Top 5 Food Myths Social Media is Forcing You to Believe
Wondering whether to have milk after consuming fish or fish oil tablets? Or just avoiding those egg yolks because you want to lose weight? Food myths are something we cannot ignore while discussing the eating habits and health. Food is the most essential part of human’s life when it comes to being productive and utilizing energy. What we consume says a lot about our body, our psychology, and our health conditions.
Spending most of the time on platforms like Instagram, Facebook or Whatsapp than a news website, millennials along with other generations seek information from social media, even about the food we consume. Watching info-graphics online without knowing the whole scientific aspects or without surety of the logic given behind a certain statement leads to food myths. Food Myths are a result of something that they hear or assume with limited information. Well, from a nutrition point of view, there is a crucial need of debunking certain food myths.
- Coffee is Dehydrating: Coffee or caffeine is a mild diuretic but it does not cause dehydration. Diuretic means it causes the fluids to be flushed out of the body. The loss of fluid makes people believe that it is dehydrating but it is not. So if you are avoiding having that morning caffeine or asking someone else to leave it, here is the science for you. It helps in hydrating and not the opposite,
- Organic food is healthy: Today, any food we consume is healthy or unhealthy based on what you are tagging it with, if this logic one is followed, then that is where our second food myth comes in. As discussed, the social media trends bring in some information which one believed to be true as it is flashed again and again in front of the eyes. Watching a social media influencer promoting an organic brand leads to the myth that they are healthy. Well, any food that is grown today and tagged organic means that it must be grown without the use of any “synthetic” fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, etc. The farmers replace the synthetic fertilizers with organic one, but the nutritional value of conventionally grown food and the organic counterparts remains the same.
- Salads, the healthiest option: From “Morning routine” videos to “what I eat in a day” video, one can believe that you can never go wrong with the salads. Truth be told, salads contain some ingredients that make them not the healthiest option in the menu. Replacing salads as a meal replacement is not recommended by various nutritionists as they do not have a sufficient amount of “Proteins” required by the body. Lettuce and a blob of dressings and some cherry tomatoes consumed in the name of salad for losing weight lead to either starving themselves which severely harms the body.
- Low-fat Versions are healthier: Replacing the original food options with the low fast versions to reduce weight, is one of the most followed food myths. While the marketing aspect of it is very helpful for brands as it says in bold “Low-Fat”, many of the buyers end up buying it. The fat is a necessary part of the food consumed by humans just like nutrients and vitamins. Fat is caloric but when it is removed from foods it is replaced with sugar or salt. The adulterated version you choose at the supermarket may not be the healthiest one if you choose to check the ingredients.
- Gluten, the forbidden ingredient: The term which got its publicity in the most recent part of the food, gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like wheat, rice, barley. Usually associated with the bread, pizza, pasta and cereal, the term is not named as unhealthy. Well, first of all, it is not good for people who have Celiac disease or gluten intolerance to consume gluten and hence they are advised not to. But if one does not have the mentioned concerns, then buying Gluten-free and baked goods that lack nutrients is not actually the “healthy” option. Again, being a target of the trends and promotion by the brands, one has to stop believing in this food myth.
Social media as a source of information is not a “healthy” choice in terms of physical as well as mental health. Avoiding certain foods or having certain ones in the name of consuming “healthy” food and believing in the new age food myths, is leading millennials towards an “unhealthy lifestyle” that too without knowing. It is essential to address these myths and eat what is the right amount of food at the right time.