Healthy eating, Top 7 Food Myths

Anybody else wanting to eat healthy? (Notice I didn't say "start your diet.") Seems like it always takes me about 6 weeks after the New Year to get serious about this - AGAIN!

Medical studies show that eating the right foods in the right amounts and exercising regularly reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke.  The trouble is there’s so much conflicting information in the media and on the Internet  that it’s hard to know what to believe.  Here are seven common myths – and the facts you should know – to help us make healthy-eating decisions and fight disease

Myth #1:  All fats are bad.

Truth:  Your body needs fats to give it energy and support cell growth, but not all fats are equal.  Knowing which fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and which ones don’t is the first step in lowering your risk of heart disease.  For example, you should reduce the amount of saturated and trans fats (which are solid at room temperature, like a stick of butter) in your diet and increase the amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (which are more liquid, like vegetable oil.)

Myth #2:  A calorie is a calorie. 

Truth:  Doctors say this myth is one reason why obesity is increasing.  The calories you eat don’t all have the same impact on your body.  100 calories of broccoli are not the same as 100 calories of cupcakes.  It depends on whether you’re eating healthy or unhealthy calories.  


Myth #3:  Carbohydrates make you fat.

Truth:  Eating sugary and refined-carbohydrate rich food such as white bread and doughnuts can raise your risk of problems like heart disease.  But vegetables are carbs too!  The closer the carb is to its original form, the better it is for you. Whole grain brown rice is good, while white rice that has been stripped of its bran and germ doesn’t offer health benefits.

Myth #4:  Red meat is bad for your health. 

Truth:  Red meat has more cholesterol and saturated fat than chicken, fish, or vegetable protein.  However, you can eat it as long as you limit the amount (one portion = three ounces), choose leaner cuts (“round” or “sirloin”), trim the fat, and cook it by baking, broiling, or grilling.


Myth #5:  A gluten-free diet will help you lose weight.

Truth:  Whole grains are good for you, but those that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, are harmful for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.  Other people may lose weight by cutting out gluten, but it’s because they are eliminating foods (like breads, pasta, pastries) that they were probably overeating.   


Myth #6:  Eggs are bad for your heart. 

Truth:  One egg contains 185 milligrams of cholesterol.  For people with normal LDL cholesterol, the daily recommended cholesterol limit is 300 milligrams. The American Heart Association says most people (except those with diabetes or a history of heart problems) can eat one egg per day – if they also watch how much cholesterol they consume from other sources, such as meats, poultry, and dairy products.


Myth #7:  You should drink 8 glasses of water each day.

Truth:  Water keeps your body hydrated (and you also consume it by eating some fruits and vegetables).  But the amount you need varies daily, depending on your gender, size and activity level, as well as things like heat and humidity.  To test it, check the color of your urine.  Clear or light yellow means you’re well hydrated; if it’s a darker color, drink more water.

For more information on ways to eat healthier and fight disease, visit and click on Getting Healthy.
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