We’re living in a golden age of information. Today we have access to more knowledge with a simple Google search than our parents or grandparents could have ever imagined.
It’s fantastic. But there is a downside to all this access, though. It’s becoming harder than ever to figure out what’s accurate information, what’s a half-truth, and what’s a total myth.
That’s true when it comes to nutrition and diet information too. And that has led to the rise of some incredibly common food myths that many folks firmly believe.
Don’t feel bad. It’s easy to be fooled by these seemingly trustworthy nuggets of knowledge. But let’s go ahead and shine a light on some of the worst offenders today, shall we?
Common food myths to quit believing TODAY
Following are five food myths you can (probably) ignore, starting now…
You must drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day to be healthy.
This is one of the most common food myths that exists. The fact is eight glasses of water is a completely random number. And although some of the most credible people in our society—including professors and doctors—have been caught spreading this idea, it’s not based on a lick of scientific fact.
Some internet sleuths have tracked its origins back to a book published in the early 1970s. The trouble is the factoid was misquoted from the start. Plus it wasn’t based on any specific research anyway.
What matters is that you stay hydrated, because even low-level dehydration can cause brain fog, cramps, fatigue, and more. And other liquids including teas, coffee, milk and even veggies with a high water content can help you do that.
But there’s nothing magic about eight 8-ounce glasses of water. Instead, start your morning with a glass of water. And then drink enough liquids throughout the day that you aren’t getting thirsty. There’s no need to stress about what glass you’re on.
Carbohydrates are bad for your health.
If you’re thinking, “Whoa, wait, don’t you always recommend a lower-carb diet?” Yes, I absolutely do. But not because carbohydrates are inherently bad for you. It’s because most of us eat far too many of them.
But even worse, for lots of folks the carbs they’re loading up on what I call “junk carbs.” You know the ones I mean. You’ll find them stuffed into a bagel chips bag or tucked into a loaf of white bread. And unlike the carbohydrates you find in fruits and veggies which our body needs to thrive, junk carbs as you find in refined white flour are bad news.
That’s why I recommend keeping your carb count low and getting them from steel-cut oatmeal, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and other whole grain, whole food foods. Those carbs are an important part of a healthy diet.
Eating egg whites is healthier for you that eating the whole egg.
Some shoddy and disproven science gave birth to the idea that eggs are bad for your health. Although the notion that eggs drive up cholesterol and make you fat was disproven ages ago, this myth has surprisingly strong staying power.
The truth is the yolk is where the vast majority of the nutrients you need are. And when eaten whole eggs are one of the healthiest foods that exists. They bring a huge number of nutrients you need to the breakfast (lunch and dinner) table. Plus they’re packed with protein to keep you feeling filled up and full of energy for hours after eating.
So, skip the egg white omelet and order the real thing sunny side up next time instead. It’s the healthier choice and it tastes better, too.
Going gluten-free is best for everyone.
Approximately 18 million people in the United States are sensitive to gluten. If you’re one of them then yes, absolutely it’s better for you to choose gluten-free options. But the truth is there’s nothing inherently healthier about gluten-free products. And in fact, with the rise of the gluten-free movement a ton of gluten-free junk foods have flooded supermarket shelves that are just as bad as the full gluten versions.
Many of the healthiest foods such as fruits and veggies and grass-fed, organic meats never had gluten in them, to begin with. And if you don’t have problems digesting gluten cutting it out of your diet is unnecessary.
Red meat is bad for you.
This is one of those half-truths. Because, yes, eating lots of conventionally raised red meat could raise your risk for a variety of health problems. And when that meat is processed and shot full of preservatives, the picture is even worse. Studies connect eating a lot of these kinds of meats with a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
But you know what the studies don’t show? Any link between fresh, organic, grass-fed red meats and a higher risk of health problems. Plus organic, pasture-raised meats are a good source of heart-healthy omega-3s and rich in cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid.
So go ahead and keep red meat on the menu. Just skip the junk meats and serve up the good stuff instead.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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