Test your nutrition knowledge against these misconceptions and see how food savvy you really are.
Myth: "Eating fat makes you fat."
- Reality: Eating fat does not make you fat, but eating too many portions of sugar and carbohydrates will. Additionally, the type of fat you eat makes a difference. Fat rich in omega-3’s, found in fish, flaxseeds and walnuts are far more metabolically active than their counterparts from butter or margarine.
- Myth: "All fats are created equal."
- Reality: Not all fats are created equal! Fats have a very powerful effect on the body. A diet that emphasizes saturated fats, found in butter, red meat and whole milk can ultimately lead to heart disease and inflammatory conditions. Balance out your intake of these fats with unsaturated fats found in avocados, nuts, olive oil and flaxseed oil. These foods promote heart health, balance blood sugar and combat inflammation.
- Myth: "Pasta is healthy - it’s low in fat!"
- Reality: Contrary to popular belief, pasta is a glorified junk food! Be it spinach, whole wheat or white pasta, few nutrients are present in this food. It is a highly processed, carbohydrate-dense food that rapidly breaks down into sugar once it enters the bloodstream. In fact, one cup of cooked pasta has as many grams of sugar as a Snicker’s bar! Ultimately this can raise circulating insulin levels, which will help your body store your meal as fat, and can raise your blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Myth: "I don’t need to take vitamins - I can get all the nutrients I need from the food I eat."
- Reality: Sad, but true- vitamins are essential to our bodies and we just can’t get what we need from food. Soils have become depleted of valuable minerals from overuse. Often we rely on foods shipped from across the country that we may not eat until 7 days after they are harvested! This means vitamins get lost in the process. The amount of nutrients our bodies absorb is also variable; thus supplementing with vitamins will guarantee all your bases will be covered.
- Myth: "I exercise a lot so I don’t need to worry about what I eat."
- Reality: No amount of exercise can compensate for a poor diet. Building muscle will help your body run more efficiently, but it will never fight against heart disease or cancer as well as a proper diet. Ultimately the two must go hand in hand to prevent muscular degeneration, cellular aging, boost energy levels and burn fat. If you are putting in long hours at the gym without seeing improvements in your body, you should probably re-evaluate your workouts and your diet; it may be time for a change!
Any surprises here for you? What are some other health myths you’ve learned the truth about?