Here’s a list of food myths that we discovered were completely untrue (sob)...
1) Salad is the healthy option
Don’t worry; we’re not calling your Mum a liar! In theory, she’s right and salad should be the healthy option. It is full of vitamins, minerals and all of the good stuff that your body needs to function.
However, this doesn’t necessarily apply to the salads you buy when eating out. For example, a McDonald’s hamburger contains only 300 calories, whereas their Chicken Caesar Salad contains 350 and their Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken contains a whopping 450 calories.
2) Red wine is good for you
There is a common misconception that drinking red wine on a regular basis is good for you. The truth of the matter is that wine may be good at lowering cholesterol and may contain some anti-oxidants, but it is still fattening and can cause significant damage to your other vital organs when drunk regularly.
Your body is also much more likely to absorb anti-oxidants that come from eating foods such as spinach or drinking fruit juice than it is from your evening glass of red!
Okay, we’re not going to suggest that you cut it out altogether (we wouldn't be so cruel), but don’t believe everything you hear about its health merits.
3) Go sugar free
Fizzy drinks that are sugar free, surely these aren’t a food myth? Well we’re sorry to break it to you, but some of these sugar-free drinks can be unhealthier than their counterparts. Some companies will add alternative flavourings such as sweeteners to drinks in order to make them taste better. These can trick your body in to producing excess insulin and lead to a sugar craving later on (oh, and the acidic additives can also play havoc with your teeth and stomach).
4) You only crave what your body needs
Deep down, you know that this is a myth. After all, when was the last time you craved something healthy? Your body needs a careful balance of vitamins, minerals, protein and carbohydrates – what it doesn’t need is chocolate, crisps or curries!
Food cravings are actually psychosomatic. The areas of your brain most at work when you have a food craving are actually those responsible for memory and pleasure as opposed to the part of your brain that responds to hunger. Food cravings are not your body’s way of telling you what you need, but your brain’s way of using food as a means of seeking pleasure.
5) Decaff coffee contains no caffeine
Apart from alcohol, caffeine is one of the UK’s most widely consumed drugs. Available in everything from tea and coffee to fizzy drinks such as coke, it is pretty hard to cut it out of your diet.
If you’re one of the people who is trying to stay off the coffee completely, then we’ve got some bad news for you – although it does contain less caffeine than your regular cup of coffee (it takes 11 cups of decaff coffee to match the caffeine levels of 2 cappuccinos) a decaffeinated beverage is most definitely NOT caffeine free.