NUTRITION

20 Nutrition Facts That Should Be Common Sense

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Common sense should not be taken for granted when people are discussing nutrition.

Many myths and misconceptions are being spread — even by so-called experts.

Here are 20 nutrition facts that should be common sense — but aren’t.

1. Artificial Trans Fats Are Unsuitable for Human Consumption

Trans fats are unhealthy.

Their production involves high pressure, heat, and hydrogen gas in the presence of a metal catalyst.

This process makes liquid vegetable oils solid at room temperature.

Of course, trans fats are more than just unappetizing. Studies show that they are unhealthy and linked to a drastic increase in heart disease risk (12Trusted Source).

Luckily, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned trans fats as of June 18, 2018, though products manufactured before this date can still be distributed until 2020 and in some cases 2021 (3Trusted Source).

Plus, foods with less than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving may be labeled as having 0 grams (4Trusted Source).

2. You Don’t Need to Eat Every 2–3 Hours

Some people believe that having smaller, more frequent meals may help them lose weight.

However, some studies suggest that meal size and frequency have no effect on fat burning or body weight (5Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

Eating every 2–3 hours is inconvenient and completely unnecessary for the majority of people. Simply eat when you’re hungry and be sure to choose healthy and nutritious foods.

3. Take News Headlines With a Grain of Salt

The mainstream media is one of the reasons behind many circulating nutrition myths and confusions.

It seems as if a new study makes headlines every week — often contradicting research that came out just a few months earlier.

These stories often get a lot of attention, but when you look past the headlines and read the studies involved, you may find that they’re often taken out of context.

In many cases, other higher-quality studies directly contradict the media frenzy — but these rarely get mentioned.

4. Meat Doesn’t Rot in Your Colon

It’s entirely false that meat rots in your colon.

Your body is well equipped to digest and absorb all the important nutrients found in meat.

The protein gets broken down in your stomach by stomach acids. Then, powerful digestive enzymes break down the rest in your small intestine.

Most of the fats, proteins, and nutrients are then absorbed by your body. While small amounts of protein and fat may escape digestion in healthy people, there is not much left to rot in your colon.

5. Eggs Are One of the Healthiest Foods You Can Eat

Eggs have been unfairly demonized because their yolks are high in cholesterol.

However, studies show that cholesterol from eggs doesn’t raise blood cholesterol in the majority of people (7Trusted Source).

New studies that include hundreds of thousands of people show that eggs have no effect on heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals (8Trusted Source).

The truth is, eggs are one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods you can eat.

6. Sugary Drinks Are the Most Fattening Product in the Modern Diet

Excess added sugar can be detrimental to health — and getting it in liquid form is even worse.

The problem with liquid sugar is that your brain doesn’t compensate for the calories by eating less of other foods (9Trusted Source).

In other words, your brain doesn’t register these calories, making you eat more calories overall (10Trusted Source).

Of all the junk foods, sugar-sweetened beverages are likely the most fattening.

7. Low-Fat Doesn’t Mean Healthy

The low-fat diet promoted by the mainstream nutrition guidelines seems to have been a failure.

Numerous long-term studies suggest that it neither works for weight loss nor disease prevention (1112Trusted Source13).

What’s more, the trend led to a plethora of new, processed, low-fat foods. Yet, because foods tend to taste worse without the fat, manufacturers added sugar and other additives instead.

Foods that are naturally low-fat — like fruits and vegetables — are great, but processed foods labeled “low-fat” are usually loaded with unhealthy ingredients.

8. Fruit Juice Isn’t That Different From Sugary Soft Drinks

Many people believe that fruit juices are healthy, as they come from fruit.

Though fresh fruit juice may provide some of the antioxidants found in fruit, it contains just as much sugar as sugary soft drinks like Coca-Cola (14Trusted Source).

As juice offers no chewing resistance and negligible amounts of fiber, it’s very easy to consume a lot of sugar.

A single cup (240 ml) of orange juice contains just as much sugar as 2 whole oranges (1516).

If you’re trying to avoid sugar for health reasons, you should avoid fruit juice as well. While fruit juice is healthier than soft drinks, its antioxidant content doesn’t make up for the large amounts of sugar.

9. Feeding Your Gut Bacteria Is Critical

People are really only about 10% human — the bacteria in your intestine, known as the gut flora, outnumber your human cells 10 to 1.

In recent years, research has shown that the types and number of these bacteria can have profound implications for human health — affecting everything from body weight to brain function (17Trusted Source18).

Just like your body’s cells, the bacteria need to eat — and soluble fiber is their preferred fuel source (19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

This may be the most important reason to include plenty of fiber in your diet — to feed the beneficial bacteria in your intestine.

10. Cholesterol Isn’t the Enemy

What people generally refer to as “cholesterol” isn’t really cholesterol.

When people talk about the so-called “bad” LDL and “good” HDL cholesterol, they’re really referring to the proteins that carry cholesterol around in your blood.

LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein, whereas HDL refers to high-density lipoprotein.

The truth is, cholesterol is not the enemy. The main determinant for heart disease risk is the type of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol around — not cholesterol itself.

For most people, dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on lipoprotein levels (21Trusted Source).

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