Home / Diets / Common Food and Diet Myths

Common Food and Diet Myths

Some common food myths have been around for so long that it is hard to dispel them, especially when myths enter the mainstream through advertising which diet plans use. Rumours perpetuate as they are spread, leaving many people under the illusion that margarine is a healthy substitute for butter, all fat should be spurned from our food choices, and eating potatoes makes you fat.

It is possible that if you’ve ever been on a weight loss diet you may even have fallen for one of these myths and cringed as you ate huge amounts of grapefruits daily or forced yourself to down just one more cupful of cabbage soup, which may have seemed nice on day one but by day 6 sends you reeling in a nauseated panic.

Taking a look at some of these myths shows just how ridiculous some of them are. Grapefruits are indeed one of the healthy citrus fruits and eating them will increase your intake of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. However they don’t have magical fat burning properties and you will most likely get bored of eating them at every meal time. If you want the citrus hit without the myth then vary your citrus fruit intake to incorporate lemons, oranges and limes as well. None of them will burn fat cells either but are refreshing and versatile and one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

The idea that potatoes make you fat was disproved long ago when they were practically the staple food in Ireland and the people weren’t exactly overweight. Potatoes are carbohydrates which are a necessary part of ones diet to give energy.

One of the biggest myths which exist concerning foods is that fat is bad for us and should be eliminated from healthy diets. This one is total rubbish as we do need to derive a certain amount of calories from fats. Omega 3 fats are essential for healthy brain function, and the type of monounsaturated fat found in olive oil and avocados reduce the risk of heart disease and some kinds of cancer.

Diets which do nothing but concern themselves with weight loss often overlook the healthy aspect of many foods we need simply because they contain calories. Therefore we have some rather stupid notions that all fat should be avoided yet diet sodas are fine to consume.

This myth leads onto the butter versus margarine debate, as the latter was thought to be better for us than butter. In terms of calories they are about the same but margarine is often rightly referred to as plastic fat as it generally comprises hydrogenated fats which are indeed best avoided as they do lead to heart disease. Olive oil is a much healthier choice than either butter or margarine.

Trans fats are so bad that some places have now banned their use, such as New York, but they are very handy for the food industry to use as so cheap. Most places still use Trans fat to fry junk food in.

Anyone wanting to lose weight would be better off checking the food labels before following the myths of diet gurus. There are no magic foods to make you lose weight. There are foods which are of little or no nutritional value which are best avoided, and these are generally the processed ones which come with a handy label attached.