Ask the Experts: Myth Busters!

by in Ask the Experts, October 2, 2012

nutrition label
Dietitians are always trying to dispel the obscene amount of nutrition myths floating out in the world. We asked nutrition experts around the country about their favorite (or rather, least favorite!) nutrition myths and how they set the record straight.

MYTH #1: Organic foods are more nutritious
BUSTEDBonnie Tandy Leblang, MS, RD clears this issue up by saying:

“In terms of vitamins and minerals, organic foods are generally no more nutritious than conventionally grown foods.  Organic refers to the way the food is grown, handled and processed — that is without the use of pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones or, in the case of milk and meat, steroids.”

Shopping for Organic Produce? Use the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

MYTH #2: Eggs are bad for you
BUSTED: Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD co-founder MealMakeoverMoms.com explains:
“Eggs are a nutrient dense food (especially the egg yolk) providing important nutrients like protein, vitamin E, vitamin D, choline, lutein and omega-3 fats.”

Healthy Eats votes for eggs too, whites and yolks

MYTH #3: Eat fat-free foods to lose weight
BUSTED: Nutrition Babes Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RD and Kathy Siegel, RD, CDN instruct their clients by saying:

“Healthy fats from sources like olive oil, avocados, fish, nuts and seeds are an important part of a healthy diet. Fat-free foods are usually highly processed and filled with chemicals to help them mimic the flavor of their full fat counterparts.”

Labels can be tricky, beware of the Healthy Halo

MYTH #4: Milk causes mucus
BUSTED: Karen Giles-Smith, MS RD takes a scientific approach:

“According to a recent research review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, there is no conclusive evidence that consuming milk increases mucus production and aggravates the congestion of colds, allergies, or asthma. It may be that the protein and/or fat in milk temporarily “coats” the throat, leading to a perception of mucus accumulation.”

Get all the facts! Milk: Good or Bad?

MYTH #5:  Gluten free is a weight loss diet
BUSTED: Rachel Begun, MS, RD says it’s all about choices:

“If eating gluten free means replacing highly processed foods with nutrient-dense foods, taking in the proper amount of calories and getting regular exercise, then you can lose weight on a gluten-free diet.  If gluten free means eating mostly highly processed, empty-calorie, gluten-free foods, then you aren’t likely to lose weight.  For those who don’t have a gluten related disorder, it’s important to make the distinction between removing gluten and making smarter choices.  It’s the latter that leads to lead weight loss.”

See our list of gluten free dos and don’ts

Tell Us: What’s YOUR favorite nutrition myth?

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