The internet reaches so far and wide that it can be challenging to find accurate information about health and nutrition. It’s hard to determine what’s right, what’s been written with an agenda, and where the truth lies. Not everything you read online about health and nutrition is written by an expert, and while we’re not claiming to be the ultimate experts here, we do want to debunk some of the more common myths surrounding health and nutrition.
Disclaimer: None of the following information is intended to replace the advice of a trained physician. If you have concerns, please contact your primary care provider.
1. Drinking Milk Causes Mucus
This is a long-standing myth with no scientific backing. Some people claim that drinking milk, especially while they have a cold, makes mucus and saliva harder to swallow. There may be a textural aspect at play here, but in general, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
If you are concerned that drinking milk will cause you to be more congested, the best brand of milk to buy is one with a lower fat content, like one percent or skim milk, as these variations are thinner in consistency than whole milk.
2. Eating at Night Causes Weight Gain
Not true. What matters is what you eat, how much you eat, and how much physical activity you get throughout the day. Of course, you will still want to avoid eating high-calorie, high-fat foods close to bedtime, as doing so can cause indigestion and sleep issues that can leave you groggy and cranky the next day.
2. All You Have to Do is Eat Fewer Calories
While creating a calorie deficit is the right idea, taking in fewer calories isn’t the only factor that affects weight loss. Every body is unique, and things like hormone imbalances, genetics, and medications can and do affect whether a person can lose weight easily or not.
If taking in fewer calories each day isn’t resulting in weight loss, perhaps you have an underlying issue keeping the weight from coming off. Talk to your doctor for assistance.
3. Fats Make You Fat
Not all fats are created equal. In fact, your body relies on fat for energy, so you need to take in a sufficient amount each day. With that said, good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) help prevent heart disease and stroke. Bad fats (trans and saturated fats) – like those found in red meat, high-fat dairy, and processed foods – are unhealthy and should only be consumed in moderation.
4. Salt (Sodium) Is Bad for You
Sodium is a vital mineral our bodies need for proper muscle and nerve function. In moderation, it is essential. In excess, however, salt can cause high blood pressure and kidney damage. So, take it easy, but don’t cut salt out entirely unless advised to do so by your doctor.
5. Breakfast Is the Most Important Edible Moment in Your Day
This used to be standard advice, but recent research suggests that adults may not need to eat breakfast to set a healthy precedent for the day. In fact, scientists have found that intermittent fasting may offer more health benefits than breakfast, especially if your goal is to lose weight.
6. Weight Loss Supplements Are Safe
Since most weight loss products aren’t vetted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you can’t be sure that they’re safe or effective. Just because the label says “natural” doesn’t mean it is automatically okay.
The internet is full of information about health and nutrition, making it difficult to know what to believe. Hopefully, debunking the myths above helps you discern some truth.