Nutrition Myths: Separating Fact From Fiction
The internet is full of myths and misinformation about nutrition. It's hard to know what to believe, and even harder to sort through all the conflicting information to find the truth. Here are some common myths about nutrition and the actual facts:
Eating carbs makes you gain weight
Fact: Complex carbs like those found in whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet. Carbs are your body's main source of energy, and they're essential for proper brain function.
Eating fat makes you fat
Fact: Eating fat won't make you fat, but eating too many calories will. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet, and it helps your body absorb vitamins and minerals. Just be sure to choose healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
Skipping meals helps you lose weight
Fact: Skipping meals can lead to weight gain over time. When you skip meals, your body goes into “starvation mode” and slows down its metabolism. This means that when you do finally eat, your body will store the extra calories as fat instead of burning them off.
Low-fat diets are always the best choice
Fact: This isn’t necessarily true. Low-fat foods may contain fewer calories, but they can also be loaded with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Eating a balanced diet that includes healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil can help you stay full longer and provide essential nutrients.
Eating late at night causes weight gain
Fact: Eating late at night isn’t the cause of weight gain. What matters is the overall number of calories you consume in a day, not when you eat them. Eating too much and making poor food choices can lead to weight gain regardless of what time of day it is.
It’s important to get most of your calories from protein
Fact: While protein is an essential part of a healthy diet, getting too much can be harmful. Protein should make up 10-35% of your daily calorie intake, with the rest coming from carbohydrates and fats. Eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods is key to good nutrition.
Eating fruit is bad for you because it has too much sugar
Fact: Fruit contains natural sugars, but they also provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can actually help regulate blood sugar levels. Eating an apple or banana with a meal can help slow down digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer. So don’t be afraid to enjoy a piece of fruit every now and then.
Calories are all that matters for weight loss
Fact: While calories do play a role in weight loss, they aren’t the only factor. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is essential for sustainable weight loss. Exercise is also important — not just to burn calories, but to build muscle and boost metabolism.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Fact: While breakfast is certainly an important meal, it’s not necessarily the most important. Eating a nutritious and balanced diet throughout the day is essential for good health. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and staying active. A healthy lifestyle overall is key for long-term health.
You need to eat small meals more often
Fact: Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help keep hunger at bay and regulate blood sugar levels. But you don’t have to be strict about it — as long as you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet throughout the day, it doesn’t matter if you eat three large meals or five small ones. The key is finding what works best for you and sticking to it.
Low-fat and diet foods are healthy
Fact: Low-fat and diet foods may contain fewer calories, but they’re often made with added sugar or artificial sweeteners. These can cause long-term health problems like weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Eating real, natural foods is the best way to get all the nutrients your body needs for good health.
Supplements are a gimmick
Fact: When taken in the correct dosage and format, supplements provide a wide variety of beneficial effects. For example, taking a multivitamin can ensure you’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Still, it’s important to consult with your doctor before starting any supplement regimen. Natural foods should always be the foundation of a healthy diet.
Willpower is how you lose weight
Fact: While willpower is an important factor when it comes to weight loss, it’s not the only one. Developing healthy eating habits and exercising regularly are key to sustainable weight loss. Additionally, having a supportive environment — like friends and family who encourage you — can make a big difference in your success. So don’t rely on willpower alone — create a healthy lifestyle that works for you.
Medical weight loss is for people who are desperate
Fact: Medical weight loss is actually for people who want to make a long-term lifestyle change. It involves working with a physician-led team to develop an individualized plan for your health and fitness goals. This can help you learn how to eat healthily, exercise effectively, and stay motivated through the process. Don’t let the stigma of “desperation” scare you away from getting the help you need.
We all have the same nutritional needs
Fact: Everyone is unique and has different dietary needs. Factors like age, gender, activity levels, lifestyle, and health conditions can all affect your individual nutrient requirements. It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about what type of diet will work best for you. A registered dietitian can also help you customize a nutrition plan that meets your needs and goals.
Wondering how to get started?
With all the conflicting information out there about nutrition, it can be hard to know where to begin. The best way to sort through it all is to consult with qualified health professionals at Physician's Plan. We can help you separate fact from fiction and develop a plan that's right for you for the long term. Give us a call today to get more information.