The Lies We’ve Been Told Concerning Nutrition

Never have more than 2 eggs a day, never eat white bread, and avoid sugar at all cost. These are just 3 of the hundreds of diet “rules” that we’ve been fed over the years and led to believe are the key to optimum health. Increasing evidence suggests that many of these rules are simply lies — maybe well-intentioned, but still lies. Here are some of the myths and how they have been busted by science.


NATURAL SUGAR IS HEALTHIER THAN TABLE SUGAR: Before we go any further, excessive sugar intake of any kind is bad for you and can increase the risk of weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, metabolic disorders, depression, and cognitive impairment. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. That being said, honey and maple syrup have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. The bottom line: Natural sugars have the same calories as table sugar and an identical effect on our blood. Instead of worrying about what kind of sugar you choose, have it in moderation.

SEA SALT HAS HEALING PROPERTIES: Excessive sodium consumption is linked to high blood pressure and other health issues, which is why you should limit your sodium intake to 2,300mg a day if you don’t have hypertension and 1,500mg per day if you do. Similar to sugars, sea salt, Himalayan salt, and table salt are all salt, period. All of them contain approximately 40% sodium. Sea salt has minimal processing and contains a tiny amount of magnesium, calcium and potassium. Table salt is processed to remove impurities and normally has added iodine for thyroid health. The bottom line: As long as your diet is well-balanced, there’s no need to get your minerals from sea salt.

EAT NO MORE THAN 2 EGGS PER DAY: Another mistaken belief is that eggs are bad for you and will raise your cholesterol. Scientists, however, say there is no link. Studies show that the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t raise cholesterol levels the way foods like those high in saturated fats do. A 2020 Harvard study found no association between egg intake and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The bottom line: Eggs can be a part of a health diet and help you meet your daily protein needs.

DON’T EAT AFTER 6PM: Your body doesn’t have an internal clock that yells to your cells, “It’s 6 p.m., time to store this food for weight gain!” Energy is energy, no matter when it’s consumed. Studies have shown that it’s not WHEN you eat that causes weight gain, it’s WHAT you eat. The bottom line: It doesn’t matter what time of day you eat.

STICK TO FRESH PRODUCE ONLY: Some people think you should stick to the outer aisles of the grocery store because that’s where the fresh produce is concentrated, but that’s a damaging myth. Just because something is frozen doesn’t make it worse than fresh. Frozen fruits and vegetables can often contain higher levels of nutrients because they’re frozen at their peak and put through minimal processing. Fresh produce can be in a supermarket for days or weeks after being peaked, with nutrients dwindling by the day. The bottom line: Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones.