NUTRITION

Carbs Make You Fat and Other Myths

By Michele C. Hollow @michelechollow
 | 
October 24, 2016

We’ve all heard that carbohydrates make you fat, eating chocolate causes zits, and that eggs are bad for you.

Remember when we were told to avoid eating eggs? The yolks contain about 213 mg of cholesterol, and we all know high cholesterol levels can cause heart problems. So we ordered egg white omelets and limited or gave up this near perfect food. 

Near perfect food? Yes. We now have information proving that eggs are good for us. Yes, health information can be confusing.

 

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A study published in the British Journal of Medicine reviewed 17 different egg studies and found that eating up to one egg per day is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke. 

“Most of the studies I’ve seen conclude that eggs are fine,” said Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RN, nutritionist. “Some studies note that eggs may even improve your health, as they contain nutrients difficult to find in other foods.”

Those nutrients include protein, choline (used for brain function), lutein and zeaxanthin (both help prevent eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration), and vitamin D (it’s important for our bones and teeth).

So we can cross eggs off our list of foods to avoid. What about the other food myths that still persist? Following are a few popular ones:

Carbs make you fat

Since the first anti-carb book appeared on the bestseller lists (“Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution,” 1972), several books touting low-carb, high-protein diets followed. 

“There’s nothing inherently fattening about carbohydrates,” said Jean Harvey-Berino, PhD, RD, chair of the department of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Vermont. “It’s eating too many calories, period, that makes you fat.”

It’s smart to limit eating highly-processed white flour foods and sugar, which can increase your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. You can enjoy the good carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.

 

 

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Updated:  

October 13, 2017

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN