Top 20 Myths About Food & Nutrition

With a constant influx of contradicting scientific studies, journalistic exposés and video documentaries all telling us the latest “big discovery” in nutrition, it comes as no surprise that much of our understanding, when it comes to food, is in fact just a myth. 

That’s why we teamed up with nutritionist and member of the British Dietetic Association, Priya Tew, and Onepoll to commission a survey of 4,000 adults across the U.S. and U.K. to identify and demystify some of the most common misconceptions about food. In fact, of those surveyed, 63% of Americans and 47% of Brits admitted to having believed something about food which they later found out to be untrue. “With so many different sources of information out there today it’s hard for consumers to know what to believe when it comes to diets and food misconceptions,” explained nutritionist Priya Tew. 

Among many other findings, some of the most common misnomers were:

  • Almost 1/4 of people are under the impression carbohydrates cause weight gain. While overeating any food can lead to excess weight, it’s all about energy balance, and carbohydrates do not need to be completely avoided.
  • Over 1/6 of participants polled said that they believe all margarine contains trans-fats. However, all market leading margarines removed partially hydrogenated oils many years ago and contain virtually no trans fats. In comparison, dairy butter has high levels of trans fats.
  • An 1/8 of Americans and 1/10 of Brits said they believe juicing to be a more nutritious way of consuming fruit and vegetables. In reality, juicing breaks down the fibre and makes it easier for the natural sugars to be taken up by the bloodstream, so they are less nutritious. However, blended fruits and veggies (e.g. smoothies) retain the pulp and flesh, making them a healthier alternative. 
  • And while nearly 80% of those polled don’t think margarine is plant-based, more than 40% don’t believe that peanuts are either. Basic margarines contain just four natural ingredients including water, plant oils, natural plant-based emulsifiers and salt. 

Can you separate food fact from food fiction? Take the test to find out how well you know your peas from your carrots:

UK

 

US