4 Subtle Food Myths Busted
What is a subtle food myth?
Well, if you switch to Google you almost certainly won’t find much. It’s not exactly an official term. But it’s a description I’m using for perceptions that take hold over time. For instance, you would possibly consider the thought that spinach gives you big muscles. It’s not just something we saw in old Popeye cartoons, but something kids perpetuated for years.
Similarly, you might think of the idea that milk automatically leads to “strong bones,” or that carrots help you see well at night. Often, there’s at least some truth to these perceptions – but on some level, they’re myths, at least in their simplicity.
Here I wanted to point to four such subtle myths, and means their flaws for the advantage of your own nutrition. These are foods that science simply says we should treat differently than we (or at least many of us) do.
Carbs Make You Fat
That’s not a particularly nice way of phrasing it – we might tend to say that carbs contribute to weight gain – but I suppose that’s semantics. At any rate, this is how it was put in another article about common food myths, which took care to point out that there’s nothing inherently fattening about carbohydrates.
This is a myth that took hold with the Atkins Diet revolution, and which has come back to some degree with the paleo craze. In a way, it’s not without its merits. You probably know someone who “just cut out bread and pasta” or something of the likes of and dropped 10 pounds in two months. Good for them! Those generally can be fattening foods. But to make the blanket assumption that all carbs make you fat means you’re also steering clear of healthy grains, fruits and vegetables, beans, and, well, you get it.
These are terrific foods for giving you energy (which you need to exercise properly) and fiber (which helps you burn fat), among other things. So, while curtailing on bread and pasta are often an honest idea, the thought that “carbs cause you to fat” automatically is ludicrous.
Celery Burns Calories
Truth be told, I’m not sure where this myth actually came from. I can’t trace it back to a cartoon like Popeye or to “Got Milk?” commercials. But it is something I’ve heard from many different people over the years, and if I’m being honest, it’s something I’ve repeated to others.
The myth, specifically, is that because celery is so sinewy, it’s a touch little bit of a pain for the body to digest. And, in working so hard to break down those pesky veggie sinews, the body supposedly burns more calories than it puts into your body to begin with.
The phrase for this phenomenon is that celery has “negative” calories. This just isn’t true – which suggests you shouldn’t necessarily start devouring celery if you’re trying to find a calorie-negative thanks to snack (there really is not any such thing). However, while I’d recommend you not rely on celery, it’s still a low-calorie food with a lot of fiber content (which actually does help you to burn fat). So do eat it – just don’t assume it’s doing your job for you.
Fruit Is For Cartoons
Believe it or not, this one is pretty deeply ingrained for tons folks . Sure, we all know that food is usually healthy – but believe it for a second. Can’t you picture Aladdin rolling an apple down his arm and popping it off his elbow? Did you maybe get a kick out of South Park’s “member berries” in 2016? Perhaps you’ve played Fruit Ninja? Some people have been playing cartoonish fruit-related slot machines for literally decades.
In fact, one still exists online, promising a bonus feature that amounts to “a decadent cornucopia of fruit spilling out of a shell.” Fruit is everywhere in cartoonish fashion, and it can start to seem like a silly treat, or candy-like food. The reality, of course, is that fruit is jam-packed (no pun intended) with nutrients. Of course some fruits are better than others, but so long as you don’t overdo it, it’s one of the best things you can put into your d
Calories At Bedtime Lead To Weight Gain
You know what leads to weight gain? An excessive calorie intake in general. Yet the above statement is common advice to people that are looking to shed a couple of pounds. It’s not hard to see where the advice comes from. In all likelihood, it’s meant to refer to “fourth meal” eating, which is to say extra snacking (or a whole extra meal) late at night, when you’ve already consumed all you need to in the day.
In such cases, during a detour , sure – those extra bedtime calories are getting to cause some weight gain. But it really has nothing to do with the timing of it. Calories are calories, plain and simple. And for what it’s worth, some dietitians actually argue that a snack before bed can promote weight loss. It gives your blood sugar a boost, which leads to sounder sleep (which is good for weight loss).