Before the internet, various food and healthy eating myths ran abound, whether because of a particular culture or word of mouth.
Now, it’s even worse.
Healthy eating can be tough enough without having to dodge this veritable minefield of dietary falsehoods.
Not only can they result in wasted time and effort, they can negatively impact your health (or, at least, hold you back) in the process.
I used to think that eating healthy was ordering a fish sandwich at McDonalds.
– John Mellencamp
With that in mind, here are five myths about healthy eating we really need to debunk.
1. Myth: You need to detox your body regularly
Juice cleanses and detox pills have become incredibly trendy, and while flushing your body with tons of high-nutrient foods is never a bad thing, it turns out that there’s really no point to a cleanse or detox.
According to Kristin Kirkpatrick of Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, “The body already does that for you…You don’t need a buy a juice or pill to accomplish that.”
2. Myth: Frozen fruits and veggies are unhealthy
This is one of the more common myths pertaining to healthy eating.
However, according to Joy Bauer, the nutrition and health expert for NBC’s Today Show, “Frozen fruits and vegetables are flash-frozen within hours of being picked, locking in a majority of the nutrients.”
She still suggests purchasing fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible, however, she says that frozen ones are a fine substitute when that’s not an option.
Most people think that it’s a high consumption of fat that makes you overweight. However, it’s less about the amount of fat and more about what types of fat you’re consuming.
Fatty acids and monounsaturated fats are great for you and you should be consuming them regularly. However, saturated and trans fats, on the other hand, can and should be avoided.
4. Myth: You need to count calories to lose weight
This is more a half-truth than an outright myth, but a prevalent one nonetheless.
Most people are aware of the importance of calories. However, they believe that it stops there. As long as you reduce your caloric intake, you lose weight.
For example, if your body needs roughly 2,500 calories, by reducing your caloric intake to 2,000 calories a day, you’ll start to burn some of that fat store away.
However, it’s not so simple. And, in fact, you don’t even really need to count calories if you have a healthy diet (depending on your goals).
Keri Glassman of nutritiouslife.com says that “consuming 100 calories’ worth of cupcakes, soda, or French fries is not the same as eating 100 calories of vegetables or brown rice.”
She goes on to say that people need to stop focusing on the number of calories and turn their focus to where they’re getting those calories from.
5. Myth: Eggs are unhealthy
It’s a common misbelief that eggs, one of the most iconic of breakfast foods, are unhealthy. For whatever reason, people look at eggs in the same way as they see other high-fat, low nutrient foods.
However, that couldn’t be further from the case. Eggs not only have high protein but lots of healthy fats.
And if that wasn’t enough, the yolk– that thing that gets most of the flack– has several essential fatty acids such as DHA, making eggs and all-around healthy powerhouse.