There are a lot of myths out there about the food we eat. Unfortunately, some of those myths can keep you from eating nutritious foods that are good for you. 

It’s time to break some of those myths and tell you the truth about the foods you eat.

Canned soups are bad for you

Have you heard you should avoid canned soups? The truth is canned soups are not necessarily “bad.” However, they can be high in sodium, so I would recommend a low-sodium option if you are on a sodium restricted diet. 

Frozen fruits and vegetables are not as nutritious as fresh produce 

Getting the facts on frozen fruits and vegetables can be a game changer for many individuals. The truth is frozen is a great alternative to fresh produce for several reasons.

  • They last longer in the freezer than fresh produce does in the fridge.
  • “Steamable” options are quick and easy ways to include extra fiber and add nutrients to your meals.
  • They can be cheaper than fresh produce.

My only words of caution are to be sure you know what is in the bag, as some have added sauces and/or seasonings. This can add extra calories or fat content. Be sure to read your labels.

Carbohydrates should be avoided

Quite simply, NO. Carbohydrates are not bad for you. In fact, they are your body’s preferred source of fuel and energy, and there is no need to avoid them. I do encourage you to make them a part of your well-balanced meals and snacks. Of course, there is a difference between processed foods like white bread versus a natural potato. It’s all about making smart choices. You can get more tips on carbohydrates and “white foods” here. 

Eggs raise your cholesterol

This is an interesting one. The truth is that eggs alone do not impact your cholesterol; how they are cooked is what can make a difference. If you’re frying an egg with butter or other items that are high in saturated or trans fats, then your cholesterol can be affected. You can still enjoy eggs as part of a balanced diet by cooking them with heart healthy fats such as olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter or use non-stick pans. Or mix it up and try boiled or poached eggs.

Fat-free and low-fat food options are better for you

This one may be confusing. When it comes to meat and dairy, this is true. Opting for meats and dairy that are lower in saturated fat are better for your heart. Chicken or fish may be a better alternative than ground beef (depending on the cooking methods of course). Likewise, a 1% milk is a better choice for you than whole milk. 

When it comes to those processed and packaged foods such as snacks and cookies, the same does not hold true. When the manufacturers remove the “fat” they add in other ingredients to make up for the difference in flavor. That means they often add ingredients that are not as healthy, including sugar and salt. Be sure to read your labels to see what you’re eating. If unsure, choosing whole foods over processed foods will always be a better choice. 

For more tips on eating for health, visit the Nourishing section of our Lifespan Living health and wellness blog.

Sara Hilsman, RD, LDN

Sara Hilsman, RD, LDN

Sara Hilsman, RD, LDN, is a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian nutritionist. She provides diet and nutrition guidance, counseling, and education in support of weight loss goals and as post-surgery follow-up for patients of the Center for Bariatric Surgery, the Kidney Stone Center, and the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute at The Miriam Hospital.