Five health misconceptions based on myths


Many may believe their habits make them healthier. However, several health and fitness misconceptions lead enthusiasts astray.

Myth: “All natural” means it’s healthy.

Many products claim to be “all natural,” but that does not necessarily mean the claims are true. Instead, you should look for the USDA Organic logo and review the ingredients list. Try to avoid things like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and food dyes.

Myth: Buying organic is always better than buying non-organic.

While many people prefer to shop for organic products, it leaves the question: what does non-organic mean?

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) fall under the non-organic category because they are treated with strong herbicides and pesticides, where as organic products are not. While leftover herbicides and pesticides are not healthy to consume, there have been no research studies to link GMOs with health problems.

Washing produce before consumption can aid in preventing the unwanted consumption of chemical residue. The only way to guarantee you are buying organic produce, free of herbicide and pesticide use, is to look for the “USDA Organic” official sticker.

Myth: Sports drinks are beneficial.

Products like Gatorade and Powerade are popular for the added electrolytes and carbohydrates. This is helpful for athletes who work out for longer than 90 minutes to fuel and hydrate their bodies. However, for moderate workouts lasting longer than an hour or even just walking around during the day, water is sufficient to stay hydrated.

The extra sugar and calories only adds to your diet. Even if you are a serious athlete, it is important to be careful when consuming sports drinks because they also contain food coloring and high fructose corn syrup.

Myth: All fruit juices are good.

Many people will say to look for 100 percent fruit juice. While that usually guarantees there are no hidden ingredients, it doesn’t mean it is healthy.

When it comes down to it, many 100 percent fruit juices have a lot of sugar. This is sugar that is balanced with fiber when eating a whole fruit. Juicing a fruit takes the fiber out of the equation, leaving you with a higher concentration of sugar that is not as easily broken down in the body.

A healthier option is vegetable juice. Many perceive fruit juice to contain a blend of fruits and vegetables.

However, if the vegetables are the last ingredients on the ingredients list, you’re not doing yourself any favors. It is better to look for juices that contain mostly vegetables, with the addition of only a few fruits.

This way, you are reaping the benefits of consuming many fruits and vegetables, but you are not paying the price for drinking too much sugar.

Myth: Fat Free products are healthy.

Americans love to demonize things, and fat, like gluten, has become one of those things.Walking down the aisles of a grocery store, you may find yourself faced with many fat-free options.

What many people do not know is that fat-free products are often loaded with substitutes, usually sugar, to compensate for the lack of fat.However, once sugar enters your body, it is turned into fat; therefore, you aren’t eating something truly “fat free.”

Next time you grocery shop, think of these common misperceptions of healthier options, because in the long run they may not be the best choices to maintain that desired healthier lifestyle.