Marketing, ads, articles, news, blog posts, social media… we get constantly bombarded with information about nutrition, what we should eat and what we should avoid.
Some of this information is made confusing on purpose; some of it is just the wrong information that people with charisma and no knowledge are spreading around.
After a few months into my personal journey to a healthier lifestyle, and a better diet, I discovered that I was far from being in the right direction.
These are the wrong beliefs that I had at the beginning of my journey:
1. I thought that following people online, eating what they suggested was the solution, even if they had no education about nutrition and anything related.
Nowadays, it’s easy to turn to social media, or blogs, to look for free help. However, that free help can cost us more if we had invested money in consulting with a specialist.
Everyone has a voice; some people are better at having a louder voice to build a big following. It’s also very easy to use claims and words like “healthy” or “clean eating”.
After deciding to study an M.S. Degree in Nutrition, I have realized that the nutrition world is complex; it’s easy for people to just copy what other people do without really having the proper knowledge.
2. I thought that eliminating gluten would make me lose weight.
I was bombarded by claims about eating a gluten-free diet, but I didn’t know that the food industry was just using experts in marketing to convince me that any gluten-free product was good for me, even those with highly refined ingredients.
At the end of the day, sugar and processed oils are gluten-free.
3. I thought that I had to eliminate animal products from my diet to be healthy and to help the environment.
This is another claim, that is often seen on social media, that people often use because it helps to grow their audience.
Then, I started reading about soil and how raising animals is important to keep healthy soil to help the environment. One of my reference books on this subject is “The soil will save us”.
Also, I’m very lucky that my body tolerates dairy products extremely well, so why not take advantage of all of the good nutrients?
4. I thought I had to buy every superfood available if I wanted to be healthy.
I would constantly see recipes with the latest superfood in the market; more brands were selling those products in fancy packages with so many claims on them.
My sanity saved me from buying the whole lot. I started by spending my time, energy, AND money, on organic foods that I have known all of my life.
5. I thought that if a label had no sugar in its ingredient list, it was healthy.
Sugar-free was the claim I’d look for on labels, even in ultra-processed foods. Cakes, muffins, pastries, or whatever sweets I wanted to have; I was convinced that a sugar-free claim meant that it was safe to eat.
However, I had no idea that sugar could be in so many different forms: agave, malt, maple, syrup, concentrate and any word with the suffix “-ose” (maltose, trehalose, fructose).
Now, I don’t buy anything before reading the ingredient list. I’m always on the lookout for any of those words.
6. I thought that I had to eat a looot of protein.
Everyone I was following on social media were always posting about having protein shakes, and adding beans and chickpeas in every recipe to get more proteins.
After learning about macronutrients, I have also learned that everyone’s body is different, and depending on our activities, we need different amounts and types of proteins, carbs and fats.
Eating a lot of something is never good because that would mean eating less of something else.
7. I thought that I had to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Every day, I was seeing new recipes on my social media feed; some of them looked very complicated and required a lot of time to make them.
As a consequence, I started thinking that eating healthy meant spending a big amount of time in the kitchen to prepare all of those recipes.
Then I discovered meal planning. I took some time to think about the foods I really enjoy eating and how to make a healthy version of them.
8. I thought that if a label had a healthy claim, I was actually eating something healthy.
Who wouldn’t? Why would a labeled food have a claim about being healthy, if it really isn’t? The government wouldn’t allow that and the producers wouldn’t lie, right?
WRONG! Unfortunately, we live in a society that’s more complicated than this. I have learned that the foods I’m actually safe eating are those that come with no package and have no claim on them.
9. I thought that to be healthy I had to invest a lot of money.
Superfoods are expensive and so are gluten-free packaged products. Let’s not talk about organic foods that usually cost three times the amount you pay for the regular version.
I wanted to make it all at the same time until I realized that was a crazy idea and that I probably didn’t need to spend all of my money to be healthy.
10. I thought that I needed to force myself to eat healthy foods.
Do you agree with me that broccoli is one of the most famous healthy food on social media, together with chickpeas?
Well, I used to hate both of them, but because everyone was talking about them as if they would do wonders in my body, I tried to force myself to eat them a few times, even if I didn’t like the taste.
I then discovered that there is a better way to introduce new food into my diet, and many ways to prepare them. I just needed to find the right way that worked for me.
11. I thought that eating healthy foods was enough to be healthy.
Because dieting is what people do when they want to lose weight, I thought that eating healthy food was the only thing I needed to get into shape and be healthy.
I discovered the importance of a good night’s sleep, regular exercise, enough social life, meditation, emotional balance, etc.
Experimenting with different foods is the best way to figure out what we like best, understanding what our body needs and to actually see the results from the actions that we take.
YOUR TURN: Any of this resonate with you? Did you have any “revelation” in your journey to a healthier life? Let me know in the comments and tell me if you have any questions about all of this.
As always, I appreciate you stopping by my blog, and if you think this post might help someone you know to make even a small step to a healthier lifestyle, please don’t hesitate to share it away!
Happy Healthy Life!
A big hug,
Claudia Canu is a former junk food and sugar addict transformed into a Health Motivator with a master’s degree in Nutrition. She has created this website not only to share her “Journey to her Healthy Forties” but also to help other busy women with basic knowledge about nutrition and who don’t love cooking, to live a healthier life, and achieve big goals.