We live completely and utterly trapped in diet mentality thanks to the rise of social media and the internet, constantly presenting us with a wild array of nutrition information at the click of a button. There are nutrition facts on the cover of every magazine at the grocery checkout and in most news headlines. These seemingly harmless points can actually have a hugely negative impact by encouraging unhealthy weight-loss and diet culture. Nutrition is by no means “one size fits all”. Sweeping declarations promoting unrealistic nutrition changes are thereby potentially harmful to our health. So, how do we know what to believe?
Myth #1. Eating healthy is expensive
So wrong. Sorry not sorry. You do not have to break the bank to eat a balanced diet. Yes, some health food items are expensive there’s no denying that, but some are also very cheap! Cans of beans and lentils go for approximately $1 each and yield at least 2 servings. Frozen and canned vegetables have great nutritional value and are very affordable. Or for fresh produce, opt for a shop at the local markets on the weekend and reap huge savings. Oats and brown rice are a great healthy staple that won’t break the bank.
Myth #2. You shouldn’t eat after 7pm
Sorry, what? Who knows how this trend caught on. Our bodies don’t know what time it is. Strictly scheduled eating can disconnect us and lead to mistrust in our nutrition needs. Intake will likely occur at different times almost every day and that’s okay! We need to listen to our body (not a clock) to determine when we need to eat and honour our hunger (yes, even if it’s after 7pm).
Myth #3. Canned and frozen foods are not a nutritious as fresh
Fortunately, this is not true either! Frozen fruits and vegetables are snap frozen as soon as they are picked at the peak of their freshness. Further, canning produce can actually help to preserve some of the nutrients that would otherwise be lost in transport if still fresh. These are thereby an excellent, affordable, and definitely nutritious options to keep in the freezer or pantry…not to mention – they practically last forever.
Myth #4. Eating fat makes you fat
This one’s an absolutely doozy. The term “fat” induces a lot of fear in people thanks to recent claims and declarations. Fat is an essential nutrient that everyone needs. Saturated fats should be consumed in small amounts, whereas unsaturated fats are very important for good health and have a place in our diets every day. Also, sidebar – many reduced-fat products contain a lot of added sugars and a highly processed.
Myth #5. Skipping breakfast is a good way to cut calories
How one is not STARVING the moment they wake up is beyond me. Skipping the first meal of the day may in fact decrease the speed of your metabolism and lead to over-indulging later in the day. Eating breakfast should be prioritized for the optimal functioning of both our bodies and brains, and will actually mean we are burning more energy throughout the day with the help of that necessary kick-start.