We’ve all heard things like “cheese is bad for you” or “you should eat more carbs than fat” our entire lives. Sadly, these things are TOTALLY wrong! A lot of the things we “know” about food are actually myths and falsehoods that we’ve heard from unreliable sources. Below are a few of my favorite food myths that are totally and utterly incorrect:
Pizza is an Unhealthy Food
Painting with a broad brush, right there! Pizza made with white flour can be, but you can always enjoy a whole wheat pizza with a thin crust and LOTS of toppings. Heck, make a crust out of cauliflower to really make it a health treat! The combination of tomato sauce and cheese actually increases the antioxidant content of pizza, not to mention delivers fats that will increase fat-burning. Top the pizza with lots of veggie ingredients or turkey meat, and you’ve got a complete meal that’s surprisingly balanced and healthy.
Chocolate is a No-No
Milk chocolate and white chocolate are little better than candy, as they contain a lot of sugar, milk, and processed fats and chemicals. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, is a very healthy food. It’s packed with antioxidants, can suppress your appetite, and delivers a boost of energy for your body and brain. You shouldn’t overdo it on the chocolate, but never let anyone tell you that eating a square of dark bittersweet chocolate every day is bad for your health.
Pasta is Off-Limits
Most of us see pasta as one of the first foods to go when we’re on a weight loss diet. But why? Pasta is just another form of carbs, which your body needs in order to function. You’ve gained weight because you’re overdoing it on carbs, but you still need SOME. Have a cup of pasta (roughly the size of a lightbulb), and it’s just 200 calories. The main nutrition is in the sauce, but a bit of pasta isn’t bad for you. If you want to be really healthy, find non-wheat pastas. You can find pasta made out of mushrooms, lentils, or even chickpeas. They’re not quite “real” pasta, but they’re a good alternative. Of course, you can always reach the middle ground with a semolina or whole wheat pasta. The really important thing is that you don’t overdo it on the carbs—but you don’t have to cut them entirely.
Kettle Chips are the Healthier Option
The only kind of “chips” you should be eating are veggie chips, the kind you make in the oven yourself. Potato chips are high in calories and very low in nutrients, meaning they’re an unhealthy food. It doesn’t matter if they’re kettle chips or even potatoes you’ve made yourself. They’re not the healthy choice—you want veggies to be the source of your chip goodness!
Salads aren’t Filling
This is another of my favorite myths. If you’ve never eaten a filling salad, you’re doing salad all wrong! You’re probably thinking of a side salad, something with a few bits of lettuce, some tomatoes, and perhaps a sprinkling of seeds or nuts. Sure, that’s one way to do salad—the WRONG way! Start off with a big bowl of lettuce and spinach, add in tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, bell peppers, and even a sprinkling of yellow corn. Top it off with your favorite protein—chicken, beef, or even a bit of cheese. Finish with a natural olive oil-based vinaigrette, and don’t forget to add a handful of walnuts, pecans, or cashews. You’ve got a hearty, filling salad, one that makes a great meal but doesn’t overdo it on the calories!