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12 Nutrition Myths You Should Know About

Meghana Giridhar - March 17, 2015 02:42 PM

It is known that eating a well-balanced meal is the key to many health benefits. There is a wealth of information and opinions about the right foods to eat. However, there are also many diet assumptions that could be misleading.

Here are 12 nutrition myths to be aware of:

Myth 1: Don’t add sugar.

It’s important to know that sugar should not take up more than 10% of total calories which is 200 in a 2,000 calorie diet. Every ingredient plays a role in food preparation. Nutrient-rich foods get enhanced with sugar. However, adding too much sugar to foods is going to affect the body in the long run.

Myth 2: Eggs cause havoc on cholesterol levels.

Eggs contain something called dietary cholesterol which are fat-like molecules in foods like eggs. Eggs are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. What is unhealthy is the cholesterol created by saturated and trans-fats. Another myth is that brown eggs are better than white eggs. The truth is that both have the same nutritional value. It is best to look for brands containing EPA and DHA which are omega-3 fatty acids.

Myth 3: All saturated fats are bad for blood cholesterol.

There are many kinds of saturated fats and they are all processed differently by the body after consumption. Saturated fats found in cocoa, dairy, meats, palm and coconut oils enhance beneficial HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels and not the harmful LDL (low density lipo-protein) cholesterol.

Myth 4: Salt = Sodium = Bad for health

Not many are aware that adding salt while cooking vegetables allows for retention of nutrients. The cooking process is also hastened so nutrients are not stripped from the vegetables.

Myth 5: Red wine is the only alcohol great for the heart.

All alcohol contains ethanol that increases levels of HDL or good cholesterol. This reduces clotting and plaque in the arteries. However, what is true is that no more than 1-2 drinks a day is good for you, reducing heart disease risk. This may not hold true for those with any kind of prevailing illnesses or taking any medication. It is important to check with your doctor before consuming alcohol.

Myth 6: Fried foods can’t be healthy.

The way you fry food determines whether the food is healthy or not. When hot oil is used, the moisture boils over and seeps out into the oil. This moisture minimizes oil absorption when frying is done correctly. 375 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for frying. Another tip is to drain fried foods on a towel for a couple of minutes before consuming.

Myth 7: Cooking olive oil strips it off its benefits.

Olive oil has been hailed as ‘good’ fat for some time now. There is an assumption that it should not be cooked. However, all oils can handle a certain degree of heat. The point to remember is that the oil should not be heated past its smoking point. For extra virgin olive oil, that temperature is around 405 degree Fahrenheit.

Myth 8: Never microwave your food.

Good food is one that retains its nutrients. Nutrients are lost when food is cooking for long periods of time on very high temperatures. Microwaving could be better than grilling.

Myth 9: It’s better to eat small quantities through the day than have 3 big meals.

Constant eating does not allow the body to burn fat. Satisfaction levels after eating small meals are lower which causes overeating at a later stage. It is best to eat every 4 hours.

Myth 10: Stay away from carbs!

It is true that high calorie foods such as pasta, sweets and white bread cause weight gain. However, there are plenty of good carbohydrates found in grains, beans, fruits and vegetables that are needed to energize the body.

Myth 11: You should only eat raw vegetables.

Cooking food not only enhances taste but also unlocks nutritional values in food. The heat created during cooking releases antioxidants in certain foods such as corn and carrots. However, one must bear in mind that water-soluble vitamins do get destroyed. It is recommended that you eat a range of vegetables.

Myth 12: Fruits can help you lose weight.

Fruits offer vitamins and fiber but they also contain calories and sugar. Having four servings a day and combining fruits with some protein is the way to go to slow down digestion and keep blood sugar levels steady.

Eating a healthy diet requires careful lifestyle and diet changes. It is advised not to make any dietary decisions without checking with your doctor, especially for those with medical conditions. The best way to go about it is by making small changes and taking one step at a time to ensure a healthy future.


Meghana Giridhar serves as Content Coordinator and is part of eCareDiary's founding team.  In her role, she oversees and edits content across all of eCareDiary's media platforms.

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