When it comes to healthy eating, the massive amount of information out there can become extremely confusing. Think about all the mixed information we’ve heard for years — carbs cause weight gain, fats are bad, snacking isn’t healthy. With so much contradictory information, it’s hard to know what to believe.
The Top Healthy Eating Myths Debunked
Myth #1 Restrictive Dieting is The Only Way to Lose Weight
Glorifying a restrictive mindset can be harmful both mentally and physically — yet, the calories in calories out method is still one of the top healthy eating myths believed by many.
While calories are an important part of a weight-loss protocol, restrictive dieting isn’t the answer. Obsessing over calories and cutting out certain food groups tends to backfire and can lead to unhealthy eating habits and behaviors like binge eating. Even if you initially lose weight on a restrictive diet, research shows you’re more likely to gain back the weight, plus some!
A balanced lifestyle that involves healthy eating, exercise, stress management, and good sleep hygiene is a healthier and more sustainable approach.
Myth #2 Carbs Cause Weight Gain
With the rise in keto, paleo, and intermittent fasting, carbs have gotten a bad rap. While this is one of the oldest healthy eating myths, unfortunately, it’s still buzzing today.
Not all carbs are created equal, and including healthy carbs in your diet won’t make you gain weight. In fact, nutrient-dense carbs like colorful fruits and veggies are some of the healthiest foods! Plus, other carb sources like root veggies, legumes, and whole grains can provide an abundance of vitamins and minerals and can even help build lean muscle when consumed post-workout.
When consumed as a part of a balanced diet, healthy carbs can support performance, energy, and be a rich source of nutrients. But, be mindful of excess sugar and processed carbs, which all promote inflammation.
Myth #3 Fats Are Bad
Some fear high-fat foods, while others (such as those on the keto diet) can’t seem to get enough. So, what’s the truth behind these healthy eating myths?
Healthy fats (such as unsaturated fats like avocados, seeds, and nuts) are an essential part of a healthy diet. For starters, fat-soluble vitamins depend on fat for nutrient absorption. Plus, healthy fats have been shown to improve cholesterol, benefit heart health, and even promote weight loss.
Healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. But keep in mind, fats contain 9 calories per gram. Moderation is key!
Myth #4 Snacking Isn’t Healthy
There are a lot of healthy eating myths out there, with many negative claims surrounding snacks. Don’t get us wrong — snacking on junk food and mindlessly munching can lead to weight gain and unhealthy eating behaviors — but all snacking isn’t bad.
Research has shown snacks high in protein and fiber can increase satiety and reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin, helping to prevent overeating and even reduce total daily calories consumed.
Plus, having a healthy protein-rich snack throughout the day has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels. Some delicious protein-rich snacks include a protein smoothie, a hard-boiled egg with some almonds and fruit, or a cup of unsweetened Greek yogurt with berries.
Myth #6 Healthy Eating Means You Have to Give up Your Favorite Foods
Healthy eating is all about finding healthy lifestyle habits that are sustainable and enjoyable. Rather than deeming your favorite foods off-limits, try swapping out the not-so-healthy ingredients for some healthier alternatives!
Fact: Depriving yourself of your favorite foods isn’t sustainable. And, with so many healthy foods on the market, there’s no need to give them up! Instead, find healthy alternatives or simple swaps.
Try these healthy swaps for common comfort foods. Zucchini noodles instead of pasta, cauliflower pizza instead of regular pizza (plus, try dairy-free cheese!) Kombucha or seltzer instead of soda, banana nice cream instead of ice cream, roasted chickpeas instead of chips.
Myth #7 The Latest Diet Trends Are Right For Everyone
There’s no such thing as a universal diet that is going to work for everyone. What works for one person may not work for someone else. Everyone has different genetics, health concerns, goals, and nutritional needs.
Fact: There is no perfect diet plan. The only “perfect” plan is one that is tailored to you and your goals! While it may be tempting to follow the newest fad, remember — everybody is different!
There’s No One Size Fits All Approach
With so much contradicting health information, you have to be your own advocate when it comes to finding a plan that works for you. What works for one person may not work for the next. The important thing to remember is there is no one size fits all approach.
Follow your own wellness plan based on your individual goals and needs. This approach is much healthier and more sustainable in the long run!
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