The internet is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in weight loss and fitness topics. There are many excellent websites out there that provide sound, science‐based nutrition advice and step‐by‐step exercise instructions to help people of all ability levels make healthier food choices, improve physical fitness, and lose weight.
Unfortunately, the world wide web is a repository of misinformation as well. For every good diet site on the net, there are many questionable ones that present misleading, misconstrued, or downright mistaken notions as facts. Taking this false information at face value can halt progress or lead to an overly restrictive diet, either of which may then result in a breakdown of willpower and resolve.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to be able to separate fact from fiction when reading about the dos and don’ts of dieting. For starters, here are three of the most common nutrition myths mistakenly regarded as true:
Myth #1: Eating whole eggs, yolk and all, will raise your blood cholesterol level.
Fact: Although eggs are relatively high in dietary cholesterol, consuming them in moderate quantities will not have an adverse affect on your body’s HDL or LDL levels. That’s because it’s actually saturated fat that triggers cholesterol production within the body, and eggs only contain about 1.5 grams of this substance per serving.
Myth #2: When trying to lose weight, it’s okay to eat as much fruit as you want.
Fact: There’s no question that fruit is an important part of a balanced diet and should feature prominently in your daily menu. But since many popular fruits like grapes, bananas, and mangoes are high in sugar, they can have the same caloric impact as a couple of cookies or a handful of chips. Thus, if weight loss is your primary goal, you must track and log your fruit intake just as carefully as other foods.
Myth #3: When eating chicken for protein, you must always choose boneless, skinless cuts.
Fact: While it’s true that boneless, skinless chicken is lower in fat and calories than chicken with skin, the difference is not as substantial as you might think. For a 12 ounce cut, which amounts to about three servings, the skin adds approximately 50 calories and 2.5 grams of saturated fat. That’s a small caloric price to pay to break up the bland vista of grilled chicken and vegetable dinners that constitute most diet meals, so go ahead and indulge once in a while.
These three nutrition myths are just the tip of the iceberg as far as online diet misinformation goes, so take everything you read with a grain of salt. The best approach, short of getting a personalized plan from a medical doctor or licensed dietitian, is to thoroughly research and verify any health advice you intend to follow before implementing the new “rules” into your routine.
As always, while nutrition is certainly important, keep in mind that it is only PART of the full weight loss equation. So remember to get up and get moving to experience the full benefits of eating right!