With all of the information about weight loss on the internet and in your social circle, it can be easy to fall into the trap of certain food myths about weight loss. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tackled this confusion head-on and dispelled a lot of rumors that may help you with your diet plan moving forward.
Here are seven common food myths:
Myth #1: I shouldn't eat any fat.
Fact: Not all fats are created equal! Choose foods that contain healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olive or canola oil, just make sure to exercise portion control.
Myth #2: Cutting out starches is the best way to lose weight.
Fact: Low-carb diets aren't for everyone. There are many foods high in starch such as whole grain cereals, beans and fruits that are actually low in fat and calories while supplying you with the energy you need to exercise.
Myth #3: Going vegetarian will help me lose weight.
Fact: Vegetarians can make bad food choices too. If you decide to take on a vegetarian diet, it is important to realize that this isn't a cure-all for weight loss. On average, vegetarians do eat fewer calories than those who eat meat, but they can also eat high-fat and high-calorie foods (macaroni and cheese anyone?) just like the rest of us.
Myth #4: Skipping meals is a good way to drop pounds.
Fact: People who skip meals tend to binge eat later. It may seem like a good idea to skip breakfast to cut back on calories, but studies have shown that people who eat fewer times during the day tend to become overweight (Pro tip: Here's how often you should eat!) . Eating four to six small meals per day lessen cravings and likeliness to overeat during lunch or dinner.
Myth #5: Drinking More Water Helps You Lose Weight
Fact: While it is important to drink water to stay healthy, simply adding more water to your diet and not changing anything else will not result in weight loss.1 However, if you are swapping sugary/high-calorie drinks out for water then it may contribute to your weight loss. Water can also be a great way to help slow down your eating by keeping you full and satisfied. Eating healthy, cutting calories and moving your body are all important factors in weight loss.
Myth #6: Organic Foods Are Always Best
Fact: Organic simply refers to the way that a particular food is processed, grown and handled. To be considered organic, fresh produce needs to be grown without synthetic pesticides, non-natural fertilizers and other genetically modified organisms. But, did you know that most organic farmers still use pesticides made from natural ingredients? These ‘natural pesticides’ can still be harmful to your health. So while some organic foods are healthy to consume, others may not be considered healthier than their non-organic alternatives.2
Myth 7: Sea Salt is Better Than Table Salt
Fact: Sea salt may seem like a great alternative to table salt because it is considered unrefined and does not contain additives, but in reality it has the same amount of sodium chloride (which many worry causes strokes and heart attacks) as regular salt. Even though table salt is more refined, it is the only salt that contains sufficient amounts of iodine, which is an essential nutrient for good health.3 Next time, instead of substituting sea salt for table salt, try reducing your total salt intake. As a general rule of thumb, you should be consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
When you begin your balanced diet plan, make sure to separate fact from fiction— diet, exercise and keeping track of your calories are great ways to keep your energy up and weight down!