4 Subtle Food Myths Busted
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

4 Subtle Food Myths Busted

What you hear on the internet about food isn't always true!

9
4 Subtle Food Myths Busted

What is a subtle food myth?

Well, if you turn to Google you probably won't find much. It's not exactly an official term. But it's a description I'm using for perceptions that take hold over time. For instance, you might think of the idea that spinach gives you big muscles. It's not just something we saw in old Popeye cartoons, but something kids perpetuated for years.

Similarly, you might think of the idea that milk automatically leads to "strong bones," or that carrots help you see well at night. Often, there's at least some truth to these perceptions – but on some level, they're myths, at least in their simplicity.

Here I wanted to point to four such subtle myths, and point out their flaws for the benefit of your own nutrition. These are foods that science simply says we should treat differently than we (or at least many of us) do.

1. Carbs Make You Fat

That's not a particularly nice way of phrasing it – we might tend to say that carbs contribute to weight gain – but I suppose that's semantics. At any rate, this is how it was put in another article about common food myths, which took care to point out that there's nothing inherently fattening about carbohydrates.

This is a myth that took hold with the Atkins Diet revolution, and which has come back to some degree with the paleo and keto craze. In a way, it's not without its merits. You probably know someone who "just cut out bread and pasta" or something of the like and dropped 10 pounds in two months. Good for them! Those generally can be fattening foods. But to make the blanket assumption that all carbs make you fat means you're also steering clear of healthy grains, fruits and vegetables, beans, and, well, you get it.

These are terrific foods for giving you energy (which you need to exercise properly) and fiber (which helps you burn fat), among other things. So, while cutting back on bread and pasta can be a decent idea, the idea that "carbs make you fat" automatically is ludicrous. It's good to see that new diets like Noom have gone out of their way to stress this point with their recommended food list.

Think of all carbs as New York City. Sure there are bad neighborhoods, but why would you avoid visiting the entire city because of them?!

2. Celery Burns Calories

Truth be told, I'm not sure where this myth actually came from. I can't trace it back to a cartoon like Popeye or to "Got Milk?" commercials. But it is something I've heard from many different people over the years, and if I'm being honest, it's something I've repeated to others.

The myth, specifically, is that because celery is so sinewy, it's a little bit of a pain for the body to digest. And, in working so hard to break down those pesky veggie sinews, the body supposedly burns more calories than it puts into your body to begin with.

The phrase for this phenomenon is that celery has "negative" calories. This just isn't true – which means you shouldn't necessarily start devouring celery if you're looking for a calorie-negative way to snack (there really is no such thing). However, while I'd recommend you not rely on celery, it's still a low-calorie food with a lot of fiber content (which actually does help you to burn fat). So do eat it – just don't assume it's doing your job for you.

3. Calories at Bedtime Lead to Weight Gain

You know what leads to weight gain? An excessive calorie intake in general. Yet the above statement is common advice to people who are looking to shed a few pounds. It's not hard to see where the advice comes from. In all likelihood, it's meant to refer to "fourth meal" eating, which is to say extra snacking (or a whole extra meal) late at night, when you've already consumed all you need to in the day.

In such cases, in a roundabout way, sure – those extra bedtime calories are going to lead to some weight gain. However, it really has nothing to do with the timing of the snack.

As far as timing goes, calories are calories, plain and simple. And for what it's worth, some dietitians actually argue that a healthy snack before bed can help promote weight loss. So, think of it as good trouble. It gives your blood sugar a boost, which leads to sounder sleep (which is good for weight loss).

4. Fruit Is For Cartoons

Believe it or not, this one is pretty deeply ingrained for a lot of us. Essentially, kids see fruit all the time in cartoons and video games, but don't really think to actually eat it. I mean, McDonald's tries to include it in kids' meals, but it ends up in the trash!

Sure, we all know that food is generally healthy – but think about it for a second. Can't you picture Aladdin rolling an apple down his arm and popping it off his elbow? Did you maybe get a kick out of South Park's "member berries" in 2016? Perhaps you've played Fruit Ninja? Some people have been playing cartoonish fruit-related slot machines for literally decades.

In fact, one still exists online, promising a bonus feature that amounts to "a decadent cornucopia of fruit spilling out of a shell." Fruit is everywhere in cartoonish fashion, and it can start to seem like a silly treat, or candy-like food.

The reality, of course, is that fruit is jam-packed (no pun intended) with nutrients, so it's no joke. Of course some fruits are better than others, but so long as you don't overdo it, it's one of the best things you can put into your daily diet.

When it comes to food, there are a lot of myths, and just because you read it on the internet doesn't mean it's true! (Except when it comes to politics, of course! Ha, ha.)

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Every "Scrubs" Fan NEEDS To Know These Dr. Cox Quotes

Dr. Cox may be the most sarcastic, snarky, and nasty person to ever cross television screens.

225
Every "Scrubs" Fan NEEDS To Know These Dr. Cox Quotes

Dr. Cox may be the most sarcastic, snarky, and nasty person to ever cross television screens. His long-winded commentary and ability to destroy just about anyone made him terrifying and hilarious. Once you broke through his tough persona, Dr. Cox was genuine, caring and dedicated. He wanted the best for his patients and his interns. Here are some of funniest, most sarcastic and downright mean lines that Dr. Cox has said during his stint on Scrubs.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day

If you can be proud of your country on he 4th of July, you can be proud all year long.

5499
Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day
Photo by Rob Martinez on Unsplash

I'm the child of a Marine Veteran. He may have been out of the service by the time I was born, but the Patriotic Pride he lived by has been my family's life line. I grew up with the American Flag hanging in my front porch. My dad has the "Proud to be a Marine" license plate in the front of his car. And red, white, and blue is a completely acceptable way to decorate your living room. But it doesn't end with just that. You need to know why we celebrate freedom.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Katy Perry, "Baby You're a Firework." I don't know if she was referring to the Fourth of July when she was referencing fireworks, but this song has allowed this generation to rejoice. The song "Firework" allows people of all ages to appreciate the lyrics, as the song brings forth a positive state of mind. Unfortunately, just like the song, not every knows what the Fourth of July is actually for. Many just assume it is that one time of year you get to spend time barbecuing and see fireworks light up the sky. Even though many are not aware of the American historical significance, this holiday has annually encouraged people to come together happily, which could very much be the importance of it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Why Fourth Of July is America’s Biggest Frat Party

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

4057

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

The patriots of the American Revolution aren't the only ones who gave us the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

3752
10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

Independence Day is almost upon us, which means that for most Americans, it'll be time to bust out the lawn chairs and grills, gather around family and friends, and praise our history through patriotic garb and grand fireworks displays. It's the one day of the year where everyone forgets their political biases or historic inaccuracies, at least for a while, to look back on the hazy, illustrious history of the United States.

But, while we celebrate what people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry did for this country, they are not the only ones who embodied the very virtues that our nation loves to advocate for. This Fourth of July, here are ten American women who history tends to forget, despite the groundbreaking things they did for their country.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments