Knowing what is good to eat and what is not is becoming increasingly daunting with the large amount of myths and misconceptions about food that are out there. In fact, many of these myths get passed around from person to person until they become conventional wisdom, unchallenged by those who spread them and just accepted as fact.
But the fact is, a lot of these “myths” are simply not true and can actually lead people to change their diets when it is not needed at all. Read on and check out the 10 myths about food that you probably believe.
10. Celery Is a “Negative-Calorie” Food
Celery is one of the most popular and versatile vegetables out there and is enjoyed by millions of people every day. For years people have believed that celery, among a select few other foods, are what they call “negative-calorie foods.” Negative-calorie foods are foods that actually contain fewer calories than it takes to eat them, which means you are actually burning calories while eating these foods. But as it stands today, there are actually no negative-calorie foods in existence. Despite a large stalk of celery containing only a measly 10 calories, it is said that it takes only around two calories to eat it, meaning that it is most definitely not a negative-calorie food.
9. Brown Eggs Are Healthier Than White Eggs
For years, people have believed that brown eggs are healthier and pack more nutrition than white eggs, but that is not true at all. In fact, the only reason for the different colors of eggs is by the types of chickens that lay them. That’s right, white chickens lay white eggs and brown chickens lay brown eggs, both are nutritionally identical (of course, any egg’s nutrition is dependent on how their farmers feed and raise them). So if both are identical, why do brown eggs have that longstanding reputation as being healthier? This is believed to stem from the fact that brown eggs cost more in stores, but that is simply because they are more expensive to produce, and has nothing to do with the nutrition of the egg.
8. Night Eating is Worse For You
Night eating has long been associated with weight gain and unhealthiness. This idea was furthered when researchers at Northwestern University found that night eating led to significant weight gain in mice. However, all of the scientific data and conventional wisdom on humans suggest that a calorie is a calorie, regardless of when you eat it. Nutrition experts claim that what causes weight gain is simply eating more calories than you burn, and has nothing to do with when you eat them. However, most night eating is done out of boredom rather than actually being hungry, so it couldn’t hurt to cut down on it, but physically, it isn’t any worse for you than eating during any other time of the day.
7. Eggs Are Bad For Your Heart
Eggs have been known as a nutritional powerhouse for years and years, but recently the yolk of the egg has been demonized as something that is extremely detrimental to your heart due to the amount of dietary cholesterol in the yolk. But in fact, this is not true. Years ago, when scientists learned that high blood cholesterol could be associated with heart disease and other issues, foods that are high in dietary cholesterol were obviously thought to be the leading cause of unhealthy blood cholesterol. Now, many years later, scientists have actually come to the conclusion that cholesterol in food is not the true villain, but the true villain is the trans and saturated fats that have greater effect on the blood cholesterol. So don’t be afraid to eat the yolk!
6. White Meat Is Healthier Than Dark Meat
This great debate of white vs. dark meat has been going on for decades and the common knowledge among most people is that they prefer white meat because it is believed to be healthier. Myoglobin is the culprit of the darkish color in dark meat. Myoglobin is a protein that provides muscles with the oxygen they need during exercise or movement. So since chickens are flightless birds, they use their legs and thighs to get around, making them darker than the breast or wings. While it is true that white meat is leaner and lower in fat, dark meat actually holds more nutrients and contains more iron and zinc than white meat. Any way you slice it, both white and dark meat definitely have their place in any diet.
5. All Fats Are Bad For You
For years, fat was the ultimate bad guy in the food world. We were told to banish it from our diets and avoid it like the plague. But as more scientists and nutritionists have dived into this phenomenon, they have actually discovered that the majority of fats are not only beneficial to you, but also essential to life. The worst of the fats is trans fat, but that is quickly being escorted out of the food supply as it is horrific for you. For a long time, saturated fats were also demonized, but we have now found out they are not quite as bad as previously expected. And fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are actually extremely good for you.
4. Sugar Makes Children Hyperactive
For about as long as we can remember, parents have blamed the hyperactivity or craziness in their child on the amount of sugar they are ingesting. This has been so hammered into our heads that even extremely educated and smart individuals believe that sugar is the direct reason for a child’s hyperactivity, but that is simply not the case. This war against sugar causing hyperactivity started in the ’70s when it was suggested that food additives should be avoided when treating hyperactivity, which soon put sugar under the proverbial microscope. However, in the past few decades or so, many credible studies have been undertaken on the subject and their verdict is that sugar in a diet does not affect a child’s behavior.
3. Gum Takes Seven Years to Digest
This is one of the oldest ones in the book that we bet you heard from your parents or friends a ton of times as a child. We were all deathly afraid of swallowing gum for at least a small portion of our lives because of the repercussions of it sitting in your stomach for seven years. But that is simply not true as most people empty their stomachs 30 to 120 minutes after eating, and that includes gum. While gum seems extremely sticky and annoying, it will not stick to your stomach wall or intestinal tract and simply takes the same path as other food. We are not quite sure where the rumor came from, but it got legs really quickly and became fact for a large portion of the population.
2. Avoiding Gluten Has Healthy Benefits
For the past couple of years, the talk of the town in the trendy food culture has been gluten. And as many as one in three people feel the need to try and avoid gluten altogether in their diet. Gluten is a protein that is found mostly in wheat, barley and rye. One of the anti-gluten people’s arguments is that we haven’t eaten wheat for long enough to adapt to it as a species. According to this theory, we’re intrinsically hunter-gatherers, not bread-eaters. However, all of the significant evidence and data out there shows that a large majority of the population doesn’t need to worry about gluten in the slightest. This is another example of a food fad that has no real truth and will hopefully pass soon.
1. Milk Gives You Strong Bones
And coming in as the biggest food myth that you likely believe is that milk gives you strong bones. Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Milk has calcium. Calcium helps bones. Therefore, milk must help bones,” but that is not the case. Of course, the calcium in milk can be helpful to bones, but there are numerous other ingredients in milk that make it not great for your bones. In fact, a recent report from Sweden suggests that milk doesn’t help our bone strength at all, and that it also might be detrimental to our health. The study finds a correlation between high milk consumption, bone fractures and increased risk of mortality.