Nutrition is a hot topic that you get to hear about almost every day. Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, gain energy, or improve your eating habits, nutrition is a critical area that demands your attention. You may even say that nutrition is what makes or breaks your goals.
Since it has an integral role, misinformation often revolves around and creates confusions. The world of nutrition is vast and has so much to offer; hence, listening to some of the myths is quite common. I am sure you have also received much false information and perceived it as truth.
Nutrition is about eating food that your body needs for optimal health and growth. You are good to go if you eat whole grains, sufficient vegetables, fruits, good fats, a good portion of dairy, and protein. With this combination, you can easily fight all your problems and concerns.
Now, even though it is quite simple, people associate some things which eventually create problems in eating right. Many assume that eating a specific nutrient can aggravate their problem and stop eating it altogether.
For instance, in recent years, people started to believe that dairy is the primary trigger for facial acne. However, according to the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, there is no association between dairy and acne. Yet, people are not ready to accept it and cut off an essential food group from their life.
Given the gravity of the situation, I am here to tell you about some other nutritional myths that are creating chaos and forcing people to skip a food group altogether. No scientific research supports these myths, yet the myths continue to live. Without any further delay, let's discuss these ten popular myths:
1. A Multivitamin is Always Necessary
Recently, many pharmaceutical and nutritional companies have convinced people of the significance of multivitamins. The popularity of multivitamins has remarkably increased in the last few years, and people massively rely on them to improve their health conditions.
Although successful marketing has made people aware of the benefits of multivitamins, it is essential to know that these do not work for everyone and every cause. For instance, people start taking multivitamins and skip their meals altogether so that the supplement will make up for the meals. Nothing can compensate for your meals, and you should never substitute your meals with multivitamins.
Multivitamins sure have promising effects on the body. They can help you overcome your health problems, boost your health, and improve your condition. But you do not need a multivitamin every time. If you are eating healthy, paying attention to all your food groups, and your food is nutritious and healthy, you do not need a multivitamin.
Before starting any multivitamin, make sure you have consulted your physician and performed all tests to rule out any nutrient deficiency. Because if your diet gives you all nutrients and takes multivitamins, it can result in toxicity. However, for those who have a compromised nutritional status, multivitamins can help.
Related Article: The Benefits of Multivitamins: 8 Surprising Reasons to Take Them
2. Carbs are Your Enemy
Whenever you think about doing something for your health or losing weight, the most common thing you might have heard is to elminate carbs altogether. It is said, carbs are your enemies when you want to lose weight, and it is better to have a safe distance from your enemies.
The fact is, declaring carbs as a threatening enemy is a bizarre myth that you should never believe. Your body is a component of different organs, cells, muscles, and systems. All of them need energy to function and run their systems. The energy that your body uses to keep you healthy comes from carbs.
You need a proper dose of carbohydrates daily and at all stages of your life. They are the primary fuel for your brain and also improve digestive health. Skipping carbohydrates is expected when you try to lose weight, but your brain gets affected the most in the entire process.
Carbs contain glucose, which is essential for your brain function. Without carbs, your body looks for stored fat and protein as an energy source, but your brain needs glucose, which is unavailable. You might be successful in temporary weight loss here, but nothing is worth more than your health, so adopting a healthy weight loss approach is always good.
Related Article: Carb Cycling for Weight Loss - A Step by Step Guide
3. Run Away From Fats
Fats is a popular food group that has received all the hate for being "unhealthy" and a culprit for "weight gain". They are notorious for excessive calories and have been linked to high cholesterol levels and heart disease. The most common approach here is to kick fats out of your diet because of their damaging health effects.
The main issue with fats is that they are calorie-dense, meaning that they pack a lot of calories into a small amount of food, and it's easy to eat too many calories from fat without even realizing it. This makes them easy to overeat, which can lead to weight gain. Additionally, some types – particularly saturated fats – can raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Most people think of fats as a wrong food choice because they believe that all fats are unhealthy and will cause them to gain weight. However, healthy fats can help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
Healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk for heart disease. These healthy fats are found in olive oil, nuts, and fish. So, if you want to improve your overall health, it's essential to focus on eating more healthy fats.
4. A Salad With Dressing is Good for You
Salads are an everyday go-to option for many while losing weight. No doubt they are nutritious, healthy, full-filling, and tasty at the same time. It is extremely easy to make salads as they do not require cooking or hours to prepare. Salads are incredibly healthy, and you should have them in your diet regularly to enjoy multiple health benefits.
Even though the nutritional value of salads is excellent, many of us still dread eating raw vegetables. Hence, to make our life easier, we tend to make them healthy and delicious simultaneously. Using many sauces and dressings is a direct approach to making the salad a palatable food item.
If your goal is to lose weight, salads are a must for you but without the super high calorie dressings. We unknowingly add excessive amounts of creamy dressings to them that contain many calories and hinder our weight loss efforts. However, many dressings can be used while preparing salads. The main aim should be to use a dressing that is not too high in calories and yet enhances the taste of the salad. Some balsamic vinaigrette mixed with extra virgin olive oil is really all you need.
5. Sugar in Fruits is Bad
If you love fruits, then nothing should stop you from eating them. Moderation is the key to enjoying any food; if you have learned to master that art, you can have anything you want. If anybody tells you not to eat fruits because of their sugar content, do not believe them.
As I said earlier, moderation is an art that not everyone can learn. Fruits have sugar, which is why they are sweet, but it does not mean they harm you. The sugar in fruits spikes your glucose levels, and people with diabetes should eat them mindfully.
In the same way, if you are trying to lose weight and build muscle, try to eat fruits in a balanced way, but there is no need to skip them altogether. Fruits are an essential food group that contains many health benefits for you. Just remember, anything consumed in excess is not suitable for you. So, enjoy eating fruits but do not go overboard with them.
Regarding sugar, fruits are often mistakenly lumped into the same category as other sugary foods like candy and cake. But the truth is, fruits are quite different. For one, the sugar in fruit is natural, whereas the sugar in other sweets is added during processing. This means that the sugar in fruit comes with a whole host of other nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Related Article: Spinach and Fruits Salad Recipe: The Best Brunch Combination
6. Detox Drinks Will Flush All Toxins
Our body undergoes several chemical reactions daily and produces many by-products as toxins. These toxins can interfere with health and must be removed from the body. The fitness gurus found a solution to that problem and swear by drinking detox drinks to remove all these toxins.
These detox drinks are made with ingredients like cucumber, lemon, ginger, mint, and different fruits, all of which are extremely good for your health. These detox drinks can help you with your weight loss, boost your digestive health, improve your energy levels, and make up for your mineral deficiencies.
But they do not flush the toxins out of your body. It is purely a myth to consider these drinks as a way to remove toxins and cleanse your system. Water is generally good for your health, and adding more nutrients will increase the benefits, but cleansing your system is not one of them.
Your liver is responsible for flushing the toxins out of your body daily. You do not have to make any extra effort to speed up the process or to initiate it. Eat the proper nutrients to keep your liver healthy so that your toxins are removed from your system timely.
7. Protein is All You Need for Muscle Building
Protein is a common ingredient in the muscle-building world. Many weightlifters and bodybuilders are ready to live on protein their entire life since it's good for their muscles and can bring many benefits. It has also evoked a debate about relying entirely on protein and omitting all other food groups to build muscle.
The truth is muscle building is also a component of various factors. From your workouts to your lifestyle habits, everything matters. The more weight you can lift, the more muscle you will have. You will need food by the end of the day to live and to lift the weight the next day. Without food, you cannot do any of this.
Now, your food should not only contain protein or any other food group. Rather your diet should have a combination of all essential nutrients, as each has a varying role in the body. Your diet should have sufficient amounts of carbs, proteins, fats, vegetables, and fruits.
Overeating protein can also be dangerous for your health. That is why balance is always necessary and needed for muscle-building. Protein is essential for muscle building but is not the only thing you need.
8. Protein Powders are Bad
Protein powders have taken up the world of muscle building due to their countless benefits. But there's a lot of controversy surrounding protein powders. Some people swear by them, while others say they're bad for you. So, what's the truth? Are protein powders harmful to you? The answer isn't as simple as yes or no. It depends on a few factors, including your overall diet and health status.
If you eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein-rich foods, you probably don't need to supplement with protein powder. And hence no one rule will work for everyone. Too much protein can be harmful.
But if your diet contains no protein or you are vegetarian, you might get many benefits from protein powders. The supplementation will help you to mask your protein deficiency and can help in initiating all protein-dependent functions.
Similarly, if you are building muscle or working out aggressively in gyms, you might need an extra dose of protein, and that's when protein powders come into action. They are not a wrong choice, but a situation can entirely change their effectiveness. Furthermore, choosing the right brand for protein powders is also essential.
Related Article: A Beginners Guide on Whey Protein and How It Can Help You
9. A Strict Diet for Weight Loss Always Works
For weight loss, you will come across many diet plans and techniques. Some will show immediate results, while some might take time to prove themselves. However, the most common thing you will hear is to go for a strict diet to lose weight quickly.
A strict diet usually means cutting down on some food, eliminating your favourite meals, and having a vigorous workout routine. It is challenging to manage and is not sustainable. Moreover, you will likely relapse when you stop following it, which is not good.
Strict diets compromise your nutritional status and do not produce any results. You cannot adapt to this lifestyle, and it does not produce any health benefits on your health. It is always better to go for healthier practices that you can stick with for losing weight.
These diets might make you prone to eating disorders or body dysmorphia. Hence, rather than shortcuts and finding quick ways to lose weight, go for long-term approaches that produce quality results.
10. Skinny Equals Healthy
We live in a world where we respect different body images and associate them with health and disease. Skinny is always referred to as a healthy and positive image. But the fact is, body types do not define our health status and should not be used as a parameter to judge anyone.
There are people with a skinny build who are unhealthy and those with a curvier build who are incredibly healthy. It is important to remember that our weight or appearance does not define health. The only thing that determines our health is our nutritional status and what we eat.
If you deprive yourself of all the essential nutrients to look skinny, you are not working on your health. You are causing significant damage to your health that will be visible in a few years. It is always essential to give all the nutrients to your body to stay healthy.
Missing out on any crucial food can lead to severe consequences. In the same way, going overboard with any food will bring damage. Balance is the key to optimal health and the only thing that will keep you healthy.
1. What is the best way to lose weight and keep it off?
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to make small, sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle. This means reducing the consumption of processed foods, eating whole foods, and exercising regularly. Making these changes gradually will help you stay with them long-term. And, as you start to see results from your efforts, you’ll be motivated to keep going.
2. What are some healthy foods that I should be eating?
There are many healthy foods that you should be eating. Some good options include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods are packed with nutrients that your body needs to function correctly. And, when eaten in moderation, they can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
3. What are some common nutritional myths?
There are many common nutritional myths out there. Some people believe they need to eat several small meals throughout the day to boost their metabolism. Others think that they need to avoid carbs to lose weight. And still, others believe that they need to eat lots of protein to build muscle. The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition. Everyone’s needs are different, so finding what works for you is essential.
4. Why do fad diets not work?
Fad diets do not work because they are not sustainable in the long term. They often involve making drastic changes to your diet that are not realistic to maintain over time. This can lead to frustration and eventually giving up on a diet altogether. Fad diets also tend to be very restrictive, making them difficult to stick to. Most importantly, fad diets often lack the essential nutrients your body needs to function correctly.
When you are out in the world exploring a lifestyle change, you will find many "experts" telling you all of these myths and how they will affect your life. The best way to verify this is to consult a dietician and ask about all the myths you have heard.
Everyone's nutritional needs are different, and one approach does not suit all. Maybe your body needs more nutrients to burn fat than someone else. That is why it is essential to find out what works for your body and what positive outcome it will bring. Never rely on false information or believe any of these myths unless verified by a dietician.
- Nutrition. https://www.who.int/health-topics/nutrition.
- Claudel, J. P., et al. “Acne and Nutrition: Hypotheses, Myths and Facts.” Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, vol. 32, no. 10, Oct. 2018, pp. 1631–37. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.14998.
- “Do Multivitamins Make You Healthier?” Harvard Health, 11 Mar. 2014, https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/do-multivitamins-make-you-healthier.
- “Multiple Vitamin Overdose Information | Mount Sinai - New York.” Mount Sinai Health System, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/poison/multiple-vitamin-overdose.
- Zhao, Longgang, et al. “Dietary Fats, Serum Cholesterol and Liver Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies.” Cancers, vol. 13, no. 7, Jan. 2021, p. 1580. www.mdpi.com, https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13071580.
- Houston, Mark. “The Relationship of Saturated Fats and Coronary Heart Disease: Fa(c)t or Fiction? A Commentary.” Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease, vol. 12, no. 2, Feb. 2018, pp. 33–37. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1177/1753944717742549.
- CDC. “Fruits and Vegetables.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 June 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/fruits_vegetables.html.
- “Detoxification.” Hepatitis C Trust, http://hepctrust.org.uk/information/liver/detoxification.
- Delimaris, Ioannis. “Adverse Effects Associated with Protein Intake above the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Adults.” ISRN Nutrition, vol. 2013, July 2013, p. 126929. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.5402/2013/126929.
- “Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).” Nhs.Uk, 10 Feb. 2021, https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/body-dysmorphia/.