We’ve all heard our fair share of old wives’ tales when it comes to food and nutrition.
Here’s a look at five common ones.
Myth No. 1: Vegetarians don’t get enough protein.
Sure, meat-eaters often have higher amounts of protein than their plant-eating peers.
But multiple research studies have concluded that virtually all people—meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans—in Western populations consume more than enough protein to meet individual requirements.
Myth No. 2: Vitamin D milk contains more vitamin D than other milks.
Truth be told, raw milk is naturally low in vitamin D. That’s why beginning in 1933 many dairy plants have been fortifying it.
You can meet 25% of your vitamin D needs with an 8-ounce serving of just about any milk, including skim, 1%, 2% and whole.
Vitamin D milk is simply the name given to whole milk. The differences between the varieties of milk will be the amount of fat in them, not the amount of vitamin D.
Myth No. 3: Bread crust is healthier than the rest of the bread.
The brown crust of bread is produced by a chemical reaction when food is introduced to heat. This reaction, the Maillard reaction, produces a cancer-fighting antioxidant, pronyl-lysine.
However, it’s also responsible for a carcinogenic chemical called acrylamide. Although crust tastes different than the inside of the bread, it is neither the healthiest or unhealthiest part of the loaf, nor is it higher in fiber.
Myth No. 4: High-fat foods make you gain fat.
Dietary fat is 9 calories per gram. In contrast, carbohydrate and protein are both 4 calories per gram.
Consuming large amounts of high-fat foods will contribute to your total calorie intake, but will not be solely responsible for increasing the fat stores on your body. It’s important to have a balanced supply of fat, carbohydrates and protein for your body to use the nutrients it receives.
Fat-free diets are not the key to body fat loss. They can even be detrimental to your health.
Myth No. 5: Drinking milk increases your phlegm.
Sorry to break it to you, but when it comes to the evidence, milk consumption does not increase phlegm. When you drink milk, your saliva mixes with it and creates an emulsion. (Think Italian dressing when shaken.)
Because of this, when swallowing milk, most people will notice that it coats the throat—and small amounts of that saliva-milk mixture will stay behind after swallowing.
This feeling, combined with the texture of milk, can lead people to believe there’s an increase in mucous production.