Ahh, food: that thing we all love and hate! Food can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Eat too much, and you gain weight. Eat too little, and you get sick. Eat the wrong balance of macronutrients, and you end up unhealthy. But eat the right foods in the right amounts, and you end up a healthy, fitness superstar.
Most of us don’t really understand the truth about food. We believe all the food myths floating around, but without doing research into the matter. Well, for your benefit, we’re going to bust five food myths right here!
Myth #1: Sweet Potatoes are Better than White
Sweet potatoes are packed with Vitamin A, which white potatoes don’t contain at all. So sweet potatoes should be better for you, right? Well, perhaps not. Yes, sweet potatoes are higher in Vitamin A and fiber, but white potatoes contain iron, potassium, and magnesium in higher quantities than their sweet counterpart. Also, take a look at the way sweet potatoes are prepared, and you’ll see why white potatoes may not be the worse option!
Myth #2: Too Much Meat is Bad for You
This is both true and false! Yes, if you eat too much red meat, you will be consuming a lot of fat and calories–which will lead to your packing on the pounds. However, when most people think of eating “too much meat”, they’re referring to the effects that protein has on your body. High quantities of protein are supposed to be bad for your kidneys, right? According to studies carried out years ago, eating a lot of meat does cause your kidneys to have to work harder, but there is no link between high protein intake and kidney strain.
Myth #3: Too Much Salt Leads to Hypertension
With heart disease being the #1 killer in the world today, it’s no surprise that myths like this lead to such fear! The myth came about in 1940, when a researcher at Duke University discovered the restricting salt helped to lower blood pressure. But according to more MODERN studies, it’s not necessary for a person with a healthy diet to scale back their salt consumption in order to prevent hypertension. While reducing salt can help to treat existing high blood pressure, consuming a lot of salt isn’t going to cause high blood pressure. Even for those who suffer from high blood pressure, cutting salt isn’t the only way to go. You can also eat more potassium-rich foods in order to balance out the electroyltes!
Myth #4: High Fructose Corn Syrup is the Devil
This is another true and false myth. People who believe that HFCS is more fattening and harmful than regular table sugar are in for a startling truth: it’s not! Both fructose and sucrose (the stuff regular sugar is made of) take their toll on your body, leading to high glucose levels, insulin resistance, and so on. When it comes to “fattening”, both are equally bad. But, HFCS has been proven to be HORRIBLE for your glucose levels, even worse than table sugar. To be healthy, avoid anything with a lot of sugar–in any form!
Myth #5: Red Meat Causes Cancer
I’m glad to see that this myth is being debunked, as I’m a huge fan of red meat! A Japanese study nearly 30 years old discovered that overcooking red meat increased the risk of cancerous cells forming in the bodies of mice. A few studies in recent years have potentially connected red meat to cancer, but nothing concrete. There is no direct “cause and effect” correlation between the two!