Are Food Myths Sabotaging Your Nutrition?

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Some food myths are relatively innocuous.  One of my favorite harmless myths about food is “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.”  Apples ARE marvelous for you, but blueberries contain more vitamins than apples despite having similar calorie and fiber counts.  In fact, one serving of blueberries has more protein than an apple, as well.

I’m not advocating people stop eating apples.  I love apples – especially with a smear of peanut butter.  Some food myths may do more harm or mislead you into making a poor dietary decision.  Here are some myths I’d love to see eradicated.

Food Myth 1: Egg yolks are bad for you

Food Myth: Eggs are Bad for you
Food Myth: Eggs are Bad for you

For many years, diet-conscious cooks reached for egg substitutes or egg whites to minimize their intake of dietary cholesterol.  Experts believed that removing eggs from the diet would help keep blood cholesterol levels low.

However, more recent studies indicate that you don’t have to give up your morning egg to maintain a healthy heart.  A study published in JAMA suggests no direct correlation between heart disease and egg consumption in healthy people.

By removing eggs from your diet, you are depriving yourself of an easy source of necessary nutrients. Another study by the University of Connecticut says:

“Eggs are also good sources of antioxidants known to protect the eye; therefore, increased plasma concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin in individuals consuming eggs are also of interest, especially in those populations susceptible to developing macular degeneration and eye cataracts.”

Myth 2: Brown eggs have more nutrition than white eggs

Food Myths: Brown eggs are better for you than white eggs.
Myth: Brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs.

I’m sure that the supermarkets don’t want you to know this but,  There is no difference in nutrition between a brown and a white egg.

Taste, quality, and nutrition have everything to do with the hen’s diet and egg freshness, and nothing to do with the color.

White hens lay white eggs.  Red hens lay brown eggs.

That is the only difference.

Now, I grew up with chickens.  My sister raises chickens.  I buy fresh eggs from a local farmer.  Why?  Because I cannot tell a difference between brown and white eggs in the grocery store, but I can discern a farm raised egg over a store-bought egg almost every time.

Local chickens from small farmers are more likely to have a much larger ranging space, less crowding, and lower stress environment than a factory farm.  These factors can influence shell strength, yolk color, and egg flavor.  Not the color of the eggshell.

Myth 3: Multigrain means it’s full of healthy grains

Food Myths: Multigrain equals whole grain.
Myth: Multigrain and whole grain are the same.

Nope!  Time to become a label reader.

If you want to get more grains into your diet, look for labels that explicitly indicate whole wheat, whole grain, or bare the Whole Grain Council’s stamp.  Multigrain does not necessarily use the entire grain.

Multigrain just means that the manufacturer used more than one type of grain. Multigrain does not necessarily use the entire grain.  Products made with multiple grains can still contain highly processed grains, stripping much of the nutritional value in the process.

Lesson: Read the label.  Look for the 100% Whole Grain stamp (as opposed to the basic stamp) and make an informed decision.

Myth 4: Microwaving food kills nutrition

Food Myths: Microwaving food kills the vitamins
Myth: Microwaving food kills the vitamins

I love my microwave.  It makes preparing dinner so much easier some nights.  I don’t have 45 minutes to bake a potato in the oven, so I toss it in the microwave and have a fantastic sweet potato side in just a few moments.  But, I just killed all the vitamins, right?

Nope!  In reality, cooking in the microwave is more than just a time saver.  In many cases, it’s a healthier preparation choice than other options.

Harvard published an article that discusses microwave cooking and its impact on nutrition.  They pointed out that heat DOES destroy some vitamins.  However, any cooking involves heat.  Microwaving exposes food to heat for a shorter duration, so it destroys less of the vitamins than other cooking methods.

Water cooking methods, such as boiling, leech nutrients into the water.  All those essential vitamins just get dumped down the sink when you drain your vegetables.

Myth 5: If you workout, you don’t have to worry about what you eat

Food Myth: If you workout, you don't have to watch calories
Food Myth: If you workout, you don’t have to watch calories

You don’t know how much I wish this one was true, but sadly, it’s not.  I would make out with a Godiva candy bar every night if it were.

You cannot outrun a bad diet.  Yes, you do burn more calories when you workout.  Muscle tissue also burns more calories at rest than adipose tissue.

A fit person can eat more without gaining weight. However, this does not give them carte blanche to suck the bottom out of the restaurant dessert tray.

A 30-minute gym workout only burns about 184 calories for a 130lb 30-year-old woman.  You know what that means?  You burn fewer calories in one workout than you eat in an average Snicker’s bar!  Nope – you can’t outrun your mouth.

Don’t use that as an excuse to skip the run, though.  Exercise still has many other health benefits and will help keep you trim.

Other Food Myths

At some point, I may tackle other food myths (such as eating fat will make you gain weight).  However, I want to hear from you.  What food myths do you hear echoed around the cosmos that drive you crazy?

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Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.


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Alicia Taylor

Happily married to the love of my life. It’s just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I’m loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

32 Comments

  • Emily

    June 22, 2016 - 12:03 pm

    I have heard these myths and always assumed some of them were true. Good to know, thanks!

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 22, 2016 - 4:06 pm

      Glad to help!

      • Amanda m

        June 23, 2016 - 9:33 pm

        We all need fat… I hate the low fat fad, especially with vitamin D enriched milk
        Hello! Vitamin D is fat soluble?

        • Alicia Taylor

          June 24, 2016 - 3:45 pm

          Yes – the whole low-fat thing also drove me bonkers. Most manufacturers just added a bunch of sugar (calories) to make up for the fat. Thinking Snackwell’s here

  • April Hammond

    June 22, 2016 - 11:07 am

    I didn’t know about the multi-grain myth. I will have to read my bread labels better. I don’t eat an apple a day, but I do a apple cider vinegar drink a day. It seems to help so many of my health problems.

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 22, 2016 - 4:07 pm

      I’ve been thinking about trying the cider vinegar myself.

  • DC

    June 22, 2016 - 9:58 am

    I never was on board with that egg thing. Too much of anything will generally be bad for you, but in moderation, eggs are magical.

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 22, 2016 - 4:07 pm

      They are so full of good things, for sure!

  • Nicole Escat

    June 22, 2016 - 9:38 am

    I am a little bit surprised about the brown and white eggs. I buy white eggs but I wanted to try the brown ones.

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 22, 2016 - 4:08 pm

      No reason not to try them, but they don’t taste any different. If you really want better-tasting eggs, buy from a small farmer. The chicken’s nutrition makes a bigger difference.

  • Kristen

    June 22, 2016 - 8:31 am

    #4 kills me. You can’t tell me that microwaving my food is any worse than going through the drive through at a local fast food joint LOL

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 22, 2016 - 4:09 pm

      Very true! It’s also a better option than boiling them.

  • Claudia K.

    June 22, 2016 - 8:12 am

    Wow, these are so interesting. I guess I may have to rethink my food….

  • Rosey

    June 22, 2016 - 6:10 am

    I always heard brown eggs were better for you than white ones. Funny how myths perpetuate.

  • laura londergan

    June 21, 2016 - 10:40 pm

    There is so much to keep track of that it can get exhausting. I just eat in moderation and get exercise and hope for the best

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 22, 2016 - 4:10 pm

      That’s pretty much what I do. What doesn’t kill you today will be deadly tomorrow – and the deadly stuff turns out to be healthy.

  • Val

    June 21, 2016 - 8:15 pm

    Interesting, it’s kind of crazy what is out there for information. We never can tell what is truth and what is false. Thanks for sharing this info!

  • loisaltermark

    June 21, 2016 - 7:27 pm

    Wow, these are fascinating. I guess I may have to switch from blueberries to apples. Who knew?!

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 21, 2016 - 10:17 pm

      Well, you don’t have to switch – they go so good together.

  • Tiara

    June 21, 2016 - 7:26 pm

    I happy to say I knew these were all myths! Thanks for the verification

  • crystal

    June 21, 2016 - 7:25 pm

    My husband once suggested we use our microwave less. I responded with, “Then our children will starve.” I’m grateful to know it really doesn’t alter the nutrition in comparison to other cooking methods.

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 21, 2016 - 10:18 pm

      Not only does it not alter the nutrition, but it’s better than boiling them!

  • irishred13

    June 21, 2016 - 7:08 pm

    I have heard of a lot of these. I always make sure to read my labels and know my labels before buying any food.

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 21, 2016 - 10:18 pm

      I read labels, too! Of course, as I get older, my eyes get worse and that’s harder.

  • Alicia

    June 21, 2016 - 3:32 pm

    I’ve heard a lot of these myths said over and over again. I’m glad to know the microwave one is just a myth because I use my microwave more than I care to admit 🙂

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 21, 2016 - 10:15 pm

      I know, right! I don’t see ever getting rid of my microwave. It makes cooking veggies a breeze.

  • Lady Lilith

    June 21, 2016 - 3:18 pm

    I feel like myths are media controlled. One study showed eggs yolks were bad and that was years ago. It would be nice is every so often they would keep the population updated.

  • Michele

    June 21, 2016 - 12:31 pm

    I love this information! It really is amazing how much bad things about a food can spread and become common belief!

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 21, 2016 - 12:48 pm

      Some of it starts as old wives tales. Some of it, like avoiding eggs, was common erroneous medical knowledge. I’ve still had doctors telling me to avoid eggs. I usually find another doctor because they aren’t keeping up with current medical information.

  • Robin Rue

    June 21, 2016 - 11:31 am

    I had never heard that about brown eggs versus white eggs before. I always buy white, so I am glad it’snot lacking anything.

    • Alicia Taylor

      June 21, 2016 - 12:48 pm

      They aren’t lacking anything – and they are cheaper

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