Unfortunately, sometimes what you think is true is actually myth.
Persistent myth, but myth nonetheless.
Like these ten diet myths that seem to stick around, no matter how often they’re debunked!
1. Added sugar is always bad. I’ll let you in on a secret – many diet myths come from people taking true information and going to the extreme, and this first one is a prime example. Instead of looking at how much added sugar can be incorporated into a healthy diet, it’s easier to just say that all added sugars are bad. Except that if you keep it to about 10% of your daily caloric intake, added sugars can help keep you from feeling deprived – which can lead to binging and overeating. Plus, artificial sweeteners cause their own health concerns. So stick with a small amount of real sugar – or honey – and you can feed your sweet tooth without going overboard.
2. Saturated fats cause cardiovascular problems. You know the fat drill: saturated and trans fats are bad for you. Mono-and polyunsaturated fats are good for you. But new research is indicating that this may be a diet myth. Don’t misunderstand – trans fats are still bad for you. It’s the saturated fats that may not be as harmful as everyone had always believed. As it turns out, there are some saturated fats that actually help raise your HDL cholesterol levels – the “good” kind of cholesterol that you want high.
3. Cooking with healthy oils kills their benefits. One of our favorite diet myths pertains especially to olive oil, which has gotten a reputation as fragile. But it’s actually quite stable. As are all of the monounsaturated fats you could use for cooking. The key is to not heat them beyond their smoking points – which destroys the flavor of the food you’re sautéing, anyway!
4. You should always remove the chicken skin. Since the chicken skin is part of what makes chicken dinner so delicious, this is a diet myth I’m happy to debunk. See, chicken contains saturated fat – approximately 2.5 g per chicken breast – so people thought it couldn’t possibly be good for you. But as we’re learning more about saturated fats, we’ve come to understand that the occasional crispy baked skin on a chicken breast can be part of a healthy diet. And with only an extra 50 calories, it can even be worked into a weight loss diet, too!
5. You can eat all the healthy fat you want. As tempting as this diet myth is to believe, it’s still a myth. Even the heart-healthy fats you find in nuts, avocadoes, and olive oil still have calories. And calories still matter when it comes to losing pounds or maintaining a healthy weight. Just because something is healthy still doesn’t mean you should overeat.
6. Vegetarian and vegan diets are always healthy. There’s that word “always” again. Indeed, there are health benefits that can be gained from eating a plant-based diet. And many people choose these diets for moral and ethical reasons. But even these can be unhealthy if you’re not careful. When you remove an entire category of food from your diet, you cut out certain nutrients as well. Protein, omega-3s, and B vitamins are just some of the essential nutrients you can lose out on when you switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet. If you decide to reduce or remove animal products from your diet, be sure to talk to your doctor and a nutritionist to make sure you’re still getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. The goal is to be healthier after all.
7. Carbohydrates are bad. Another one of our favorite diet myths, carbohydrates are bad for you ebbs and flows in popularity, but never quite goes away. Like the sugar myth, it’s based in some truth but tends to be taken too far. The bottom line is that your body needs carbohydrates to function properly. Carbohydrates are your body’s source of energy, and they provide the fiber necessary to keep your digestive system working. The problem arises when you lump all carbohydrates together, because there are good carbs and bad carbs. So instead of cutting out all carbohydrates, cut out the overly refined ones, and stick to the healthy ones like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
8. Red wine is good for you – but other alcohols are not. You’ve been drinking a glass of red wine most evenings for your heart for years now. Good for you! But do you feel guilty when you have a cocktail instead? You don’t need to feel guilty any longer. Research seems to indicate that it’s not the antioxidants in red wine but the actual alcohol itself that provides the heart healthy benefits. Debunking alcohol-related diet myths isn’t permission to indulge, though. More than one glass a night for women and two for men will still counteract all the health benefits of the drink. But you can, at least, mix it up occasionally.
9. “All natural” is inherently healthy. The problem with this myth is that we want to believe it. We want “all natural” to mean something is good for us. But remember – there are highly processed, overly sugary foods that are technically all natural. Instead, look for products labeled organic. That doesn’t just imply a certain standard, but actually means something.
10. Diet supplements don’t work. In the 1970s and ‘80s, the market was saturated with “magic pills” claiming they would melt fat fast. They were unregulated, and often contained dangerous ingredients that caused severe health problems. Unfortunately, some of them are even still on the market, and those don’t But our researchers have developed SlimSuccess, a safe and effective weight loss supplement that does work. And it works on two levels. First, it enhances your efforts, so you lose twice as much weight as just diet and exercise alone. Then it also helps curb nighttime cravings, so you don’t undo all your hard work in the evenings. There is no magic pill – that’s not a diet myth. Even with SlimSuccess you have to be willing to put in the work. But you can make your efforts mean more, thanks to the right weight loss supplement.