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Clearing Up Nutrition Myths

We have all been bombarded with a lot of nutrition information throughout our lives. Doctors tell us one thing, nutritionists say another and the media floods our senses with new data, mostly to sell their products. Most of the nutrition information that we learn has a basis of truth, such as the apple-a-day quote. Apples are indeed good for you and are powerful antioxidants. But what about everything else? What is some of the information that is just not true?


If you ever had to diet, the first thing everyone will tell you is to eat a large breakfast. The thought process behind this is that if you eat a large breakfast you will be filled up and won’t have a tendency to eat larger meals throughout the day (or snack). This is a myth. Those that eat a small to moderate breakfast (400 calories or less) have actually been shown to lose weight versus those that eat a larger breakfast that often have a higher calorie count.

Another marketing ploy to watch out for is the ‘fat-free’ sign on many of the boxes and containers of prepackaged . Many of these actually have a higher calorie count that those that are not labeled fat-free. In order to make the products taste as good, they will usually include sugar or carbohydrates to replace the ingredients that contained the fat. It is replacing one bad item for another.

Snacking or grazing all day will keep you from eating large meals. This is truly a bad idea. Most snacks contain higher calorie and fat content. A study has shown in data collected over a thirty year period has proven that those that snack often consume up to 570 extra calories per day, than those that do not snack. If you must snack, make sure you have fresh fruit or fresh ‘trail mix’ that contains a lot of nuts.

Doing the math on the 95% fat free can also get you into trouble. We make the assumption that it the product contains only 5% fat, when in reality, it is the marketing people that are walking away to the bank. It is really based on 5% fat by weight, and this can be terribly misleading. Converting the fat by weight will show that it is actually a higher fat content than the carbs or protein found in the product.

Thanks to the popularity of some of the no-carb diets, many people seem to think that every carbohydrate will increase your weight. This is simply a myth. Carbohydrates are contained in many things that we eat, including pasta and bread, but they are also in other things such as milk, vegetables and yogurt. Many of the complex carbohydrates like those in legumes, whole grains and vegetables are actually good for you and supply the body with nutrients, , antioxidants and many things to keep you healthy.

We need to make smart choices with our diet, but one of the first things to remember is to do your homework. Don’t believe everything that is written on a package and don’t fall prey to fads or trends that sound good, but fail in performance.


The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.