So You Think You Know: Some Nutrition and Health Myths

The Internet today is filled with countless bits of nutritional advice, but it is important to make dietary and lifestyle changes based on reliable information, not nutrition and health myths. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

The Internet today is filled with countless bits of nutritional advice that claim to help you improve your health. Too often, people find it difficult to distinguish between true and false information. This can often end up causing harm when people implement dietary and lifestyle changes based on bad advice. Knowledge about the nutrition and health myths trending online can help avoid such “unhealthy” mistakes.

Excessive protein consumption

High protein diets are said to be harmful to the liver and kidneys. However, this is not quite true. Proteins are necessary for proper bone health and they reduce the risk of fractures. People who consume fewer proteins are putting themselves at risk of deficiency. “Ensuring adequate dietary protein intake is an important component of bone health in elders,” says one study. When choosing meat, stay away from conventional options and choose free-range organic chicken or grass-fed beef and lamb. Wild salmon is an excellent source of healthy protein and also provides your body with omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and a range of vitamins.

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(Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)
When choosing meat, stay away from conventional options and choose something like free-range organic chicken. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)


Some people load up on vitamin pills and consume them every day believing that it is good for them. However, such people are better off getting their vitamins from traditional food sources rather than pills. Research studies have shown that people who take vitamin A and E supplements suffer from a higher risk of mortality and increased possibilities of cancers. Taking high doses of beta carotene supplements was found to have tripled a person’s chances of getting lung cancer.

Cholesterol is bad

In the past, it was believed that dietary cholesterol was responsible for heart disease. But after several studies showed that dietary cholesterol was not harmful, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans confirmed that it was no longer a nutrient of concern for over-consumption. However, the paranoia surrounding dietary cholesterol continues to exist, with many health-conscious people avoiding such foods out of fear of heart problems.

Low-fat dairy is healthy

Some dairy products come with a label that marks them “low-fat” to indicate that they are healthier than regular dairy options. However, no strong evidence exists to support the claim. In fact, there have been studies that have concluded the exact opposite — that full-fat dairy products are good for health. A study on 3,333 adults found that people whose blood had the highest concentration of fatty acids from dairy showed a 50 percent lower probability of diabetes.

(Image: Screenshot / YouTube)
While no strong evidence exists to support the idea that consuming low-fat dairy is healthy, there have been studies that have concluded that full fat dairy products are good for health. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

Fish is good

Fish is said to be good for health due to the omega-3 fatty acids. But what you need to know is that not all fish are equal. For instance, tilapia has a poor omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio, which makes it a far worse option than bacon and is problematic for people suffering from asthma, allergies, heart disease, arthritis, and so on. Farmed fish have been found to have high levels of mercury, which can be dangerous, especially for pregnant women.

Minimize consumption of carbs

“Carbs are bad” is the mantra of modern weight-loss gurus. There is some truth to the argument that over-consumption of carbs can lead to obesity and heart disease. However, not all carbs are the same. Processed carbs like white flour, pasta, sweets, etc., can be harmful. But the carbs you gain from all foods and veggies should not be mistaken as being harmful. For instance, food sugars are digested at a slower rate than refined sugars, thus having a lesser effect on blood glucose levels.

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