Would You Believe These Diet Myths?

food myths

When I tell people I’m a nutritionist, they often say things like “Oh God. I swear I don’t normally eat like this!” or “My friend told me that [insert false statement here] — is that true?”

Others sometimes rattle off various diet-related tidbits that they’ve heard or believe which have no scientific backing and/or make no sense.  I certainly don’t blame people for being confused — nutrition can be complicated and research is always evolving.  Plus, there’s so much information out there that it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not.  But I have to giggle at times, because some diet myths are so wrong, they’re funny.  Here are a few recent gems:

1.  Sugar is the #1 enemy of the bowel movement.  (Doesn’t get any better than this).

2.  Protein is the healthiest thing you can eat because it has no calories.  (Truth: Protein is one of the four nutrients that provides us with calories a.k.a energy – the others are carbohydrate, fat, and alcohol.  Thus this statement makes no sense).

3.  Beets make you fat because of all the sugar.  (Truth: Beets are a vegetable, and believe me – vegetables are not what’s making you fat).

4.  You should only eat raw almond butter.  Regular almond butter isn’t even good for you.  (Truth: not sure why it matters whether a nut is raw or toasted when you spread it on your toast).

5.  It’s best to sweeten everything with agave, honey, and maple syrup.  Sugar is toxic. (Truth: All sweeteners are empty calories and should be eaten in moderation).

6.  We should all be on the Paleo Diet.  (Truth: There’s a reason cavemen died before age 30.  Another truth: some aspects of this diet are good – like it emphasizes whole foods not processed and refined ones – but it’s not practical or healthy to cut out entire food groups like this diet recommends).

…and many more.  I will be adding to this list when I remember other goodies!

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