Think Your Diet Is Healthy? After Hearing These Misconceptions, You May Think Again

Just because food is brown doesn't mean it's healthy.

There's been a great new trend of more people making sure that what they eat is healthy.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of conflicting ideologies about what makes some food healthier than others. While some of these are based in science, others really aren't. 

Mental Floss has tackled 9 of the most common misconceptions about eating a healthy diet.

Check 'em out:

Misconception 1: Eating raw food is better for your digestion.

While cooking food does break down some of the enzymes found in raw food, those same enzymes are pretty much lost when raw foods are eaten and broken down anyway due to body heat and the early parts of the digestive process.

If you want to aid in your digestion through diet, choose foods packed with fiber.

Misconception 2: Brown bread is always healthier

This one could actually be true, assuming the brown bread is getting its color from being 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain. 

If a brown bread doesn't specify that it's whole grain, it likely has the same type of flour as white bread. Some of these are colored through artificial colors or molasses to more closely resemble whole grain bread, even though they're actually not better than the white stuff.

Misconception 3: Artificial sweeteners help you lose weight.

Artificial sweeteners do reduce the amount of calories taken in, but repeated studies have shown that those who use artificial sweeteners rather than just using sugar actually gain more weight.

Misconception 4: Food labeled "natural" is always healthier.

There aren't any actual restrictions as to what a food needs to be in order to be labeled as "natural." Even if there were, there isn't much convincing evidence that "natural" means "better" anyway.

Misconception 5: Agave nectar is a healthier substitute for sugar.

Agave nectar might be less processed and more "natural" than white sugar, but it has a lot more calories and more fructose in it. Studies have linked excessive fructose intake with cardiovascular and liver disease. Fructose itself might not be the causal agent for disease, but high fructose intake is pretty indicative of an unbalance and unhealthy diet.

Misconception 6: Margarine is always healthier than butter.

Margarine has been designed to have "better" fats than butter to help lower bad cholesterol, however, not all margarine is created equal. Choose a variety that doesn't have trans fat in order to keep your spread heart-healthy.

Misconception 7: Brown eggs have better nutrition than white eggs.

Brown eggs reflect the type of hen that laid the eggs, but brown and white eggs have nearly identical nutritional attributes.

Misconception 8: Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar

White sugar is just brown sugar with the molasses taken out, and they have fairly similar nutritional profiles. "Raw" sugar undergoes most of the same processes as white sugar, but still has some molasses left in it.

They do have different flavors from one another and therefore have their own reasons for existing, but don't get too hung up on one being "better" than another. They all need to be eaten in moderation.

Misconception 9: "Local" and "organic" are the same thing.

Local food sounds great because it means that the farmer lives near you and it also cuts down on the amount of fuel needed to get the food from the field to your table, which is definitely the eco-friendly way to go.

However, just like with the term "natural," there aren't any stipulations on what can be called "local." If being sourced near you is important, make sure you find out exactly where the farm is located.

Misconception 10: Organic food is more nutritious than conventional food.

Studies have shown that organic food does not have any nutritional advantage over conventional food, though the organic foods did have slightly more antioxidants.

Hear the full explanations here:

[H/T: Mental Floss]

[Header image credit: Amazing Almonds]