Diet myths are so widespread. The rule of thumb for diet myths is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. After talking with the registered dietitians at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, I compiled a list of common diet myths and the truths behind them.
Common Diet Myths
#1: “Don’t eat carbs after lunchtime”
Carbohydrates are the first choice of energy for your brain and muscles. You need carbs throughout the day in order to fuel your body. Our Registered dietitian tells her clients “carbs get a bad name because it is easy to overeat them”. It is important to remember portion sizes when eating carbs and trying to pick complex carbohydrates over simple ones. Eating proper portion sizes allows you to eat carbs throughout the day and have a steady supply of energy!
#2: Stay away from fat if you want to lose weight
For people who are looking to lose weight, one of the big misunderstandings is that they need to cut out all fat. Fat is an important part of your diet because it adds satiety to meals and helps to keep you full. The fats that you don’t want to stay aware from include omega-3’s and monounsaturated fats. Good sources of these include fish, nuts, avocados, flaxseed and plant based oils, such as olive oil.
#3: Salads are the best option for weight loss
Salads aren’t necessarily the best option for healthy weight loss. Some tips for improving your salad are to pick proteins such as chicken, fish or shrimp that is grilled instead of fried. Also, be weary of “extras” in salads, such as bacon, cheese, fried onions or tortilla strips. Always make sure to load up your salad with veggies or fruit and healthy fat, such as avocados and nuts.
#4: Avoid snacking
“Eating a balanced snack in between meal times can keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day and therefore it can help you to avoid overeating at meal times”, Kaitlin Eckstein, MPH. It is important to remember that not all snacks are equal. A balanced snack consists of a carb and a protein, such as a banana and peanut butter, a carb and a fat, such as crackers and cheese, or a protein and a fat, such as turkey pepperoni and almonds.
#5: It’s more expensive to eat healthy
Our registered dietitian Dana Magee tells her clients that “it is expensive to eat healthy when it is convenient, but with planning and preparation you can eat healthier and even cut down on grocery costs”. She also warns her clients to watch for health labels, such as “gluten free” (only if you are not gluten free), as these products are typically more expensive.
Diet Myths Rule of Thumb
if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
Let us know if you have any questions about common diet myths! Reach out to our office to schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to address your nutrition questions!
Contributions to this blog by Caitlin Weis, dietetic intern.
Blog updated December 2019.
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.