The Internet is like a busy intersection when it comes to nutritional information. There's traffic coming from all directions. Websites are congested with misleading nutritional facts, only fueling food myths and adding to users' confusion about which picks are really the healthiest. At best, you can hope there's a grain of truth in what you're reading, but most often, there's no scientific basis for these myths. Here are some of the most common nutrition myths, and the facts on each.
You can eat as much healthy fat as you like:
While olive oil, packed with monounsaturated fat, is better for your heart than the artery-clogging saturated fat in butter, both have 100 to 120 calories per tablespoon. In fact, all fats have roughly the same number of calories, says Samantha Heller, RD, author of Get Smart: Samantha Heller’s Nutrition Prescription for Boosting Brain Power and Optimizing Total Body Health. So go easy. One way is to try an oil mister—one spritz delivers a fraction of a teaspoon.
If the label says “natural,” it means it’s better for you:
The truth: The word “natural” is not defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and can mean just about anything, according to Oakes. Even products labeled “all natural” can be highly processed and contain high fructose corn syrup, a manufactured sugar that some researchers think is a contributor to the spike in obesity. The word “organic”? Now that’s regulated by the USDA and means the food is made without most conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, and antibiotics.
To Lose Weight, You Must Avoid Carbs:
Bread, pasta, beans, and other high-carbohydrate foods are lower in calories than fatty foods, like cheese or French fries. That's one reason why people whose eat carbohydrate-based diets - people living in rural Asia and vegetarians, for example - tend to be thinner than people whose diets are based on fatty foods.
You Must Drink Eight Glasses of Water a Day:
Eight glasses a day? Our bodies do need plenty of water - and serious athletes might need more than most - but there's nothing magical about eight glasses. Keep in mind that water is found in foods as well as beverages.
Organic Produce is No Better than Conventional Produce:
Organic and conventionally grown produce have about the same level of nutrients. But organic fruits and vegetables are less likely to have traces of pesticides and other chemicals. Parents take note, because recent studies show that certain pesticides can increase the risk for ADHD.
The difference is especially pronounced for peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, and others that are commonly grown with pesticides on conventional farms. What about simply peeling vegetables? That can reduce the level of pesticides, but it cuts down on nutrients too.
Raw carrots are more nutritious than cooked:
Cooking actually increases carrots’ nutritional value. The process breaks down the tough cellular walls that encase the beta-carotene.
Avoid eggs because of their cholesterol content:
Healthy eating: Eggs have gotten an unfounded bad rap; the latest research shows that they don’t actually contribute to high cholesterol. In fact, eggs are an inexpensive source of many nutrients, including zinc and iron, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin D, and the brain-boosting chemical choline. Keep cholesterol in check by monitoring saturated fat in your diet.
It's okay to not wash organic items:
All produce, whether purchased from a grocery mega chain or your local organic farm, is susceptible to nasty bacteria, such as E. coli (the news-maker that's also been known to kill people). Soil and runoff water that's contaminated with E. coli-harboring animal poop can get onto produce — particularly melons, lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, spinach, and green onions, since they grow close to the ground. Your best defense: Wash everything thoroughly under running water.
You're supporting local/ small farms:
General Mills owns the Cascadian Farms brand, Kraft owns Back to Nature and Boca Burger, and Kellogg's owns Morningstar Farms, to name a few conglomerates basking in organics' glow (and dough). And with such high demand (in the past year, the market for organic milk outstripped the supply by 10 percent), these giant companies are importing organic ingredients as cheaply as possible — often from other countries. Whole Foods sold roughly $1 billion in produce last year; only about 16 percent was locally grown.
So unless you know where your organic's are coming from, say a local producer,(which is the BEST) you may still be getting processed or engineered "organic" products when you think your buying local organic from your neighborhood grocer that is part of a large chain store.....
Remember, just because the label says organic doesn't mean that its the best for you. Check the labels as sometime manufacturers add large quantities of sugar or salt to aid in the shelf life of their products. Reading product labels are the key!!! Be smart, get healthy and eat well!