Healthy Food Myths: True and False

Get the scoop on what’s true — and what isn’t — in the world of health foods.

By: Sofia Antonsson

Sometimes, a particular food catches on as a “miracle” while others can get an undeserved bad reputation. As a result, we unfortunately mistake food that could actually be good for us as ones to avoid — and we miss out on some pretty great ways to get in more wholesome nutrients.

So here are a few myths — both true and false — to help you set the records straight:

Coffee Increases Fat Metabolism: False
This myth is doubtful — at least when we're talking about it in relation to weight loss.

The amount of fatty acids in the blood does increase with the intake of caffeine, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the burning of fat increases. Caffeine does seem to provide a somewhat performance-enhancing effect, though.

Take, for instance, if the thought that a cup of coffee before your workout will allow you to exercise harder and longer — and with that thought in mind, you do indeed work harder and longer. Your total energy consumption and fat metabolism will increase, but the increase here is attributed to the harder exercise and not the caffeine.

In other words, drink your coffee because it tastes good, and exercise because your body needs it.

Bananas and Avocados are High in Calories: False
An avocado contains around 230 calories, and a medium-sized banana contains around 150. It is certainly more than many other fruits and vegetables, but compared to, say, a pint of ice cream (which can approach the 1,000 mark), there is no doubt about what’s best when it comes to the calorie count.

Both bananas and avocados are good food — even for those on a diet. They contain beneficial vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.

In other words, no matter what, you should feel good about eating them!

Blueberries are Good for You: True
Blueberries are very rich in substances known as antioxidants — a collective term for a large group of substances found particularly in fruits and vegetables. They protect cells, and play a large role in protecting against diseases.

The antioxidant system of the body is very complex, and the safest source to obtain what we need is through diet — a varied diet with fruits and vegetables in all colours of the rainbow. So eat blueberries and all the other good berries, fruits and vegetables.

Eggs Increase Cholesterol: False
As long as you don’t have unsafe levels of cholesterol in the first place, you can safely include eggs in your daily diet. It is the body's own production of cholesterol that determines the cholesterol level in the blood.

Eggs are a valuable food that contains a good amount of protein and is a source of both minerals and vitamins.

Nuts are Good for You: True
Nuts are very nutritious. They are a natural food with vitamins, minerals and beneficial fats that the body needs. Nuts contribute a lot of energy, and 100 grams of this pleasant food provide as many calories as a full meal, which can help you get re-energized on the go.

Eating at Night Will Cause You To Gain Weight: False
If you have a rhythm or lifestyle that has you eating one of your main meals later in the evening, rest assured: It doesn’t necessarily affect your weight.

What you eat at night is metabolized in the same way as what you eat during the day. Whether you gain, lose or keep the same weight is determined by the total of what you eat in 24 hours and how much you exercise and move around. It is more important to consider how you eat, and to spread your meals evenly throughout the day.

Skipping meals during the day or letting too much time go by between meals can make you extra hungry and overeat or choose the wrong kind of food.

Myths about food become ingrained in our collective minds — just because we’ve heard them before. But the classical advice to eat regularly — with a varied diet rich in fruits and vegetables — and in moderation stands up pretty well. If you add daily exercise and movement to this, you don’t need to worry about any of these myths!


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