Diet and Nutrition Myths

​​Myth: Sugar Causes Diabetes

Truth: If you do not have diabetes, sugar intake will not cause you to develop the disease. The main risk factors for type 2 diabetes are a diet high in calories, being overweight and an inactive lifestyle. If you have diabetes, you need to watch your intake of sugar and carbohydrate. A registered dietitian can help you to manage your blood sugar level.

Myth: All Fats are Bad

Truth: Everyone needs fat, and it aids in nutrient absorption, nerve transmission and maintenance of cell membranes. Fats are not created equal. Some fats promote good health while others increase the risk for heart disease. Try to replace the bad fats (saturated and trans) with the good fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). When consumed in excessive amounts, fat contributes to weight gain, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Myth: Brown Eggs are more Nutritious than White Egg

Truth: Eggshell color has nothing to do with the quality, flavor, nutritive value, cooking characteristics or shell thickness of an egg. Eggshell color only depends on the breed of the hen.

Myth: Avoid Seafood to Lower Cholesterol

Truth: The dietary cholesterol founds in seafood, meat or eggs has little effect on blood cholesterol in most people. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are the most important factors that raise blood cholesterol.

Myth: Avoid Carbohydrate to Lose Weight

Truth: Carbohydrates do not cause weight gain. Low carb diets erroneously state that carbohydrates promote insulin production, which results in weight gain. The truth is that most low carb diets are also calorie restricted. No matter what types of food are eaten, if you decrease your caloric intake by 500 calories per day, you will lose one pound per week. The initial weight loss seen in these diets is caused by the body burning stored glycogen (carbohydrate) for energy, which releases water so the loss is only a water shift and not an actual weight loss.

Myth: Brown Sugar is Better than White Sugar

Truth: Brown sugar is actually white sugar with added molasses. Brown sugar contains minute amounts of minerals, but the difference in its mineral content from white sugar is not enough for added nutritive value in the amounts that sugar is consumed.

Myth: Avoid Nuts because they are Fattening

Truth: Nuts are high in the good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and plant sterols, which have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. They are high in calories so should be eaten in moderation, but they do have a place in a healthy diet.

Myth: Eating for Two is Necessary during Pregnancy

Truth: It is recommended that women increase their caloric intake by 100 calories in the first trimester and 300 calories in the second and third trimesters. This is not the same as doubling your intake. Instead, it is like adding an extra snack or bowl of cereal to your day. A daily prenatal multivitamin is also recommended during pregnancy.

Myth: Skipping Meals can help you Lose Weight

Truth: When you skip a meal, your body slows down your metabolism to compensate for the lack of food. At the next meal, it is common to overeat causing greater total caloric intake than if the meal was not skipped. A better approach is to eat small, frequent meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar balanced.

Myth: Red Meat is Bad for Health

Truth: Red meat is not bad for your health, but you should choose leaner cuts of beef and pork. For beef, choose eye of round, top round roast, top sirloin and flank; for pork, choose tenderloin and loin chops. Poultry can contain more saturated fat than lean meats depending on preparation so make sure to remove the skin and grill or bake.