8 common food myths that we ALL need to stop believing… right now

There are a lot of common food and nutrition myths that frequently make the headlines – and many of us believe them. 

In some cases the facts are just wrong and for others, they may not be as straight forward as you once thought. 

Healthista spoke to nutritionist Rob Hobson to separate the science from the hype and figure out what is fact and what is fiction:

1. High cholesterol foods (like eggs) can raise blood pressure

Previous advice to cut down on your egg intake has since been changed as we now know foods naturally high in cholesterol have very little impact on our blood levels. 

Eggs are super nutritious and have been shown to aid in weight-loss. However, those with diabetes should limit high cholesterol food intake to three times a week. 

 

2. All carbs make you fat

Yes and no. Nutritionally, there is nothing fattening about complex carbs with a low GI, such as oats or wholegrain pasta, which contain four calories per handful. 

When eaten in sensible portion sizes, these foods are a good source of nutrients such as fibre and vitamin B. However, what you choose to eat with these carbohydrates will only add to your calorie count and an excess of any food will lead to weight gain.

 

3. Saturated fat is bad for you

Fats are probably the most complicated of nutrients. All health advice points towards cutting down our saturated fat intake to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

However, new research suggests that saturated fat may not be as strongly linked to heart disease as previously thought. 

 

4. Eating after 7pm will make you gain weight

OK, first of all, your body doesn't just decide to turn food you eat after 7pm into fat. And secondly, although your metabolism may by slower when you sleep, it still continues to digest food in your gut. 

The amount of fat you have is determined by the amount of calories you consume during the day and how active you are. 

 

5. A raw food diet is better for you

Raw foods are highly nutritious and a great addition to your diet but some reasons given about the benefit of a raw food diet don't quite add up. 

The are several antioxidants made more available in cooked food such as lycopene (found in red veggies) and beta-carotene (found in orange and dark green veg). 

However, raw food is a great source of enzymes, and we can't function without them. 

 

6. You need dairy in your diet for calcium

Most people know the importance of including calcium-rich foods in their diet for healthy bones, but you don't soley have to rely on dairy products. 

While milk and cheese provide a readily available source of calcium, other foods rich in this mineral include dark green vegetables, almonds, tofu and ground spices.

 

7. Eating small portions regularly will help you lose weight

While it’s true that your metabolism increases slightly as you eat, it's not enough to cause any significant weight loss. The only way to actively boost your metabolism is with regular exercise and healthy eating.

 

8. Bread causes bloating

Putting gluten-sensitivity and coeliac disease aside, some people are sensitive to wheat, which may cause bloating. However, sensitivity is not that common and wheat allergy is rare.

So if you're bloated it may be due to another reason such as IBS, skipping meals, a lack of good bacteria in the gut and foods rich in fermentable carbohydrates (like onions).

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