10 myths about how you really need to eat right, and why science decides everything here
There are many beliefs in our society that, upon closer examination, turn out to be prejudices. It is better not to eat animal milk, diabetics should not eat fruits, vegetarians will not last long without protein ... Let's figure out with the help of experts in the field of edible and inedible who is our enemy and who is our friend.
We have found and debunked several popular myths about proper nutrition.
At Bemorepanda, we liked the advice of the American writer, educator and health food activist Michael Pollan the best. It has only 7 words. Read with us.
Myth #1: Fresh fruits and vegetables are always healthier than canned, frozen, or dried ones.
Despite the strong opinion that "fresh is better", studies have shown that frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious and healthy as fresh ones.
“They can also help save money and be an easy way to ensure that families have consistent fruits and vegetables,” says Sarah Bleach, former director of food security and health equity at the USDA and professor of public health policy at the Harvard T. X. Chan. "One word of caution: Some types of canned, frozen, and dried foods contain ingredients such as sugar, saturated fat, and sodium, so be sure to read product labels and look for foods that are low in these additives."
Myth #2: All fats are bad.
When studies published in the late 1940s found a relationship between a high-fat diet and high blood cholesterol, experts decided that reducing the total amount of fat in the diet would reduce the risk of heart disease.
By the 1980s, doctors, health experts, the food industry, and the media were reporting that a low-fat diet could benefit everyone, although there was no conclusive evidence that it could prevent cardiovascular disease, overweight and obesity.
Dr. Vijaya Surampudi, assistant professor of medicine at UCLA's Center for Human Nutrition, says that as a result of the negative message about fat, many people - and food manufacturers - have begun to replace calories from fat with calories from refined carbohydrates (white flour and sugar).
Suffice it to recall the effect of low-calorie SnackWell cookies, when people began to overeat, confident that this is acceptable, since the food is dietary. “Instead of helping fellow citizens stay lean, this approach has led to an increase in overweight and obesity,” she explains.
In reality, Dr. Surampudi added, not all fats are bad. While some fats, including saturated and trans fats, can increase your risk of disease, healthy monounsaturated fats (found in olive and other vegetable oils, avocados, some nuts and seeds) and polyunsaturated fats (found in sunflower and other vegetable oils, walnuts) , fish and flaxseed) help reduce the risk.
"Good" fats are also important for providing energy, producing important hormones, maintaining cellular function, and absorbing certain nutrients.
If you see a product labeled "fat-free," don't automatically think it's healthy, says Dr. Surampudi. Instead, opt for foods with simple ingredients and no added sugar.
Myth #3: “Calories in, calories out” is the most important factor for long-term weight maintenance.
It's true that if you take in more calories than you burn, you're more likely to gain weight. And if you're burning more calories than you're consuming, you should be losing weight—at least in the short term.
However, the study does not suggest that eating more food will lead to sustained weight gain, i.e. obesity or obesity.
"Rather, it's the types of foods we eat that may be long-term drivers of these conditions," said Dr. Dariusz Mozaffarian, professor of nutrition and medicine at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
Over-processed foods—refined starch snacks, cereals, crackers, energy bars, baked goods, soda, and sweets—can be especially harmful to weight gain because they digest quickly and fill the blood with glucose, fructose, and amino acids, which are converted into fat by the liver. Instead, maintaining a healthy weight requires a shift from counting calories to prioritizing healthy eating in general—quality over quantity.
Myth #4: People with type 2 diabetes shouldn't eat fruit.
This myth arose because fruit juices, which can raise blood sugar levels due to their high glucose and low fiber content, are confused with whole fruits.
However, it is not. Some studies show, for example, that those who consume one serving of whole fruits per day — especially blueberries, grapes, and apples — have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
According to other scientific sources, if you already have type 2 diabetes, then eating whole fruits can help you control your blood sugar levels.
It's time to dispel that myth, says Dr. Linda Shiue, GP and director of health nutrition and lifestyle at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco: Everyone, including type 2 diabetics, needs healthy nutrients found in fruit - fiber, vitamins , minerals and antioxidants.
Myth #5: Plant-based milk is healthier than animal-based milk.
There is an opinion that vegetable milk, for example, from oats, almonds, rice, is more useful and nutritious than cow's.
“That's just not true,” says Kathleen Merrigan, a professor of sustainable food systems at Arizona State University and a former US assistant secretary of agriculture. “Consider protein: Generally, cow’s milk has about eight grams of protein per cup, while almond milk has one to two grams and oat milk has about two to three grams per cup.”
Plant-based drinks can vary in nutritional value, Dr. Merrigan said, but many contain more added ingredients, such as sodium and sugar, that will degrade health faster than cow's milk.
Myth #6: White potatoes are unhealthy.
Potatoes are often frowned upon in the nutrition community due to their high glycemic index, which means they contain fast-digesting carbohydrates that raise blood sugar levels. However, potatoes may actually be good for your health, says Dafena Altema-Johnson, food community and public health program officer at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Better Future.
It is rich in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and other nutrients, especially when eaten with the skin. In addition, potatoes are inexpensive and available year-round in grocery stores, making this product more affordable. The most useful cooking methods are: frying, baking, boiling and air grilling.
Myth #7: Peanut foods should not be given to infants in their first years of life.
For a long time, experts have been telling new parents that the best way to prevent food allergies in children is to not feed them allergenic foods like peanuts or eggs for the first few years of life. But now, according to allergy experts, it's best to introduce peanut products to your child's diet as early as possible.
If your child does not have severe eczema or an identified food allergy, you can start introducing peanut products (such as water-diluted peanut butter, peanut puffs, or peanut powder, but not whole peanuts) at about 4-6 months, when your child is ready for solid food. “Start with two teaspoons of smooth peanut butter mixed with water, breast milk, or formula two to three times a week,” advises Dr. Ruchi Gupta, professor of pediatrics and director of the Feinberg Northwestern School of Medicine Center for Food Allergy and Asthma Research. . - If your baby has severe eczema, first ask your pediatrician or allergist about whether you can start giving peanut products at about 4 months.
It is also important to feed your baby a variety of foods in the first year of life to prevent food allergies,” says Dr. Gupta.
Myth #8: Plant protein is incomplete.
"Where do you get protein from?" is the #1 question vegans get asked,” says Christopher Gardner, a nutrition scientist and professor of medicine at Stanford University. The myth is that plants are completely lacking in certain amino acids, also known as the building blocks of proteins. But in fact, plant foods contain all 20 amino acids, including the nine essential, essential amino acids.”
“The only difference is that the ratio of these amino acids is not as ideal as in animal products. Therefore, to get an adequate portion of nutrients, you just need to eat a variety of plant foods throughout the day: beans, grains and nuts and consume enough protein in general. Most people in prosperous countries get everything they need: it's easier than many people think, ”says Dr. Gardner.
Myth #9: Eating soy-based foods can increase your risk of breast cancer.
The high doses of plant estrogens in soy, called isoflavones, stimulate the growth of breast tumor cells (according to animal studies).
“In humans, this association has not been confirmed,” says Dr. Frank B. Hu, professor and chair of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan. So far, scientific evidence does not point to a link between soy consumption and the risk of developing breast cancer in humans.
In contrast, consumption of soy-based foods and beverages—such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, miso, and soy milk—may even be protective, reduce the risk of development, and increase survival in this disease. Soy products are also a source of beneficial nutrients associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, including high-quality protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, adds Dr. Hu. “The results of the study are clear: feel free to include soy products in your diet.”
Myth #10: Basic nutritional guidelines change all the time—and by a lot.
“That’s not true,” says Dr. Marion Nestle, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Nutrition, Nutritional Research, and Public Health at New York University. - In the 1950s, the first dietary recommendations for the prevention of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc. contained advice to balance calories and minimize foods high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar. Modern dietary guidelines call for the same.”
Yes, science is developing, but the rules of healthy eating remain unchanged. Writer Michael Pollan summed it up in seven simple words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. According to Dr. Nestle, this council worked 70 years ago and continues to work today. And it leaves plenty of room for eating the foods you love.