Food & Nutrition Myths Exposed
Jennifer M. Roberts, MS, RD | myths 

Myths around food and nutrition seem to spread faster and stick around longer than many urban legends. We’ve all heard the stories about a friend of a friend who lost 100 pounds eating nothing but chocolate chip cookies or cabbage soup. While some of these myths may have started with a little bit of truth, for the most part they are just that – myths. Here are a few more food myths and some facts behind them.

“Nuts are fattening so I shouldn’t eat them.”
While nuts do have quite a bit of fat, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the type of fats that nuts provide may actually be good for us. A recent study found that the Mediterranean diet with nuts helped to lower heart disease risk compared to a reduced fat diet.

“Going gluten-free will help me lose weight.”
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, going gluten-free is a must. If you do not, however, eliminating gluten from your diet is not guaranteed, or even likely, to cause weight loss. Some products that have been reengineered to be gluten-free are actually higher in sugar, fat and calories than the original version.

“Lunches brought from home are healthier.”
Giving up on eating out is often mentioned as a must have for losing weight. The increase in healthful menu items in restaurants, schools and corporate cafes means that this is no longer the case. In fact, some studies suggest that meals eaten out, at school for example, are typically more balanced than those packed at home.

1. Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, Covas MI, D Pharm, Corella D, Arós F, Gómez-Gracia E, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V, Fiol M, Lapetra J, Lamuela-Raventos RM, Serra-Majem L, Pintó X, Basora J, Muñoz MA, Sorlí JV,
Martínez JA, Martínez-González MA; the PREDIMED Study Investigators. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. N Engl J Med. 2013 Feb 25.

June 2013

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