Many of us have heard facts about certain foods that we believed to be true — only to discover later that these were a myth. Like, for example, the fact that restricting calories and following a gluten-free diet can do more harm than good for your health. It’s challenging enough trying to keep a healthy weight and eat right, and getting misinformation about health and nutrition can give you yet another reason to worry.
We at Bright Side believe health-related facts must be backed up by science. We’ve done our research to prepare this list of popular foods that might not be as healthy as you thought.
1. Lemon water
Because of its acidity, lemon may worsen acid reflux, a common condition that affects 60 million Americans each month. Acidic liquid, such as lemon water, could also be damaging to teeth enamel. Dentists recommend using a straw when drinking lemon water and rinsing your mouth after.
Most of us know that black coffee can stain your teeth, but tea can also affect the color of your enamel. Because tea contains more tannin than coffee, it is even more likely to cause long-lasting discoloration. Drinking a glass of water after a cup of tea can help to reduce staining.
3. Dried fruit
Many people replace candy with dried fruit, but this can actually be quite dangerous to your teeth. Companies often use artificial food coloring to make dried fruit more appealing, and these can stain your teeth. Dried fruit may also decrease the natural saliva secretion of your mouth. Because saliva helps to fight bacteria, it can cause more oral health problems.
4. Agave syrup
Many health-conscious people try to avoid sugar and use natural sweeteners instead. But agave nectar is a highly processed syrup and is dangerously high in fructose. This may damage your liver because it’s turning fructose into fat, which in turn, can cause fatty liver disease.
5. Low-calorie foods
More than 80% of people regain weight once they go off their diets, and scientists believe low-calorie foods are to blame. If you’re regularly getting fewer calories than your body needs, it causes your metabolism to slow down. Because these diets are usually low in protein, it affects your muscle tissue. Instead of restricting calories, medical experts recommend eating enough protein and adding resistance exercises to your workout routine.
6. Protein powder
While it is true that protein is essential for your muscle and body strength, the push for adding more protein to your meals is all based on marketing. If you keep a healthy diet, you get enough protein from your meals. But protein in the form of supplements can do more harm than good. It may cause digestive distress if you’re lactose intolerant, and there’s very little research on its long-term effects.
7. Green juice
Green juice has been a health trend for a long time, but it doesn’t offer as many health benefits as fruits and vegetables. Juices contain very little fiber, which is essential for proper digestion and keeping a healthy weight.
8. Low-carb foods
Medical experts urge people to avoid low-carb diets. Cutting back on carbs might help you lose weight fast, but not getting enough carbs in the long-term may lead to cardiovascular disease.
9. Coconut oil
Although coconut oil does have many unique qualities, it is better to consider it an occasional treat. It tends to raise cholesterol levels and may possibly increase the risk of heart disease.
10. Gluten-free products
A gluten-free diet is essential for people suffering from celiac disease, but switching to it voluntarily may be damaging to your health. Many gluten-free baked foods are high in calories and sugar. There are also lots of healthy foods with gluten that can give your body essential nutrients.
What foods on this list surprised you the most? Do you know of any other health myths that you’d like to share with other Bright Siders?