It's tough to parse through all the nutrition advice that's out there. A lot of it is misinformed, and some of it is downright deceptive. Let's take a look at some of the most common myths, so you can get on the right path to good eating.
1. Eat low-fat to lose weight
You'd think this would make sense: To lower body fat, reduce your fat intake. But fat is actually an important part of maintaining a healthy body weight. Good fats prevent cravings, allow you to feel full, and give you more energy. Instead of striving for a fat-free diet, choose sources of healthy unsaturated fats such as nuts, avocados, olive oil and fish.
2. Multigrain means healthy
It is fairly common knowledge that whole-wheat carbohydrates are good for you, because they have more fiber, are less refined, and have a lower glycemic index than white flour carbohydrates. The tricky thing is that marketers use confusing adjectives and descriptions to make you think you are getting 100% whole-grain products. Look for products that say "whole wheat" or "whole grain" on the package. Otherwise, the product might not be made from the entire kernel and might therefore be processed or refined. "Multigrain" can be misleading, because it does not always mean the whole grain seed is used—only that the product contains more than one grain. Have you ever seen a multi-whole grain product?
3. Juice is a healthy alternative to water
This is a tough one. Fruits are a wonderful part of your diet, full of vitamins and minerals, sometimes high in fiber, and typically low in calories. Fruit juice, on the other hand, although it contains some vitamins and minerals, is often much higher in sugar and lower in fiber than fruit. Juice does not keep you as full as fruit. If you drink juice on occasion, look for 100% real juice and be mindful of serving sizes. Use smaller glasses and consider diluting the juice with water.
4. Red meat is bad for you
Although I do not recommend eating red meat every day (or even more than once a week), it does have nutrition benefits, especially for athletes. It's full of iron, zinc and B vitamins, and it's a good source of protein. Again be mindful of portion sizes (3-4 oz. is best) and choose lean cuts of beef, like sirloin or round roast.
- 4 Nutrition Myths Demystified
- 3 Common Diet Myths (And How to Beat Them)
- Food Myths Busted: Skipping Meals Helps You Lose Weight
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock