Ask the Experts: Myth Busters!

By , Dana Angelo White
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

BUSTED:  Bonnie 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 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

Click here for more myth busters from Food Network

More from Food Network:What's YOUR favorite nutrition myth?

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When I grocery shop, I try to buy those items that have natural ingredients in them. I don't do fat-free, low fat, sugar free or anything like that. I use real butter, olive oil, whole milk, real sugar and so on. If nature had intended for me to eat FD&C yellow, it would grow in the fields or on a tree! Report
Interesting! It's important to do your research!! Report
Interesting! It's important to do your research!! Report
One of the myths circulating now is " wheat belly." That is even eating whole grain wheat gives you wheat belly and causes all kinds of diseases including diabetes. This is because so they say because of the wheat being altered from what our grandparents ate. They say there are stores of old wheat being stored and you should only eat goods made from old wheat. My Dr says the science does not support this notion. Report
A myth is something repeated so often as fact that it is believed. What happens when it is believed that 5=3 and today's life expectancy of 70+ = 1930s life expectancy of less than 65? Report
I was really annoyed by #1. I have never heard the myth that organic foods are more nutritious, that is, that they contain more basic nutrients than non-organic foods. What I have heard and believe is that such foods are HEALTHIER or BETTER for you because of the lack of pesticide residue, antibiotics, and so on. They may contain the same amount of vitamins and minerals, but they do NOT contain stuff that can be harmful. The benefit has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of vitamins & minerals. I don't think they are meant to taste differently, either. They simply do not add chemicals that may well have disastrous health effects down the road. It is not a simple link between eating non-organic & starting to get sick the same day, or eating organic & instantaneously feeling worlds better.

A similar pet peeve of mine is articles and news bits that bash the promotion of drinking 8+ glasses of water daily. For heaven's sake, sure, a person can stay hydrated with less, but the idea of drinking lots more is for many OTHER health benefits, not merely minimal hydration. I realize I am preaching to the choir here at SP but I know you guys have probably seen the same debunking idiocy about water. Report
Well, this myth busting article just propagated more myths. Direct quote from above, "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." Organic food is grown using organic pesticides and fertilizers which are chemicals. Antibiotic foods must be labeled antibiotic-free and are not necessarily organic. Hormones (testosterone, progesterone, estrogen) are natually occurring in animal products. There is more estrogen and progesterone in an adult woman's urine without the addition of birth control than in meat. Another disappointing and inaccurate article. Report
Egg substitutes are much lower in calories than eggs so are used to cut calories Report
Have to say I was never so glad as when the fabled healthiness of liver was disproved. I always hated it and now I have a GOOD reason to not eat it. :-) Report
Since eggs have been found to not be so unhealthy and have healthy benefits, why do most of the recipes on here call for egg substitute or whites only instead of just using the egg? Report
"Fat-free foods are usually highly processed and filled with chemicals to help them mimic the flavor of their full fat counterparts." WHAT???? Maybe in today's SAD Standard American Diet this is true, but what about FRUITS, VEGETABLES, LEGUMES, and WHOLE GRAINS? Granted, not all are fat-free, but they are all very low in calories and fat, and incredibly high in fiber and nutrients. Yes, if a food package or label touts "fat-free" you should probably run in the other direction, but I prefer to eat foods that don't even have labels! Report
to Dragonfly2: the remaining myth are found by clickling the link near the bottom of thearticle.."more myths from FoodNetwork" I agree with the facts of organic foods: the things that are lacking are the reason I consider them healthy. A case of "less is more". You all have a wonderful stress free day; and when stress drifts by, rise above it. It will "drift on by". Report
I'm confused. The article is called 5 Common Nutrition Myths Busted. But I only see 3. Where are the other 2? And I'm curious who thinks Organic foods are more nutritious? I never eaten them because I thought I'd get more nutrition. I eat them to avoid the pesticides and crap. To get more nutrition, I eat natural, non-GMO, organic foods. And for the person who disagrees that eggs are healthy and claims they caused her high cholesterol, they need to understand there are many factors that cause high cholesterol, not just one food. I actually agree that eggs are very healthy and help lower cholesterol. I eat them ALL the time and I have very low cholesterol. It's your overall diet, exercise and genetics not just one food item. My food motto, the more naturally occurring a food is, the healthier it is for you. Our bodies were created to eat the foods in our environment and for thousands of years people ate from the land, not some lab created processed junk from a grocery store. Report
I can honestly say I have never been able to taste the difference between Organic and conventionally grown food. Maybe I'm not sophisticated enough. Report
I think that whoever thinks that it's OK/Healthy to eat conventionally grown foods, please take my share. You can have any and all of the pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, artificial everythings and other additions on your plate and in your bodies. I will gladly make different choices for myself and for my loved ones. Report
#2 is not a myth, according to those who promote a plant-based whole food diet. My 130 cholesterol count is a testament to this, and I am getting all the other nutrients that I am allegedly missing.

The thing is there are many theories out there, and to call one a myth is just plain willful ignorance Report
I like one about if you eat anything after 4pm it will turn to fat. My body does not have that kind of clock. If I eat cake at 2am or 2pm it will do the same in the body. Report
Seriously, when did anyone claim that organic food had more nutrients? Organic food has always been touted as healthier because of less harmful chemicals being used on it. Report
I shall continue to buy organic as much as I can because it is less contaminated and for the most part, tastes better. Report
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