8 Nutrition Myths You Think Are Fact

You make decisions about what to put into your body all the time. Whether it’s what to have for lunch or which drink is going to best quench your thirst, you probably weigh several different factors before coming to a decision. But are you picking your food based on the right information? Find out which myths might be fooling you into passing up healthier options.

Eating Meat Is Bad for Your Health

There’s lots of conflicting information about the health benefits of meat, making it easy to think that meat is either wonderful or horrible for your health. The key where your health is concerned is to aim for lean meats, like chicken and certain cuts of beef, pork and lamb. Fish is also a great option and contains a variety of healthy fats. The key is preparation and portion control. Frying or sautéing meats bumps up the fat factor significantly. Instead, go with grilling, steaming, or baking and keep your portions to less than 3 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards.

What's Really Causing Your Obesity: Nature or Nurture?

It's more complex than too many calories and not enough physical activity.

The American Medical Association officially recognized obesity as a disease in 2013. But in the past 13 years, there's not been much of a shift in the understanding of what causes obesity — not in the general public, in people who contend with the condition or in the practice of medicine. Most people still think of obesity as a character flaw caused by too many calories and not enough physical activity. But it's much more complex than that.

A study analyzing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data found that even though US adults' BMI increased between 1988 and 2006, the amount of calories adults consumed and the energy they expended were unchanged. It also appears that the quality of calories consumed (low versus high glycemic index) is as important a consideration as the total quantity. And genetics only explains about 2.7% variation in people's weight, according to a study in Nature. That all adds up to this: The two most common explanations for obesity — calories in, calories out and family history — cannot, by themselves, explain the current epidemic.

Keep Reading Show less