Joni Debunks Ten Healthy Eating Myths
10. If something is labeled as "healthy," you can trust that it is. NOT true! Marketing has made choosing healthy food even more confusing. Generally speaking, buy most of your food whole - in its own packaging (think fresh fruit, veggies, even meats or fish fresh whenever possible.) Most health claims are simply there to lure you into buying the product. Real healthy food doesn’t come with a label.
9. Everyone needs more protein. As individuals, we all have different requirements regarding nutrition. Some of us need more protein, some need less, depending on many factors like body type, blood type, activity level and more. Generally speaking, we in the U.S. eat too much protein and we could all benefit from additional fruits, veggies, and whole grains in our diet.
8. Brown bread is better than white bread. While this is the right concept, it is important to find the words whole wheat flour or whole grain on the ingredient list, and it should be listed first.
7. Drinking 100% fruit juice is just as good as eating a piece of fruit. Not true. While you do want to find juice without added sugar, it is not as beneficial as eating the whole fruit. Whole fruit contains fiber and other nutrients, and is digested more slowly than juice, making you feel fuller longer. Limit juice to one 6 to 8 ounce glass a day.
6. Sugar-free snacks are best. If we’re talking about packaged snacks that are marketed as “sugar-free” they most likely contain some kind of artificial, chemicalized sweetener. Make your own homemade snacks instead, and if you're watching your blood sugar, use agave nectar or stevia, both natural sweeteners that don’t affect it. Think fruits and veggies for snacks!
5. “Everyone needs to eat from the ‘dairy’ group.” Dairy isn’t right for everyone. Many people have lactose intolerance, allergies to dairy, or other digestive issues with dairy. It is fine, in moderation, for others. But dairy having its own food group in the USDA food pyramid has more to do with the government supporting the dairy industry than it does them looking out for the nutritional needs of the public.
4. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are good for you, high in fiber, and with any whole food, it’s what nature intended us to eat. So don’t stop eating apples. But the best fruit choice to “keep the doctor away” might be berries - blueberries, raspberries, goji berries - they’re all super high in anti-oxidants, vitamins, fiber - the best choice for improving overall health.
3. Those things you can’t pronounce on the label won’t hurt you. More and more evidence is showing that food additives can cause everything from allergic reactions to major disease over time. Check out this list of things to avoid: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm
2. Organic produce is the same as conventional produce. Some studies actually indicate a higher level of nutrition from the organic version, but the jury is still out. If anything, consider buying organic of the “dirty dozen,” which contain the highest levels of pesticides: celery, pears, peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries, spinach, imported grapes, potatoes, bell peppers, red raspberries.
1. I need to follow the _______ diet. Unless you fill in the blank with your own name, it’s probably not entirely right for you. What you need is to find your own healthy way of eating. “Diets” don’t work. It’s about finding a balanced, happy lifestyle where you nourish your body with food, without depriving yourself entirely of the things you enjoy.