5 Myths about Nutrition You Need to Know

How much do you know about nutrition? Or rather, how much do you think you know? Everyone has different ideas of what is “Healthy” but there are a lot of myths about nutrition that people should know.

“Diet means it’s healthy” myth.

“Diet” does not mean healthy and people only think it is because of the word and how it’s advertised. Diet generally just means less sugar or an artificial sweetener to replace sugar. Diet coke is just as bad as regular coke because they are both beverages that are empty calories that have syrup and die in them. Diet just claims to be better because of the artificial sweetener replacement for sugar. Artificial sweeteners are no better than regular sugar. Just look at the word “artificial”, do you really think we should be consuming that? The artificial sweetener aspartame in many products can be toxic.

I need to be honest and say two things… I wish soda and cigarettes were never invented. I think they are two of the worst things people can take in.

Truth Takeaway= “Diet” is not healthy. It just means less sugar and/or an artificial sweetener.

“Skipping meals is healthy or helps with weight loss” myth.

Skipping meals is NOT healthy by any means. The more you miss meals, the worse it is on your metabolism. If you skip breakfast, you’re not “breaking the fast” from your 8-hour sleep period. Skipping breakfast can lead to energy issues, mental fogginess, and it sure does not help with weight loss. It’s actually beneficial to eat more often in smaller portions to help speed the metabolism to lose weight.

Here’s a sample of what someone’s day of eating should look like. Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Snack (optional). All small-medium portions (smaller for women, a bit more for men). I can get more in-depth if you want a consultation and to hire me as your nutritionist.

Truth Takeaway= Skipping meals is bad for the metabolism and does NOT help with weight loss.

“Natural means it’s healthy” myth.

“Natural” means it comes from the original source, but it DOES NOT mean organic. But beware, because manufacturers can claim their products are natural even if they aren’t. “Natural” products can contain GMOs or high fructose corn syrup because there’s no legal definition of natural.

What’s healthy is organic, but it has to have the USDA organic seal. Organic means, “Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones” (http://www.organic.org/home/faq). 

Furthermore, organic doesn’t always mean it’s entirely healthy. If fruit snacks say “organic”, well then YAY, but does it mean you should consume them every day 2x a day or have one pack for breakfast? NO. Instead opt for a real piece of fruit to get vitamins and minerals from the original source.

Truth takeaway= Natural does not mean organic and healthy. If it is organic there must be a seal on the product.

“It doesn’t matter what kids eat. Kids can eat what they want, they’re still young, they’ll burn it off” myth.

A lot of parents are poorly educated in nutrition and it saddens me to see the childhood obesity epidemic. I can understand kids can be picky eaters, but feeding them what they want just makes them develop bad habits and they are more susceptible to illnesses. Kids need protein, fruits, vegetables, and grains daily just as much as adults, if not more, since they are growing and developing. You shouldn’t feed your kids PBJ every day and Mac and Cheese every night and think it’s alright. You can read more about health tips for kids at http://blendhappy.com/child-obesity-in-america/. Do yourself, and your family or friends a favor and read a book about nutrition and keep up with articles online to make sure you’re getting educated in nutrition.

Truth Takeaway= Kids are growing and developing and proper nutrition is imperative during their childhood.

“I can eat what I want because I workout” myth.

Just because you’re in the gym daily, or you’re a personal trainer, doesn’t mean you can stuff your face with donuts. Okay, maybe not everyone is shoving donuts down their throat, but you can’t expect to see results if you don’t consider nutrition as a factor in your workout routine. Sure we all know protein helps with repairing tissue and building cells, but are you eating the right kind of proteins? What about the complex carbs you take in? Do you take in more complex than simple? Do you even know the difference or what they mean? I ask not to belittle, but to make you realize you need to know these things in order for your body to benefit. The body needs food, and stores food, for energy and function, but if you don’t give your body good fuel, you won’t benefit from all your working out.

Truth Takeaway= Just because you’re in the gym often, or daily, doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want, because you won’t just “burn it off” later.