We’ve all believed in empty nutrition claims at least once, and while many of us no longer fall for those tricks, there are still millions out there who make daily diet changes based on those claims. Affirmations like carbs and fats are bad, low-calorie diets are key to weight loss, and artificial sweeteners are the best option, aren’t uncommon.
But, what if those claims, instead of helping you live a healthier life, prevent you from that?
1. Egg Whites
Several studies have confirmed that egg yolks are a source of dietary cholesterol and increase the risk of coronary heart disease for people with type 2 diabetes. That scientific discovery granted egg yolks a bad reputation to the point where people stopped consuming them. But, egg yolks are also rich in vitamins, iron, folate, and some nutrients that support eye and brain health.
This study concluded that the dietary cholesterol in egg yolks doesn’t increase the risk of coronary heart disease. In other words, it’s not about a specific food (as we’ve been saying), but several factors like genetics, eating habits, and sedentarism that increase the risk of heart disease.
For those without any health condition, eating whole eggs is a safe bet as long as there is not overconsumption.
You’d be surprised at the number of people who are scared of fats when in reality, they are essential for the body to build cell membranes and absorb vitamins and minerals. Note that people’s fear of fat is deeply rooted in the misconception that fat makes you gain weight and increases the risk of heart disease.
What people seem not to acknowledge is that fat can be classified into three categories:
- trans fats
- saturated fats
- natural fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
The golden rule is to stay away from trans fats, consume saturated ones in moderation, and get plenty of natural ones.
Avocados, olive oil, fish, nuts, and seeds are some sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
While it’s true that frequently eating low-quality carbs isn’t healthy, cutting carbs from your diet won’t help you either. Carbs are an essential source of energy, and they should make up about 40-45% of your daily calorie intake. People on a low-carb diet consume more fat or protein for energy, but:
- Consuming high amounts of fats and protein every day may have serious long-term effects on your health. Remember that moderation is vital.
- Since you’re cutting carbs from your diet, your food choices are limited, which means that a binge episode may occur.
You don’t have to give up on pasta, rice, bread, or any of your favorite carbs to have a healthy life. Learn to make smarter decisions. For example, instead of buying highly processed carbs like white rice and bread, go for whole-grain bread and brown rice.
4. White Potatoes
White potatoes have a bad reputation due to their high glycemic load. They are the kind of carbohydrates that your body processes in no time and make your blood sugar spike.
However, these starchy tubers also have beneficial properties, like potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.
Consuming white potatoes moderately won’t hurt your weight or overall health. They are also filling and delicious. And by the way, don’t forget to eat them roasted, boiled, or baked, not fried.
5. Smoothies Are Healthy
One of the reasons why smoothies are popular is because they’re delicious, filling, and easy to make. But, some seem to think that all smoothies are healthy, and therefore, you can eat them as many times as you please.
The reality is that smoothies are as healthy as the ingredients you use. If you decide to make one with a Hershey bar, full-fat cow milk, sugar, cinnamon, and top it with whipped cream, you’re about to consume a smoothie packed with added sugar and calories.
Always go for nutritious smoothies without preservatives or added sugars. The best smoothies are the ones made with vegetables and fruits. And remember, if you want a thick consistency, use frozen bananas.
6. No Food After 7 PM
This myth holds some truth, but only because some people eat most of their calorie intake at night. If you eat healthy regularly, workout consistently, and have your 8 hours of sleep, there’s no need to limit your eating schedule.
Imagine that you skipped breakfast today because you didn’t feel like having it, then you eat lunch at 2 pm, went back to work, and finished at 7 pm. The only meal you had today was lunch, and you’re hungry now. If you let the no food after 7 pm rule govern your life, you’d go to bed starving and weak. Don’t let non-sense eating rules trick you.
The internet is a wild place where everyone has something to say, and your job is to make sure that the latest diet or the secret that’ll make you lose 50 pounds in three days is accurate and backed by science. To do that, read what reputable institutions and brands have to say about it. Don’t compromise your health for unworthy claims.