Science Or Science Fiction: Popular Diet Myths Debunked

assorted fresh vegetable juicesTurn on the TV, listen to the radio or go on the Internet. Eventually, you’re going to come across some “late-breaking news” about a new “super food,” “clinically proven” vitamin supplement, or diet guaranteed to cure whatever ails you. But are these claims true or nothing more than great marketing techniques? Can a particular food or supplement reduce your risk for heart disease?

In a recent scientific review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, scientists cut through the confusion and separate science from science fiction regarding popular nutrition related fads. Here’s the results:

Myth: No need to worry about eggs and cholesterol.

Fact: Cholesterol is still important to consider. Diets that are lower in dietary cholesterol are associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. In fact, the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that people should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible.

Dietary cholesterol is found only in animal foods such as egg yolk, dairy products, shellfish, meats, and poultry.

Myth: Coconut oil deserves a health halo.

Fact:  No health halo for coconut oil. According to the authors, current claims of health benefits of coconut oil and other tropical oils such as palm or palm kernel oil,  are unsubstantiated, and you should avoid these oils. In contrast, there is a large body of evidence to support the heart health benefits of olive oil. Just remember when it comes to calories, all fat has over 100 calories per tablespoon. So limit fat if you want to keep your calorie intake down.