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25 Health Food Facts & Myths

Updated on October 3, 2013

"You're always on a diet!"

Eating healthy can be a challenge for some of us. For me personally, it does not come naturally. I’ve never had a craving for a shiny, red apple, and I’ve never thought tofu would be a fun ingredient to experiment with in recipes. Choosing the right things to eat is a daily struggle of will power. The trim little angel on one shoulder tells me to have carrot sticks for a mid-day snack while the chubby devil on the other screams for some potato chips.

I, like so many others, have tried every diet there is, and I mean every diet. All of these attempts were like a special kind of torture with their own incredulous set of restrictions. None of them worked in the long term. The only thing that did work, sadly enough, was time and moderation. I stopped thinking about it so much, started moving more, and cooked at home most of the time. That was all there was to it, and the amount of weight I’ve lost in my lifetime is quite substantial. It’s certainly still fluctuates, and I’m never going to be ultra-thin. I’ve tried that and was told my head looked too big. I think I’d rather be a little pudgy with a normal size head, but that’s just me. Not to mention, I was always either morose or crabby. It doesn't matter how thin you get, if you ain't happy, you ain't healthy.

Throughout all of these diets, I learned quite a bit along the way. Here are a few tasty tidbits on what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to eating right:

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1.) If you are going to have chicken breast for dinner, the recommended portion would be about the size of your palm. This does not mean however many Chicken McNuggets you can fit in your hand.

2.) You are supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day. Not just beverages that contain water like the fun, fizzy bottled waters with the delicious fruit flavors. Yeah, even those don’t count.

3.) Fast food places claim to have “healthy” menu. While the food items may be more nutritious, the advertising is still false. They should have a disclaimer regarding the damage to your emotional health when you have to see and smell all the golden fried deliciousness around you all while having a lousy salad.

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4.) On the topic of salads; there must be 90% green, leafy vegetables in these so-called meals before they can be called good for you. That means that you have to divide your ranch dressing, bacon bits, cheese, croutons, and more ranch dressing between the remaining 10%. Essentially, that equals one medicine droplet of dressing, one bacon bit (note: no “s” on that bit), one shred of cheese, and half a crouton.

5.) Fruit snacks, no matter how much Vitamin C, are not a substitute for real fruit. Just because something has the word “fruit” in the title, it does not automatically mean it is healthy…probably the opposite.

6.) Chocolate can be good for you! Sounds too good to be true? It is. You are only allowed an one inch by one inch square of something like 99.9% cacao (inedible) dark chocolate a day so put that bon-bon box down.

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7.) Frozen yogurt is much better than ice cream. This could have been true, but then the Heavens opened up to reveal the self-service frozen yogurt bar where you can choose from any high calorie, astronomically fatty, devastatingly scrumptious toppings you like. That oversized cup of “Froyo” could be ten pounds when you are done. Who knew you could pay $50 for a dessert served in a mini-mall?

8.) Cereal bars are not meal replacement bars. It doesn’t matter that you’d rather have a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cream bar rather than, say, a Slim Fast bar.

9.) Blueberries are high in antioxidants. This means real blueberries, not the candied ones you find in some muffins and pancakes. As a matter of fact, anytime something is “candied” just assume it’s lost all nutritional value.

10.) Nuts are a good source of protein. This does not give you license to eat an entire pecan pie.

"But, I'm soooo hungry!"
"But, I'm soooo hungry!" | Source

11.) Avocados contain the type of monounsaturated fat that benefits your heart and inflammatory system. When used to make guacamole (skip the mayonnaise and sour cream Minnesotans), you actually have a very healthy appetizer. The problem lies in those delicate, paper-thin, fried tortilla chips like the kind you get at Chili’s in their bottomless serving bowl. Unless you dollop on the whole serving of guacamole onto one chip, you are kind of defeating your purpose.

12.) Green tea curbs your appetite and promotes weight loss. I hate that phrase – “curb your appetite”. It makes me feel like I’m a big, old 1955 Buick broken down by the sidewalk.

13.) Fat-Free mayonnaise is actually consumable. (My Friends cohorts will get this one.)

14.) Red wine can lower heart disease but only if you have one glass a day. That glass cannot be one of those Big Snort tumblers either. You know which ones I’m talking about.

15.) According to a recent Mayo Clinic study, drinking twenty-eight cups of coffee a week will cause death…at some point in your life. Switch to Diet Coke with its carcinogenic aspartame. There are no studies that Diet Coke will cause death…at any point in your life. I’m not sure if you know this, but all vampires are big Diet Coke drinkers. You know, when they are looking for something a little more refreshing than the blood of mortals.

16.) Greek yogurt is a tasty substitute for sour cream when preparing a baked potato. Does anyone really believe this? I mean, really?

17.) Sliders are only a good swap if you eat one in place of a triple-decker cheeseburger. You also have to leave off all the condiments that make a real hamburger – cheese, mayonnaise, fried onions, bacon, blue cheese crumbles, etc. Oh, and you can’t have the bun either.

You must discard the bun...
You must discard the bun... | Source

18.) You can detoxify your system by mixing distilled water with dark molasses, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Detoxify is just a fancy word for getting all the garbage out of your system. Personally, I’d rather have the stomach flu.

19.) Beans are essential sources of protein and fiber. Refried beans at your favorite Mexican restaurant that are still cooked in pure lard are not part of that essential group.

20.) Kale Chips. What? Is that an oxymoron?

21.) Gluten-free is the way to go! What’s that? Oh, you have a wheat allergy. That’s funny. I thought you ate a bagel everyday of your life? It must be a late onset.

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22.) The recommended sodium intake is 1500mg daily so one dash of table salt and you are good for the rest of the day. No more packaged foods, no more restaurants, definitely no drive-through. To avoid consuming too much salt, I would recommend you just not eat all together. It’s simpler that way.

23.) Lean Cuisines are a healthy lunch if you only eat one. I repeat. You can only eat ONE.

24.) Just because Golden Oreos are not made with a chocolate cookie, it does not mean they are better for you. They are also not an appropriate substitute for breakfast even if you do only have one serving (let’s be honest, two servings…who are we kidding?).

25.) Carbohydrates are right up there with the Devil on a scale of good and evil. All bread, rice, pasta, and sugars are an unholy temptation set out to make you fail at life.

"The Devil made me do it!"

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