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.
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.
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).
Some people believe that having smaller, more frequent meals may help them lose weight.
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.
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.
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.
Eggs have been unfairly demonized because their yolks are high in cholesterol.
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.
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.
The low-fat diet promoted by the mainstream nutrition guidelines seems to have been a failure.
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.
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.
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.
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 Source, 18).
This may be the most important reason to include plenty of fiber in your diet — to feed the beneficial bacteria in your intestine.
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.