6 of the most common biggest healthy eating myths are about to get a run for their money!
We’re about to take down 6 of the most common biggest healthy eating myths! Weight talk is all around us. Carbs are bad, fat makes you fat, everything makes you gain weight except protein. Or “I’m eating gluten free to lose weight!”. It’s even more prevalent after the holidays, when we’ve had too much Chai Spiced Apple Date Cake or Chocolate Shortbread Cookies!
Many of us are striving to eat healthier, especially with the New Year. Although these things have been thoroughly researched, many people still believe in these biggest healthy eating myths below. Rest assured, these 6 biggest healthy eating myths are totally going to get busted! So you can start your New Year off right with good-for-you whole foods like Butternut Squash & Wild Rice Salad, One-Pan Chicken & Mushroom Farro, and Turkey Mushroom Bolognese!
- Carbs at night will make you fat.
Eating carbs at night does not lead to weight gain! There, I said it. I used to be under the assumption that eating starchy carbohydrates after 5 or 6 p.m. would cause me to gain a ton of fat overnight. Turns out, that’s just not the case.Our bodies don’t operate on a 24-hour clock! Some people handle a large amount of carbs very well and others… not so much. Our bodies are extremely adaptable and aren’t necessarily concerned with what we eat in a day, but rather what averages out within the week. Studies actually show us that our body’s hormonal response to eating carbs (glucose and insulin levels) do not differ from a morning meal versus a nighttime meal.I’m so happy that I’ve put this myth to rest. I now eat a small sweet potato and peanut butter or a whole wheat bagel almost every night before bed, satisfying both my stomach and my soul.
- Eating fat makes you fat.
Actually, research shows quite the opposite to be true! See, we used to tell our patients (in a medical setting) that to lose weight and lower their cholesterol, they should eat a very low-fat diet. In reality, low fat diets are worse for you than high-fat diets! If we take a look at the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes, lean protein, and healthy fats (like those found salmon, olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds), we actually find that the risk for heart disease is significantly lower than that of a person on a low-fat diet.It is, in fact, our Western way of eating that is making us fat. Focus on healthy fats like those mentioned above and you’re on your way to reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes!
- All calories are created equal.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! 100 calories’ worth of steamed broccoli is not the same as 100 calories’ worth of crackers or cupcakes. If all you’re doing is counting calories in an attempt to lose weight, please stop! Let’s say your daily “calorie allotment” (according to My Fitness Pal or other website) is 1400 calories per day. You could get 1400 calories from an array of colorful vegetables and fruits, brown rice, chicken, avocados, sweet potatoes, fish, nuts and seeds or you could easily eat 1400 calories’ worth of cake in one sitting. While you’re still eating 1400 calories, the cake is entirely refined carbohydrates (sugar) and not-so-healthy fats (vegetable or canola oil). It’s devoid of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.My biggest advice to you is this: ditch the calorie-counting for good and focus on consuming whole foods, eating as close to a food’s natural state as possible. YES, you are going to want to eat cake and you totally should! But give the calorie-counting a rest – it’s putting more stress on your body in the long run!
- Going gluten-free will help me lose weight!
Unless you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or feel you are intolerant to gluten (i.e. eating gluten-containing products causes severe fatigue, joint pain, rashes, or issues with digestion), there is no need to eat gluten-free for the purposes of weight loss. In fact, when you compare a wheat-containing product to a gluten-free product, you’ll find that most often the gluten-free products are higher in calories anyway. There is absolutely no research to back the statement that a gluten-free diet aids in weight loss. Busted!
- Frozen veggies and fruits are devoid of nutrients.
Frozen vegetables and fruits get a bad rep. In reality, they’re flash-frozen at the time they’re picked, locking in flavor and nutrients. Of course, it’s generally best to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables while they’re in season (organic if possible!), but frozen will definitely give you a great amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! I like to keep frozen fruit for smoothies as well as frozen broccoli, edamame, and peas. I also won’t hesitate to buy a mixed blend of stir fry vegetables for weeknights when I just don’t feel like cooking. Just watch for veggies that are tossed in a cream sauce or loaded with cheese. Opt for just the plain vegetables and doctor them up at home yourself!
- It’s important to detox every once in a while.
Your body naturally does this for you! The job of the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract is to naturally detoxify the body, removing harmful waste products. The best “cleanse” is your body’s natural one. Eat whole foods, exercise regularly, get quality sleep, and work on stress reduction.
These biggest healthy eating myths are all definitely busted, but I know I was stuck on many of these for a long time before I got around to doing the research.
What about you?! Let me know in the comments!