5 Unhelpful Weight Loss & Healthy Eating Myths Debunked

Healthy eating and losing weight are goals that many people are striving towards. The process can be boiled down to a simple matter of burning more calories than we consume, but many people find this hard to sustain in the long run, and often revert back to their usual habits and regain any weight they have lost.

We might blame ourselves for lack of willpower, but there are so many reasons why we fail to meet our goals: sedentary full-time jobs that make finding time for exercise difficult; a lack of time to prep healthy meals from scratch; and also the many myths and misconceptions that exist around diet and weight loss.

Here’s a look at some of the most common myths around healthy eating, and what the facts are.

Myth 1: Carbs are fattening

Carbohydrates can get a bad rep, but they are a key macronutrient and we should eat them as part of a well balanced diet. The key is to choose complex carbs that are found in wholegrain foods such as brown rice, wholewheat pasta, potatoes with skins on, and fruit and vegetables. These will help us to feel fuller and provide a steady supply of energy.

Myth 2: Sugar in fruit is harmful

All fruit contains a naturally occurring sugar called fructose, which is sometimes confused with a sugar called high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). However, the two substances are very different. For a start, HFCS is usually found in highly processed foods that contain other unhealthy ingredients. 

Furthermore, the sugars in fruit are contained within the cell structure rather than ‘free’ as the sugars in processed foods are, so they would have to be consumed in huge quantities to be harmful. Fruit also contains fibre and vitamins and minerals that contribute to good health.

Myth 3: Cutting out dairy is good for your health

Dairy products contain many valuable nutrients, including protein, calcium, potassium and B vitamins that play a key role in the functioning of the body, so if you exclude them from your diet you need to make sure that you don’t become deficient. If you are trying to lose weight, choose low-fat options such as semi skimmed milk and lighter varieties of cheese. 

Myth 4: Vitamin supplements can compensate for unhealthy eating

Vitamin supplements are not a shortcut to a healthy diet, as the body absorbs nutrients from food much more easily. It is recommended that adults take vitamin D supplements during the winter, but other than that, we should aim to get all our vitamin intake from our meals and snacks. 

Myth 5: You should cut out all fats from your diet

We actually need unsaturated fats that are found in olive oil, nuts, avocados, and seeds to support good health. We should limit our intake of saturated fats that are found in processed and fried foods.