With the barrage of advertising that assaults you every time you walk into a grocery store, it’s hard to decipher truth from fiction when it comes to what’s healthy and what isn’t. Those many asterisked claims like, “may help promote heart health,” run rampant down the aisles leaving many well-meaning people swimming in misinformation. Here are a few nutrition myths exposed to help you navigate your way to better eating.
Myth 1: High fructose corn syrup is worse than table sugar
Sugar, in general, should not be a huge part of your diet. However, high fructose corn syrup is not truly any worse for you than regular sugar. Their chemical compounds are similar enough that your body is unlikely to tell the difference between them. It’s only since high fructose corn syrup is very inexpensive and heavily used in so many processed products that it gets a bad reputation.
Myth 2: Diet soda is harmless
Drinking your calories is one of the easiest ways to gain weight. Diet sodas are toted as being the solution to this problem, but it could just be another problem. The artificial sweeteners in soda such as aspartame and sucralose lead to stronger urges for food later on in the day; a study from Purdue showed that rats fed artificial sweeteners ended up consuming more calories than otherwise.
Myth 3: “Trans fat free” foods are trans fat free
Products that claim they have 0 trans fat are allowed to do so as long as they have below 0.5 grams of fat, as per the FDA guidelines. Trans fats are correlated strongly with heart disease, so the World Health Organization recommends avoiding them as much as possible, recommending not going past 1 gram per every 2,000 calories. However, if all the items around your house that claim no trans fats can have half a gram each, you can easily be consuming excessive amounts every day.
Myth 4: Eating eggs raises cholesterol levels
“Dietary cholesterol” like that found in eggs is not the same as the cholesterol in your body, and eating it doesn’t raise your cholesterol either – that happens by eating trans fats and saturated fats. Eggs contain only small amounts of these fats and provide your body with far more good than bad, like heart-healthy vitamins and nutrients.
Myth 5: Low Fat Foods are Better For You
Just because a food is low fat doesn’t mean it’s not terrible for you all the same. “Low fat” in many cases is being used as misdirection so you don’t notice that it’s packed with a ridiculous amount of salt, sugar, carbs, and other additives. Remember to look at the labels and check nutritional values before you buy!