Happy Humpday! I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday, can I just say how much I love having a Monday off. Yesterday I was on the struggle bus when it came to writing a blog post. I have a whole slew of drafts in the works but I didn’t feel in the mood to finish any of them. So instead, I decided to dig through my archives. I have a lot of great articles written way back that a lot of new readers probably haven’t seen and I think this one is relevant because these 5 nutrition myths are still ones I continually hear or get asked about.
Nutrition is probably one of the least understood topics. There is so much false information and with the internet making it possible for anyone to write, the problem just got worse.
As a Dietitian, I hear a lot of false information. However, I do not make it my personal mission to correct every wrong thing that I hear. When I hear nurses at work talking about how they are drinking lemon water to increase their metabolism, I don’t jump up on my soap box and start preaching. I never want to be that Dietitian. Therefore, unless asked directly about nutrition, I generally keep my mouth shut.
But there are some things that just drive. me. crazy. I feel the compelling need to dispel just a few myths that really grind my gears.
1. I will lose weight if I stop eating carbs
I thought that this topic was already beaten to death but this idea is still very predominant in many people’s minds. Carbohydrates get a bad rap. There are a lot of highly processed carbohydrate foods that could be cut out or reduced in a persons diet to lose weight such as chips, cookies, white bread, etc. However, there are some really good carbohydrates full of valuable nutrients like quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, legumes, etc.
Things are never black and white, carbohydrates don’t cause weight gain, it’s more about the types of foods that you are choosing.
2. Organic foods are healthier
I have already ranted about this topic, you can see my previous post on why organic is not a synonym for health. But the bottom line is that organic does not mean healthier. While there is some evidence that organic produce might have more vitamins, the amount is negligible. And in terms of packaged organic foods, they are often just as processed and full of refined sugar as non-organic products.
If you are wanting to reduce pesticides or are conscious about the use of pesticides on the environment, then by all means choose organic. But do not do it for the nutritional benefits.
3. Sea salt is better than table salt
The amount of sodium in sea salt vs table salt is the same. Both have negative effects on your health if consumed in excess amounts. While there are some trace minerals such as iron found in sea salt, the amount you would need to eat to gain any appreciable health benefit would be completely negated by the amount of sodium you have consumed.
If you prefer the taste of sea salt better, then go ahead and use it. However, if that preferred taste causes you to consume more salt, I would say skip it.
4. A detox diet will clean toxins out of the body
There is absolutely no evidence that there is a build up of toxins in our body. Our bodies have a very functional system to remove all waste products. A cleanse or detox is nothing more than savvy marketing.
If you are looking to kick start a diet or “cleanse” your body, instead try removing processed foods from your diet. Focus on eating more whole foods, drinking more water and sleeping more. You will feel a lot better by making those changes in your diet than starving yourself on a juice cleanse.
5. I should avoid fruit because it has too much sugar
Sugar has been a hot topic in the past year. The advice to reduce the amount of sugar we consume is largely around added sugars. The sugar from fruit is naturally occurring and fruit has the added benefit of having fibre and vitamins.
There are a lot of other areas where we can cut sugar from our diet like sugar sweetened beverages, sugary cereals, cookies, pastries, cakes, etc. before cutting back fruit should be a concern.