Nutrition fads never fail to rise nowadays so we went to the experts. Here are 13 myths debunked by our own AdvantageCare Physicians’ nutritionists.
- Brown sugar contains fewer calories than white sugar.
This is a common myth that is actually false. Both brown sugar and white sugar contain the similar amount of calories per serving. It is best to enjoy your favorite sweetener in when trying to limit excess sugar for weight management and good health.
- I use brown sugar, which is better than white sugar.
If you have diabetes, brown sugar will still raise your blood sugars the same way white sugar would. The only difference is that brown sugar is less processed than white sugar since it contains molasses, which brown in color, and has some minerals. As mentioned above, they are both the same calorically.
- Whole wheat bread has fewer calories than white bread.
100% whole wheat bread contains the same calories per serving as white bread. Whole wheat bread does contain a higher amount of dietary fiber, which helps to keep our digestive system healthy. Keep in mind that added nuts and seeds are among the types of ingredients that can affect total calories. So don't forget to read food labels before buying.
- Drinking 100% natural fruit juices is a healthy beverage option over soda.
Natural juices actually do contain a sugar and calories. An cup of orange juice is equivalent to the sugar and calories of two oranges. Check the labels before you take a sip.
- Detoxing and special diets are great for weight loss and ridding the body of toxins.
The body is fully capable when healthy of removing toxins on its own via the liver, kidneys, skin. There is no evidence that specific diets can improve this. Eating healthy balanced meals will assist this process and detoxing is not a weight loss meal plan. Additionally, detox commercial products may be harmful to your health.
- Skipping meals can help you lose weight.
Skipping meals actually slows your metabolism. If there is more than a 3 to gap in between your meals, your body will go into starvation mode and burn calories slower.
- You need to eat 5 times a day.
You should eat only when you are physically hungry. Generally, eating balanced meals about every 4 to 5 hours should suffice but occasionally healthy snacks in between are needed in order to satiety and prevent overeating at meals.
- You cannot eat fruit when you have diabetes.
All fruit contains sugar in varying amounts but they also contain vital nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber. If you have diabetes, fruits can be eaten in moderate portions spread throughout the day. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about the right about of fruit you should be eating.
- Smoothies are healthy.
This isn’t always true. Smoothies often contain multiple servings of fruit mixed with juices that can add a lot of sugar and calories. Additionally, smoothies often do not contain sufficient protein and fiber to keep you satisfied. It is easy to consume more than 30 calories with a smoothie that will not fill you up.
- Frozen fruit is unhealthy compared to fresh fruit.
Frozen fruit can be a healthy option during winter months when many fruits are not in season. Often, fruit is frozen at its peak ripeness which means that frozen produce can contain as much, if not more, of the vitamins and minerals found in their fresh counterparts. But be cautious - check the nutrition label to ensure that no additional sugar or sodium has been added.
- Brown eggs are healthier than white eggs.
Brown eggs are often more expensive in the but it is not because they are healthier than white eggs. The color of the egg depends on the color of the hen that laid it. If it had brown feathers, it produced eggs that are brown. If the chicken had white feathers, it produced eggs that are white. Often times the difference in price has to do with the eggs being organic, from chickens or chickens, not on their coloring.
- Nutritional supplements are safer than taking medications because they are “natural.”
This isn’t always the case. Before you replace any of your medications with nutritional supplements, make sure to talk to your doctor. Don’t stop taking your medications until your doctor tells you so.
- Drink water if you’re experiencing low blood sugar.
If you are experiencing low blood sugar, consume 15 grams of carbohydrates, not just water. 15 grams of carbohydrates is the equivalent of ½ cup of juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar, or 3 glucose tablets. After taking something, wait 15 minutes and check again to make sure that your blood sugar has gone up properly.
These myths were debunked by our registered dietitian nutritionists, Tracey Sharpe, Georgia Richardson, Alana Fiorentino, Jennifer Kim, and Sandra Stein. You can schedule an appointment with any of our dietitians featured here at acpny.com/appointment.