It's the first of spring. What better time to clear out dusty old myths for the truth... Here are some of the ones I've heard recently. Take a look and let me know the other ones you're wondering about in the comments.
Myth #1: You need to do a detox diet
While detox diets are very popular, there's little evidence that they actually improve the body's ability to detoxify itself. The liver, kidneys and skin are designed to remove impurities from the body for us.The best way to achieve lifelong health is to eat a diet of plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and adequate hydration daily not just 3-7 days out of the year.
Myth #2: Frozen fruits and vegetables are not as nutritious as fresh
Fortunately this is not true. Frozen produce can be just as nutritious as fresh and sometimes more so because they are picked and quickly frozen after harvest.Fresh fruits and vegetables can sometimes be expensive especially if you tend to forget them and later find them spoiled in the refrigerator. Stock up on frozen fruits and veggies but skip those with added sugar or sauces which add unnecessary fat and calories. If you have access to local, seasonal fresh fruits and veggies, take advantage as this is a great way to maximize flavor and nutrition.
Myth #3: Eating after 7 p.m. makes you gain weight
Eating after 7 p.m. does not make you gain weight. Eating too many calories all day long and not balancing them with activity does. With that being said, be cautious. Many people tend to eat large portions of popcorn, chips, ice cream and other snacks after dinner or while watching television. Too much of this behavior can certainly lead to weight gain.
Myth #4: Eggs are bad for your cholesterol
Good today, bad tomorrow, the reputation of the humble egg has been through the wringer and back again. However, current research suggests that one egg a day is OK for most healthy people. Eggs are a great protein source and full of essential nutrients like vitamins A and D, B vitamins for energy and lutein which supports eye health. Before you start making that 3-egg omelet, consider this, one whole egg contains about 173mg of cholesterol (egg whites are cholesterol-free). The recommendation is to limit cholesterol intake to less than 300mg per day.
Myth #5: Carbohydrates make you fat
Carbohydrates include all bread, pasta, rice, fruits, starchy vegetables, milk and sweets. To think of cutting all of these from your diet is just not realistic or advisable. Carbohydrates are essential for good health and are the body's preferred source of energy. Instead of a big plate of pasta or rice, a pint of ice cream or bag of chips, choose healthy carbs like whole grains, beans and fruit and practice portion control at every meal. Get more information on serving sizes by visiting MyPlate.gov.
Bottom Line: Eating too much of any food, not just carbs, can lead to weight gain.
Image courtesy t6mdm on flickr.