Don’t Be Fooled: 5 Nutrition Myths Busted
With all the nutrition misinformation floating around out there, any health-conscious consumer can get confused and frustrated. Below we debunk 5 common myths. Consider yourself in the know!
1. Fat-free foods are better for you. Not only do fat-free food products tend to lack flavor, but they often attempt to make up for it by adding ingredients such as sugar and other fillers. A good example of this is some fat-free salad dressings. Fat helps with satiation, and, according to a recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine, a diet rich in olive oil and nuts—sometimes demonized for their fat content—actually lowers rates of heart disease. Making heart-healthy choices and maintaining a good diet are attainable without resorting to fat-free products.
2. I am thin, so I must be healthy. With the alarming obesity statistics in this country, it’s easy to assume that anyone who is thin is free of disease. A 2008 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association busted that myth. Indeed, you can look great in size 2 jeans and still be a heart attack waiting to happen. Another key finding from the study: You can also be overweight and healthy. Many experts agree it’s better to be a little overweight and physically fit than to be a skinny, unfit couch potato.
3. The more protein I eat, the more muscle I will build. Protein in food does not build muscle. It takes exercise to build muscle. By eating too much protein, you can cause excess strain on your kidneys.
4. Gluten-free foods are for everyone. The latest fad suggests eating gluten-free will make you feel better and lose weight. Unless you have celiac disease, an autoimmune condition in which the body can’t digest gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), or you are gluten intolerant, a gluten-free diet probably won’t make a difference in how you feel. One exception: If you are eating fewer calories and making healthier choices overall, such as swapping out refined flours for quinoa as part of a gluten-free diet, you may benefit.
5. Carbohydrates make you fat. Ever since 1972 when Dr. Atkin’s Diet Revolution was first published, the fear that carbohydrates make us fat has prevailed. But luckily, it's not true. Too much of any food, be it protein, carbohydrates or fat, will cause weight gain. Avoiding carbs completely is not sustainable, and it deprives your body of its main source of fuel, as well as vital nutrients and fiber. There are plenty of foods, including Kretschmer Wheat Germ, that contain carbs but also are an excellent part of an overall healthy diet.