Some nutrition myths refuse to die. Despite all the studies being published these days, bits of misinformation continue to guide the practices of fitness buffs all over the world.

Let’s end a few of them.

1. Brown bread is whole grain

Many brown breads are just that: bread that has been made brown by adding coloring. For the truth (we hope) read the list of ingredients. If it doesn’t say ‘whole’ before wheat, rye, barley or corn, then it is probably made from refined versions of these grains.

Bear in mind, bread labeled with other terms such as ‘multigrain’, ‘100 per cent wheat’, ‘cracked wheat’, ‘bran’, and ‘made with whole grains’, may still be refined. Some whole grains may not even be brown, so to be safe, look out for ‘100 per cent whole grain’ and read the ingredient list.

2. Calorie counting solves all your problems

Simply counting calories may not give you the results you are expecting. Let’s face it, not all calories are equal, and you need some kind of balance if you are to remain healthy. Pay attention to the source of your calories.

Not only do you need to find a balance between the amount of fats, protein, and carbohydrates, you also need to go for quality calories. That is more whole foods and less processed ones.

A study by Pomona College showed that women burned about 50 per cent more calories when they consumed whole foods versus highly processed foods with similar amounts of carbs, protein and fat.

3. Healthy foods taste bad

It’s hard to believe that in 2017, this one is still alive. Many people still believe that to eat healthy, mealtime has to be a battle against your taste buds. There are many recipes and preparation methods that don’t involve deep frying that taste great and are easy to prepare.

Experiment. Try something that’s not deep fried or overly sweetened.  With herbs and spices and flavorful additives such as fresh-squeezed citrus, you can eat healthy yet tasty foods every day.

4. Fruits will make you fat

Many people still believe that because fruits are sugary, they will make you fat. Overdoing it with any food is a bad idea, but the health benefits of fruits exponentially outweigh the minuscule risk that they will be a source of extra pounds.

In fact, studies have shown that even eating an extra serving of fruits daily will not pack on pounds. So go ahead, replace those processed snacks and desserts with fruit.

5. You ‘crave’ because you lack nutrients

While we like the excuse of craving donuts because we lack something, most cravings have nothing to do with nutrient deficiency. No, you don’t crave fried chicken because you lack feathers.

This doesn’t mean cravings are not something to take seriously but they are most often caused by non-nutrition triggers like stress, emotions, and social interactions, not missing nutrients.

6. Low-fat for weight loss

When trying to lose fat, it may seem logical to cut fats from your diet, but it doesn’t work that way. You lose weight when you are in a calorie deficit, but that doesn’t mean eliminating any nutrient from your diet. Instead, focus on balance, consuming healthy fats, and, of course, portion control.

7. Working out makes eating what you want OK

Many people work out under the impression that it will save them from terrible eating habits. We all know people who work out and are unable to lose any weight or even stop themselves from gaining. The problem is almost certain to be bad eating habits.

The logic is simple: If you are eating more than you need, then you will gain weight as excess food is stored as fat.

8. If it says ‘diet’, go for it

It’s easy to get fooled by the ‘diet’, ‘low-fat’, and ‘zero sugar’ labels, but many of these items are filled with unknown ingredients that are harmful to the body. In addition, cutting the amount of fat or sugar in processed foods usually results in them being replaced with – you guessed it – fat or sugar to improve the taste of what is left.

And in case you are thinking, ‘Well, I’m just trading some calories for others’: No, you aren’t. Numerous studies have shown the ill effects of overly processed foods on our bodies.

Take soda, for example. While diet soda provides zero calories, it may not help with weight management or health. Studies by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and the American Heart Association showed that among adults 65 and older, increasing intake of diet soda led to increases in belly fat as well as a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and vascular-related deaths.

Water is all the diet drink you need.

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