People have a lot of opinions when it comes to what is healthy or unhealthy, which diet is the best, and whether fats and carbs are, in fact, evil. The truth is though, when it comes to nutrition everything is relative. Nutrition varies from person to person, with the ideal nutritional intake depending on an individual’s personal health. While there are some overarching truths based in nutritional science, many of the diet and health conversations on the internet and in popular culture are based on myth. Included below are some sneaky health-food myths that many people don’t know aren’t true.
Egg whites are healthier than the whole egg.
Popularized due to their low levels of fat and cholesterol compared to the yolk, egg whites have been thought to be a better breakfast than the whole egg. However, the egg white has very little protein since 90% of it resides in the yolk. The yolk, though high in cholesterol, provides a nice dose of fat that will keep you fuller for longer. Additionally, the yolk contains all the vitamins that makes eggs so incredibly good for you—think vitamins A, D, E, and K. If you have problems with cholesterol, perhaps you should consume only the white of an egg. If not, whole eggs are a great staple food.
Processed foods are unhealthy.
Yes, but also no. Think about it this way: if we consumed nothing processed, not only would we have to make all of our own bread, we would have to pick and process the grain, yeast, sugar, and seeds that go into making a loaf. While there are ingredients and processes to watch out for, processed food isn’t all bad. In the end, it all boils down to what is in the food and whether or not the process a manufacturer uses is safe. Reading labels and educating yourself on ingredients is always the best course of action.
Fat and carbs will make you gain weight.
This is one of the most dangerous myths to fall victim to. The human body needs carbs and fat to provide energy and absorb essential nutrients such as vitamin A, D, and E. Even more important is ensuring that you eat a good amount of fats that are high in omega-3s. The unsaturated Omega-3 fats are essential for nerve, brain, and hart health. The fear of fat and carbs mostly stems from the fact that not all fats and carbs were created equally. Carbs that are not high in fiber and trans fats are the real bad guys when it comes to health. Again, it’s all about the ingredients.
The most important factor to consider when facing your nutrition is your own body and genetics. Paying attention to how your body reacts to certain foods can clue you in on the best course of action for you and your diet. If you are concerned with a food or interested in a popular diet, be sure to talk with your doctor to ensure it will not react adversely with any possible health conditions. In general, educating yourself on ingredients and the basics of nutritional science is always a good place to start when trying to get healthy.