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Myth vs. Reality: Examining the facts behind popular beliefs about nutrition

Myth vs. Reality: Examining the facts behind popular beliefs about nutrition

Do you overeat at the annual July Fourth barbeque or during your family vacation? Myth: To maintain a healthy weight, deprive yourself of all your favorite foods. Reality: Eat your favorite foods during the summer…but enjoy them in moderation! Here are more myths about good nutrition.

Myth: Eggs are bad for your heart.

Reality: The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee dropped its caution on eating eggs and other foods high in cholesterol in 2015; it also rescinded its previous recommendation of limiting cholesterol intake to 300 mg daily. A 2015 study in the American Heart Journal found that even people with coronary artery disease showed no cardiac effect from daily egg consumption.

Myth: Eating carbohydrates leads to weight gain.

Reality: Calories, not carbs, lead to excess pounds, but some carbohydrates are better for you than others. Skip foods with refined flour and added sugar, and focus on fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and whole grains to make healthy carbs work for you.

Myth: Fresh food is always better than frozen.

Reality: While fresh is great if you can buy from local sources, frozen fruits and vegetables are a good alternative to standards found in the grocery store produce aisle since they are flash-frozen at their peak freshness after harvesting. They retain more nutrients than produce that has been picked before it is ripe and spent time traveling from farm to store.

Myth: Everyone should go gluten-free.

Reality: Dropping gluten (a protein in wheat, barley and rye) has become a popular dietary trend in recent years. But unless you suffer from celiac disease or have gluten sensitivity, eliminating food such as whole-grain breads and cereals can reduce needed nutrients and dietary fiber, nutritionists warn. Additionally, commercially produced gluten-free products often have extra sugar, sodium or fats to make up for the often inferior quality of taste.

Myth: Eating late at night will lead to extra pounds.

Reality: What you eat is more important than when you eat it. Late-night snackers tend to go for comfort items such as sweets or chips. Instead, nibble on fruits, vegetables or even Greek yogurt. A recent study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise found that eating protein a half-hour before going to bed helps protein synthesis, rebuilding muscle tissue and promoting muscle growth.