Most people want to at least try and live healthy lifestyles, but all to often they fall victim misinformation and deceptive marketing. With so many opinions floating around, its time to bust some nutrition myths.

Cholesterol Foods are Bad

One of the biggest misconceptions regarding cholesterol is that all of it is bad for you. What follows then is that people view all cholesterol-rich foods as being bad. Although it must be said that some people should consume much less cholesterol than others, nutritious foods like eggs and full fat yogurt can boost your health. But as always, moderation is key.

Smoothies and juices are so healthy

Smoothies are great way to obtain a variety of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc.), and are usually nutrient-dense, which is a good thing. However, store bought smoothies are more often than not jam packed with sugar and calories. If you consume a lot of these smoothies, then will easily gain extra weight, thus counteracting your healthy lifestyle. So, try to make you own smoothies as much as possible.

Fiber supplements are just as good as high-fiber foods

There is nothing inherently wrong with fiber supplements, since they can indeed be highly beneficial (e.g. improving bowel movements and blood sugar control). However, it is not a good idea to completely substitute high fiber foods, like vegetables and beans, with fiber supplements. This can also be generalized: no supplement should ever completely replace its natural counterpart.

White potatoes are a bad food option

Weigh gain is as much tied to the amount of food you consume as it is to the type of food. Unfortunately, white potatoes have often been considered “unhealthy” by health aficionados, simply because they are high in starch. However, they are also highly nutritious and contain a variety of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. So, don’t eliminate them from your diet; rather, just eat less of them and prepare them in more nutritious ways, such as baking or roasting them.

You shouldn’t use supplements

Some supplements are definitely better than others, but they not all just bad, especially when using right supplements and as they are prescribed. This especially true for those who suffer from health disorders, like type II diabetes. In such cases, magnesium and B vitamin supplements can actually be beneficial, for example reducing risk factors of heart disease.

“Low fat” and “diet” foods are healthy

Contrary to popular belief, so-called “diet” foods (often labelled as “light,” “low fat,” or “fat-free”) are not always the best for you. This is because they usually contain added sugars and salt to counteract the loss of flavour from removing fats. Their regular counterparts are therefore often the healthier choice, so instead of avoiding them, just consume less. Whole foods are often a better choice than processed.

Skinny people are healthier

Being skinny is not necessarily healthy nor unhealthy. While it is true that obesity is correlated with increased risk of certain health conditions, such as heart disease and cancers, being skinny does not by default exempt you from being unhealthy. The important thing is to maintain a healthy lifestyle by following a nutritious diet and being active.

Artificial sweeteners are healthier than sugar

Although it is certainly a good idea to reduce your sugar intake, it is not such a good idea to replace all sugars with non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS). An increased intake of NNS has the potential to increase your risk of type II diabetes, mainly as a result of negatively altering your gut bacteria and promoting blood sugar dysregulation. This is still an area of active research, so it is best to limit your intake of NNS.

High fat foods are all bad

For too long now fat has been seen a public enemy number one, especially by those who adhere to low fat diets. However, this idea is simply incorrect. Dietary fat is absolutely essential. Moreover, low fat diets are not all good and have actually been linked to a greater risk of certain health issues. Thus, don’t completely avoid high fat foods, since they can be very nutritious. Instead, just regulate your intake and don’t consume excessive amounts.

Losing weight is easy

If losing weight was really that easy, wouldn’t everyone be in shape? Of course! It is all too easy to get duped by companies that promote their weight loss supplements. Losing weight is hard, and many factors, for example genetics, affect how quickly and easily you lose weight. Losing weight requires patience, persistence, and hard work. Find exercises that you enjoy so that you can do them regularly, and follow a healthy and sustainable diet. Developing healthy habits will benefit you much more in the long term than simply trying out a quick fad.