The science behind nutrition is ever changing, and sometimes old research sticks around despite having been disproved by newer and better studies. Take a look at a few common beliefs that are plain wrong, or at least partially misinformed.
Once you get to know the food myths that won’t die, you’ll be able to make better nutritional choices for yourself and avoid the misconceptions that many people still spread. Here are the myths that are still sticking around, despite being busted.
1. Vegetables Are Always Healthier Raw
This is one of the food myths that can still apply for many vegetables, but it’s definitely not a rule for all of them. Vitamin C can be lost while cooking, but other vitamins and antioxidants are better absorbed after cooking. Tomatoes, along with spinach, carrots, cabbage, peppers, asparagus and mushrooms have been found to be more nutritious and healthier after being cooked, so don’t
2. You’ll Be Healthier If You Eat More Superfoods
“Superfood” is a term that has no meaning outside of “high nutritional value”. They’re not magical, and some of them are processed to have added nutrients. Since there’s no regulation when it comes to superfoods, you’re better off including them in your diet moderately. Even if they do contain high quantities of vitamins and antioxidants, that doesn’t mean your body can metabolize them completely. They’re one of the food myths that won’t die, and you might be better off eating organic locally grown produce than imported and expensive superfoods.
3. Eating at Night Leads to Weight Gain
You won’t magically lose weight if you stop eating after 6 or 8 PM. Late night snacks are a problem because they tend to be loaded with sugar, sodium and fat, not necessarily because of the time you eat them. After a big meal, you should allow 2-3 hours before bedtime, so you start digesting it properly. Otherwise, if you stick to your calorie cap for the day, it’s not the end of the world to eat a late dinner or snack.
4. Gluten-Free Foods Are Healthier
Unless you suffer from celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity, removing it completely from your diet isn’t a good idea. The idea that you’ll be super healthy once you kick the gluten is simply one of the food myths that won’t die.
See also: 10 Foods That Ruin Your Mood
5. Microwave Ovens Destroy Nutrients
Some nutrients are affected by cooking your food in the microwave, including sulforaphane, found in broccoli. However, it’s not a general rule that microwave ovens affect the nutritional quality of your food. Their main drawback, as opposed to traditional means of cooking, is the texture of food, not damage to its nutrients.
6. Carbs Are Bad for You
Reducing carbs excessively in your diet won’t make you healthier. The quality of carbs is much more important than the quantity you eat, and this is one of the food myths that won’t die. By eating carbs in the form of whole grains and legumes, you can actually stay healthier and keep your weight under control.
7. Skipping a Meal Is Horrible for Your Metabolism
You don’t actually enter into “starvation mode” after just one skipped meal, but you try to avoid the situation, particularly if it’s breakfast. Your blood sugar can affect your mood when you don’t eat, and you’re more likely to binge later.
8. Saturated Fats Are Always Bad
A high intake of omega-6 fatty acids is much worse for you than saturated fat without a lot of omega-6s. This is one of the food myths that won’t die, despite the fact that cocoa and coconuts include plenty of saturated fats, and they’re considered good for you.
9. You Can Eat Foods with “Negative Calories”
Water has 0 calories, but everything else has positive calories. Celery and other “negative calorie” foods might be low calorie, but your body never spend more calories to digest them than they actually contain.
10. GMOs Are Bad for You
Despite any evidence of a health risk, the idea that GMOs are bad for you is one of the food myths that won’t die. We’ve been genetically engineering food for thousands of years, by using selective breeding. We all deserve to know what we’re eating, so labels should be mandatory, but GMOs aren’t inherently bad.