Things about nutrition we need to stop believing

Taryn Davies
Published: March 28, 2018

There are plenty of things regarding health and nutrition on the internet that simply isn’t true, yet they’re presented by a ‘reliable’ source and suddenly they’re hailed as gospel. But in reality, there are plenty of things about nutrition that we need to stop believing.

Nutritionist Cassandra Barns shares her expert knowledge about common myths about nutrition, and the facts that we really need to know instead.

The best superfoods are the most expensive

We’ve all heard the term superfood, which is usually attributed to some hard-to-come-by, expensive product that doesn’t actually taste that nice. They’re hailed as the product that’s going to boost our health, but in reality, they contain no higher levels of vitamins or minerals than foods we can find in our local supermarkets.

Goji berries are often touted as one of these superfoods for helping to boost antioxidants, but carrots are a fantastic and obviously cheaper source too. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body and is excellent for helping to protect the skin. Carrots are great grated on salads, roasted into a healthier chip, or spiralised into carrot-noodles too.

Citrus fruits are the best sources of vitamin C

When we’re looking to increase our intake of vitamin C upping the number of citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits will be our first port of call, but vegetables can often be better sources. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C, in fact, in about a third of a head of broccoli 100g, you’ll get more than the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C.

However, it’s important to note that heat will destroy vitamin C, so to ensure it stays rich in the vitamin you’ll need to only lightly cook it to retain the benefits, steaming it is the best option.

Eat cereal bars in place of sweet treats

Cereal bars might seem like the healthier option, but in reality, when you break it down they can be just as unhealthy for you as the chocolate bars you’re replacing them with.

Some cereal bars can have as much as a third of sugar, and a lot of them will also contain sweeteners, artificial flavourings and unhealthy oils as well.

If you’re looking for a sweet fix, you could try almond butter spread on frozen banana slices or on oatcakes instead. The almond butter is really rich and feels decadent, plus it has lots of protein to fill you up and healthy fats which are essential for good health.

Eating fat is bad for your health

The reputation of fats in the diet has been tarnished for quite some time, but thankfully more and more people are coming round to the fact that we need them in a healthy and balanced diet. It just comes down to the types of fat we eat.

Healthy fats can be found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish and ghee, and they’re all beneficial in helping to ensure our body is healthy, as well as boosting vision, bone health, memory and inflammation.

The fats you want to avoid include trans fats and hydrogenated fats, as well as refined cooking oils, these are the things you’ll find in most fried and processed foods.

Boost your energy with coffee

Even though coffee is great for giving you a buzz, and research has shown that coffee can help lower your risk of liver disease and some cancers, in the long term it can drain your energy, especially if you continue to drink more it to get the same effect.

A different option you could try is a Matcha green tea, which offers natural caffeine to give you a gentle lift. Matcha green tea also contains theanine which is attributed to calming the mind and encouraging focus and concentration.

Bad skin is down to chocolate

We’ve all definitely heard this one, spots and bad skin is down to the amount of chocolate we eat. But in actual fact, depending on the type you eat, it could actually benefit the skin.

Raw cacao is used in making chocolate and is rich in flavanols which impacts the body’s own antioxidant defences and research reveals they can help to protect the skin too.

To get these skin benefits it’s important that you choose dark chocolate which is at least 70% cacao, and raw chocolate is also a better option too.