Eating healthy requires you to sometimes be a food detective, eat in moderation, and have a lot of willpower and commitment.
There are a lot of misconceived notions about eating healthy though. Many of us are guilty of falling into that trap.
Here are 5 healthy eating myths that have been BUSTED!
1. All Fat Free Foods Are Healthy
Now when I say fats, I’m talking about the no-no fats like trans fat & saturated fats, not the ones like mono- or poly- unsaturated fats.
Yes, even saturated fats have some good exceptions like tropical oils, but I’m not talking about those either.
I’m pretty sure as soon as you step foot in the grocery store you see many food items labeled as “low fat” or “fat-free”. But just because they have the “fat-free” sign posted on them doesn’t mean that they’re truly healthy, or free of fat for that matter. Some of these food items actually have the same number of calories (or more) as the regular versions, and sometimes sugar is added to replace the flavor lost when fat is removed, which may lead to you gaining weight instead.
Other replacements for fat in foods include olestra (which has been known to cause diarrhea), cellulose gel (miniscule pieces of wood pulp), carrageenan (known to contribute to gastrointestinal issues), polydextrose, (may be made with genetically modified corn), guar gum (used as a laxative), modified food starch, xanthan gum, and whey protein concentrate (all of which may be GMO).
2. All Organic Foods are Healthy
Now granted organic foods won’t contain harmful pesticides and hormones and the chances are high that organic foods won’t contain any GMO ingredients, BUT organic does NOT always equal healthy.
If you look at the nutrition label on a bag of organic cookies chances are the fat content and calories will probably be the same as in the non-organic version. So even when you see the word organic, still use common sense.
3. All Fruit is Created Equal
Not all fruit is created equal. Fruit is very good for you, however, because some have a higher sugar content than others this may help to add more weight to you if you’re not constantly burning the extra calories.
Yes, the sugar from fruits is natural and unprocessed, but if you’re just sitting on the couch eating grapes, that’s not going to get you anywhere. Don’t worry though about experiencing a sugar high from fruit – because of the accompanying fiber that’s not going to happen.
Pick and choose fruit according to your own needs and preference. See the list below of the sugar content of one serving of some popular fruits (listed in order of lowest to highest sugar content). Where does your favorite rank?
- Avocado – 0g
- Lime – 0g
- Cranberries – 2g
- Lemon – 2g
- Blackberries – 6g
- Strawberries – 8g
- Pineapple – 10g
- Blueberries – 11g
- Grapefruit – 11g
- Raspberries – 12g
- Apricots – 13g
- Kiwi – 13g
- Oranges – 14g
- Mangoes – 15g
- Plums – 16g
- Pears – 16g
- Dried Apricots – 17g
- Bananas – 19g
- Watermelon – 20g
- Grapes – 20g
- Dried Cranberries – 20g
- Apples – 25g
- Raisins – 29g
Don’t see your favorite fruit listed? Search the fruit database at Fruit and Veggies More Matters.
4. Salads Help You Lose Weight
This myth can actually be true, IF you leave out salad toppings, like bacon bits and thick creamy dressings. And don’t think that eating a salad with your super sized meal is going to help you lose the weight either. Remember, all of these things still add up to extra calories and fat.
If you, however, eat a salad on its own with your dressing on the side (not on top) it can be very healthy. A truly healthy salad mix may include a variety of vegetables, mixed greens, beans, almonds, and a light vinegar dressing.
5. Diet Soda is Healthier Than Regular Soda
Neither one is good. Regular soda increases the risk of cavities and leads to weight gain due to the high sugar content. With diet soda, artificial sweeteners are used which don’t have any calories, but they can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods which would still lead to weight gain. Diet soda has also been associated with kidney problems, increased risk of heart disease and stroke, depression and diabetes.