make you feel full and energized like a traditional breakfast,” Patricia Coleza, nutritionist and owner of Deetitian Dish, told Yahoo told Life. In addition to coffee, she suggests incorporating easy options like peanut butter on frozen waffles, Greek yogurt with fruit, or boiled eggs on avocado toast to start your morning off right.
Maxine Yong I am a nutritionist and board certified health and wellness coach.