These myths have been floating around the cafeterias, dining rooms, kitchens and restaurants we frequent for years. And sadly, we believe many of them just because they sound like they could be true. Don’t fall into one of these food myth traps. Not only will knowing the truth set you free, but it may even help you lose weight.
These common fabrications, like fat-free = weight loss and salads = healthy, sound like they should be true! However, thanks to science and common sense, we’ve found there’s not much truth to these and the eight others below. So before you stock up on fat-free yogurt or eat celery for lunch, check out this list and learn the truth!
Myth: Milk is the best source of calcium
Fact: While milk is certainly a good source of calcium, it is far from being the best and ONLY source of the stuff. In fact, many yogurts, light creams and cheeses have just as high, if not higher, amounts of calcium than milk. In addition, foods you wouldn’t think of, like navy beans and sardines, provide a good source of the bone-builder as well.
Myth: Carbs cause
Fact: No, friends. Carbs do not sneak into your cells and cause you to absorb more fat unless what you are eating is contributing to calorie excess. According to Women Fitness, a study done by the National Weight Control Registry shows that the people who have successfully maintained their weight loss tend to eat diets that are higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat. Carbs in moderation are good for you; carbs in excess (or any food in excess for that matter) will cause you to gain weight if you’re not active.
Myth: Extra protein
makes you strong
Fact: Protein does help build lean muscle, that part is true, but eating just extra protein is not going to be the only reason you feel stronger. Plus, studies have shown that diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates and healthy fats lack key nutrients your body needs for fuel and stability. To build a strong, healthy body, don’t leave out any food groups and be sure to eat enough servings of carbohydrates and fats as well as lean proteins.
Check out these protein-packed breakfast recipes >>
Myth: Celery has
Fact: We’re not sure who made this myth up, but we have our guesses (high school cafeterias, we’re looking at you). First of all, something you consume can’t contain negative calories. Many people believe that it takes more calories to eat a stick of celery than is in it, so therefore, it contains negative calories. Although you do burn calories sitting, eating and digesting, you aren’t going to burn the entire celery stick’s worth of calories just sitting and digesting. Plus, who eats just one? And chances are, you’re dunking that celery stick in ranch, which has a whole lot more calories.
Myth: Fast food is
bad for you
Fact: Yes, many fast-food options are not good for you, however, that doesn’t mean all fast food is bad for you. There are many options at popular fast-food chains that are low in fat, high in fiber and protein and aren’t deep-fried or pumped up with pink slime. For example, Subway (a very popular fast-food place) offers eight subs that are all six grams of fat or less and are made with fresh vegetables, lean protein and light sauces. In addition, McDonald’s and Burger King now offer healthier, good-for-you options, like fresh salads, fresh fruit smoothies and fiber-rich oatmeal and sandwiches.
Myth: Exercise makes
you eat more
Fact: Exercise does burn calories, which may make you hungrier. However, there are no substantial studies done that show people who exercise consume more calories than those who don’t. In fact, according to Women Fitness, research found that those who exercised did not consume any more calories 20 minutes after the workout than those who did nothing.
Myth: Fat free will help
you lose weight
Fact: Eating more of a fat-free labeled food can actually lead to weight gain! This is due to the fact that many of these foods are pumped with extra sugars (resulting in more calories) to offset the lack of fat. This results in many of these foods having the same, if not more, calories than the regular variety. In addition, many people eat more of a food labeled fat-free under the misconception that it’s better for them, leading to calorie excess which can cause weight gain.
Myth: Eating at night promotes weight gain
Fact: This old wives’ tale was passed down from mothers to children to keep their kids from eating junk near bedtime. Although eating a lot before you sleep (when you don’t burn as many calories as you do when you are awake) isn’t necessarily good for your waistline, it’s not going to immediately lead to weight gain. Anytime you eat more than you burn off, you risk gaining weight. It doesn’t matter if it’s at 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.
Myth: All salads are healthy
Fact: Some salads are much healthier than a Big Mac or double cheeseburger, but that doesn’t mean all salads are. In fact, the Fiesta Taco salad at Taco Bell has more calories and fat than a Burger King Whooper according to Eat This, Not That! What makes so many of these salads so high in calories and fat are the toppings, like high-fat salad dressings and tortilla shells. Stick to a salad without any dressings or add-ons for a healthier option.
Check out these healthy salad dressing recipes >>
Myth: Five second rule
Fact: Sorry friends, no matter how short of a time-span your food spends on the floor, it will pick up bacteria. Food picks up bacteria the second it hits the floor. According to the New York Times, a study found that one piece of dropped bologna transferred bacteria almost immediately, especially on wood and tile floors. Over a 24-hour time frame, there were thousands of bacteria on the bologna. So regardless of the time it spent on the floor, you’re going to contract bacteria on your dropped food.