MYTH: Eating gluten-free products will help with weight loss.
REALITY: Substituting a gluten free cookie for a regular cookie isn’t going to help you lose weight. Gluten-free products often have more calories, fat, sugar and unhealthy food additives. Instead, swap bread, cookies, pretzels and other gluten containing foods for whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes.
MYTH: Dairy is needed for strong bones.
REALITY: Dairy is a good source of calcium, but there are plenty of dairy-free calcium rich foods, including collard greens, kale, bok choy, almonds, soybeans, fortified nut milks, and sardines and salmon with bones. Lots of cultures around the world avoid milk and they have a lower risk of osteoporosis, possibly thanks to their high intake of plants and low intake of animal products and highly processed foods.
MYTH: Carbohydrates make you fat.
REALITY: All plants have carbohydrates, including fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Milk and yogurt do, too, in the form of lactose. Carbohydrates vary in their nutritional value. Choose unprocessed carbs from whole foods, and limit or avoid added sugar, white flour, and other refined carbohydrates.
MYTH: Energy bars are nutritious.
REALITY: Most energy bars are disguised candy bars loaded with added sugar and unnatural ingredients. If you're going to eat a bar then choose one with the fewest ingredients, preferably ones you can pronounce, less than 5 grams of added sugar and without sugar substitutes.
MYTH: "Organic" and "natural" foods are always good choices.
REALITY: Organic sugar is still sugar. Organic potato chips are still potato chips. The term "natural" is a useless marketing term intended to sell products and does not equal organic or healthy.
MYTH: All salads are healthy.
REALITY: Not all salads are nutritious or low calorie. An entree salad from a popular chain restaurant might run you 1,500 calories. Choose salads heavy on vegetables, light on meat and cheese, and very light on dressing. Stay full longer by adding healthy fats and proteins, such as avocado, nuts, seeds, beans or legumes.