It may seem like we’re obsessed with weight these days, and the media with all the diet myths are largely to blame. But in reality, humans have been obsessed with their weight for centuries. I’m sure history had it’s own diet myths but today they are more prevalent than ever.
In some cultures, women ate lard and moved very little to get “full” bodies. And just in the last century we’ve had The Sleeping Beauty Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, The Cigarette Diet, countless pills, drinks, and wraps, and let’s not forget – The Atkins Diet.
But in the end, we can’t escape one simple fact: healthy weight comes down to healthy diet and exercise. Sometimes, things are not quite that simple, so here are 10 diets myths that you probably believe – busted!
Diet Myth 1.
You Only Want to Eat the Egg Whites
The yolk of the egg contains 40% of the protein, and more than 90% of the nutrients like iron, calcium, and B vitamins. Not to mention the vitamins A,D,K, and E – all found in the yolk. Starving yourself of nutrients to save a few calories is not a good idea, and the effect on cholesterol is considerably lower than we were told for decades.
Diet Myth 2.
Milk Can Help You Lose Weight
This is based on a couple of studies done in the mid-2000s, but other studies suggest no effect at all, or even the reverse effect. There is even some evidence to support that those who drink 1% or skim consume more calories per day than those who don’t.
Considering the other possible negative effects of milk, it is best not to use it as a dietary staple.
Diet Myth 3.
Yogurt is Always the Healthier Option
Many times, yogurt is really just dessert in disguise, because of all the sugar (and sodium) packed into one serving. It depends greatly on the type of yogurt that you choose.
Stick with plain Greek yogurt (no sugar added) instead. If you miss the flavored variety, try adding your own fruit to it. You can even add a bit of honey or (even better) stevia to the mix for that extra sweetness.
Diet Myth 4.
Diet Foods Help You Lose Weight
This is almost always false. Most items marked as diet, low-fat, no sugar, and low-carb are packed with artificial sweeteners, calories, artificial flavors and trans fats. Not only this, but they are severely lacking in nutrition and are not as satisfying as the same-size serving of whole (real) foods.
In fact, it has been shown that those eating “diet” foods tend to makeup the caloric intake twofold elsewhere – even though they aren’t aware of it! Not to mention the disastrous effects of diet soda.
Steer clear of diet foods and just eat real, whole foods and try to make as many of your meals from scratch as possible.
Diet Myth 5.
The Less You Eat, The Less You’ll Weigh
Ok, on an extreme scale this is one of the diet myths that is true. However, starving your body of calories and nutrients actually raises stress hormones, and causes your body to store more fat – thus you gain more weight. That’s the bad news – the worst part is your body will start consuming your muscle.
The best rule of thumb is to eat (healthy) meals the right size. You want to be full but not stuffed. And don’t fear snacks – just make sure they are healthy!
Diet Myth 6.
Never Eat Carbs at Night
“Carbs at night, never get light” might be catchy, but it’s also wrong. What matters most is the type of carbohydrate you eat. Fiber-rich complex carbs are absolutely essential to a healthy body, it’s the simple carbs that cause all the problems. A good rule is to avoid all white foods (except cauliflower).
No more white breads, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc. If you can’t or don’t wish to limit grains, switch to the brown or “whole” versions and give sweet potatoes a try!
Diet Myth 7.
Carbs Make You Fat
Just as above, carbs DO NOT make you fat. Even simple carbs could have their place in a very active person. Complex carbs aid in digestion, provide energy for the body, boost metabolism, fill you up faster (and keep you full longer), and even help you sleep better. All of these things actually HELP weight loss.
Diet Myth 8.
Fruit Has Way Too Much Sugar
Yes, fruit has sugar. Yes, some fruits even have “a lot” of sugar. However, they also contain fiber and tons of nutrients that your body craves. The vitamin C in lemons, oranges, strawberries, pineapple, and more actually helps to speed up fat metabolism.
Fiber helps with digestion and regular bowel function, and it has also been shown that eating fruit helps curb that “sweet tooth”, helping you prevent that extra caloric and sugar intake.
Moderation is key, especially those fruits high in fructose.
Diet Myth 9.
Fat Makes You Fat
Ah, fat. The one demon that every loves to hate. But here’s the problem: it turns out, fat DOESN’T make you fat.
I’ll say it again: FAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU FAT. This is one of the diet myths that has been totally enveloped in lies and half truths.
In fact, we need fat to survive and be our healthiest, happiest selves. Just like carbs, it depends on which kinds of fat we are consuming.
“Good fats” actually promote healthy skin, provide fatty acids our brains and hearts need, help us absorb nutrients from our food, and provide a “longer burn” energy.
“Good fats” are found in grass feed beef, free range poultry, wild caught salmon, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed and raw coconut oil, avocados (and avocado oil), eggs, flaxseed, most seeds, almost all nuts, and more.
“Bad fats” are those saturated fats from CAFO meats, processed meats, trans fatty acids and many seed oils. They clog your arteries, raise blood pressure, cause inflammation and yes – increase your weight.
“Bad fats” are found (in varying quantities) in most animal processed products – meat, skin, and high-fat dairy. And the true worry is with the unnatural (lab-produced) saturated fats and trans fatty acids. Margarine is an excellent example of this.
Diet Myth 10.
Salad is Always the Healthy Option
Salads can be the downfall of many well-meaning individuals seeking a healthier life. For example, a McDonald’s Southwest Crispy Chicken Salad has 480 Calories, with 24 grams of fat. McDonald’s Bacon McDouble Cheeseburger has 440 Calories, with 22 grams of fat.
This can be said for many salads offered at restaurants and fast-food places – and it’s because of toppings. Deep-fried chicken on top of a salad does not make for a healthy meal! Neither does heap of salad dressing. Try to keep salads to JUST vegetables (and perhaps some fruit) and make your own vinaigrette dressings to use.