A lot of health goals can be achieved by making certain corrective changes to everyday diet. People who have weight concerns, Alzheimer’s disease, or other comorbidities can reap benefits from a professionally-planned diet.

However, with the advent of the internet, people are more at risk of falling prey to fad diets that have little to no nutritional payoff. These sketchy diet myths spread misinformation, and could be doing more harm than good. Here are 30 such internet-famous claims that have no grounds in reality.

1. Fresh fruits and veggies are healthier than canned, frozen, or dried

Sara Bleich, former director of nutrition security and health equity at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told the New York Times that the claim makes no sense. Even as there are concerns that canned fruits may sneakily contain saturated fats and added sugar, Bleich recommends reading the label and only buying those that have minimum levels of additives.

Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables. Pixabay

2. Fats are always harmful

It’s frustrating to see almost all websites demonizing fat. But that’s not the case, as fats have some nutritional values that only experts can validate. In several instances, this vilification has led many people, especially food manufacturers, to replace calories from fat with refined carbohydrates like white flour and added sugar which, according to Dr. Vijaya Surampudi, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California's Center for Human Nutrition, increased the rate of obesity as opposed to helping the people stay in shape.

Healthy fats
What are healthy fats? Photo courtesy of Pexels

3. “Calories in, calories out” is all that matters

There is a common conception that burning more calories than one intake leads to weight loss, and, on the other hand, eating more than one burns can help in gaining weight. Experts say this indeed happens, but the effects are fairly short-lived. Doctors say many other factors may prevent one from losing weight, such as hypothyroidism, metabolic adaptations, or the use of certain medications. Nutritionists, therefore, recommend focusing on the food value of eatables rather than the caloric value, as the latter only flood the bloodstream with sugar and amino acids that are later transformed into saturated fat by the liver.

Exercise and bloating
People may experience bloating as a post-workout feeling because of problems with nutrition, hydration and even the environment. Pexels

4. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

While many believe that a healthier breakfast means a healthier start to the day, research has shown it may not be the case for most people. It was found that postponing the time for breakfast during intermittent fasting has a slew of benefits, including improved blood sugar control with a visible reduction in rates of inflammation.

Breakfast Cereal
Certain fortified cereals help address micro-nutrient deficiencies. However, it is important to watch out for false marketing. Pixabay

5. Eating small, frequent meals can make you healthy

The claim seems unfounded, as research has found that people who eat smaller meals throughout the day tend to have increased hunger levels and desire to eat as compared to those who ate larger meals.

Almonds. Steve Buissinne / Pixabay

6. People with type 2 diabetes should steer clear of fruits

Nutritionists say that juices that come by combining many fruits can shoot up blood sugar levels, but eating whole fruits barely has any adverse effects on diabetic people.

These are eight ways that prevent autoimmune diseases such as diabetes. silviarita/Pixabay

7. Plant milk is healthier than cow’s milk

Plant milk is lower in protein content than cow’s milk. To say, cow’s milk has around eight grams of protein per cup, whilst plant milk has only one to two grams per cup. That aside, Kathleen Merrigan, a professor of sustainable food systems at Arizona State University and a former U.S. deputy secretary of agriculture, told the New York Times that plant milk has more added ingredients, which can cause many health hazards.

High cholesterol and diabetes are common in Latino communities; Therefore, to celebrate National Minority Health Awareness Month, Luisa Sabogal RD is sharing amazing nutrition tips to help support these conditions. Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

8. White potatoes are bad for consumption

Potatoes are often shown in a bad light due to their high glycemic index, which can flood the system with digestible carbohydrates that can notch up blood sugar levels. Daphene Altema-Johnson, a program officer of food communities and public health at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, debunked the myth while talking to the New York Times, saying that potatoes can be beneficial for health as they contain vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and other nutrients.

Potatoes are good sources of resistant starch, which good bacteria uses to generate energy to produce immune cells and protect the stomach. Pixabay

9. Babies should not be introduced to peanut products before they turn one

New moms are discouraged by many to avoid introducing peanut or other allergenic foods such as eggs to a child below one year. However, doctors say unless the infant has severe eczema or other known food allergies, it’s okay to give them peanut products early on.

The Food Allergy Research & Education estimates there is one person being rushed to the emergency room every three minutes in the U.S. due to a food allergy reaction. Pixabay

10. Soy-based foods are linked to breast cancer

Higher doses of plant estrogens in soy called isoflavones have been found to increase the chances of breast tumor cell growth in animal studies, but the results were below the danger mark in human studies, Dr. Frank B. Hu, a professor and the chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told the New York Times.

The alkaline diet embraces soy-based products. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

11. A protein shake is the best post-workout drink

Protein shakes aren’t the only drinks that help with post-workout cell regeneration. Research in Kelly Choi's The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse found that having three cups of green tea per day leaves fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to workouts, reports Eat This, Not That.

Protein shake
A recent study from Australia claims that protein shakes adversely affects your mortality. Fabiano Silva/Pixabay

12. High-fructose corn syrup is worse than table sugar

Sugar and HFCS have the same calorific value as any other food products with added sugar. Plus, HFCS has a higher glycemic index as well as higher fructose content than sugar. So it will be safe to say HFCS is only good for increasing the shelf-life, but isn’t any better than standard table sugar in other respects.

Sugar vs. High Fructose Corn Syrup: How Each Breaks Down In The Body
Glucose and fructose are both sweet, sugary additives, but your body processes each differently. Youtube

13. Sea salt is better than regular table salt

The regular table salt has 2,300 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon and sea salt, which is produced from evaporated seawater, also contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon. So, understandably, it makes no difference. Some may argue the latter contains sodium and magnesium, but the minerals exist in trace amounts. This means one needs to take in extremely high and potentially dangerous levels of sodium to acquire a significant dose.

Salt Shaker
The findings have stirred debate, especially among experts who support reducing salt intake to the lowest levels possible. Max Pixel

14. Paleo diet is a great choice for weight loss

Paleo or low-carb diet, which became a raging sensation, centered around food items that are low on carbohydrates and high in protein. Eating bacon and steaks indeed helped shed those extra kilos, but experts said it can cause weight gain in the long term. Research has found that those who had a protein-heavy diet were at a 90% greater risk of gaining more than 10% of their body weight over time as compared to those who ate carbs.

Paleo Diet
Paleo dieters rejoice as we’ve compiled this list of the 14 best Paleo-friendly snacks on Amazon.

15. “Natural” foods are healthier

Foods with a “natural” tag aren’t always healthy, as they might contain harmful elements. For example, corn syrup is infused with HFCS, and natural Cheetos contain Maltodextrin, which can notoriously increase blood sugar levels, and all Raisin Bran, which soaks its raisins in both sugar and corn syrup, can make you diabetic.

natural products
Natural products (non-vitamin, non-mineral dietary supplements) remain the most frequently used complementary health practice, though Americans have an increasing love of sun salutations. Dylan

16. Egg yolks raise cholesterol levels

Egg yolks get a bad rap for nothing. Though it contains cholesterol, experts argue the levels are moderate and studies have shown that people who are eating 5-6 egg yolks with regular exercise and diet have seen no increase in their blood sugar levels.

Egg yolk
Some people want experts to apologize for changing dietary guidelines, namely toward cholesterol and saturated fat. But being committed to understanding current foods and nutrients is nothing to be sorry for; it's science. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

17. Dark chocolate is good for your health

Dark chocolates contain polyphenols derived from cacao plants, which have shown great promise in lowering blood pressure to aid in weight loss. A 2013 study in the journal Diabetic Medicine even found that those with the disease had their blood sugar levels in control by eating dark chocolates. It also boasts of high concentration of flavonoids, which are responsible for boosting heart health. However, flavonoid, as well as polyphenol contents, are significantly reduced during the manufacturing process, which makes the dark chocolates nothing but mere candies with fancy packaging.

Dark Chocolate
Two studies have found health benefits in dark chocolate which is high in cacao and low in sugar. Charisse Kenion/Unsplash

18. Oats are the best go-to option for weight loss

Oats are said to benefit those who have weight issues, and high blood cholesterol as they have a great grain offering. However, dietitians believe that if you have stomach or other gastronomical issues, especially irritable bowel issues, you can’t tolerate the amount of fiber from a bowlful of oatmeal.

Researchers found that people who replace eggs and white toast with oatmeal for breakfast may have lower risk of stroke. Pixabay

19. Orange is the best source of vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient that has great antioxidant properties, and therefore has a range of health benefits, including strengthening the skin to help build collagen and boosting the body’s metabolism. But the body requires a constant external supply of the component, as it can neither produce nor store it. Citrus fruits, especially oranges, contain high levels of vitamin C, it is believed. But there are many other sources from where you can take in the vitamin, including Kakadu plums, Kiwis, and acerola cherries, among others.

Oranges are a classic source of Vitamin C Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

20. Comfort foods instantly put you in a good spirit

It is believed comfort foods are like old pals, who can immediately uplift your mood. But a 2014 study published in the journal Health Psychology busts the myth. As part of the research, a group of participants was shown depressing films to “induce the negative effect.” They were then given their choice of comfort food or no food at all. Results showed that both groups recovered from their bad mood at the same time, regardless of whether they ate comfort meals or not.

mac and cheese
Mac and cheese made with a powdered mix may contain potentially harmful chemicals, a new report warns. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

21. Multi-grain bread is better than white bread

It’s probably the biggest myth making the rounds in the nutrition space. To tell you, multi-grain bread is just white bread that is darkened by adding caramel or molasses to them, whereas “multi-grain” refers to different kinds of refined grains that have no credibility at all when it comes to improving health.

Bread and grains are sources of carbohydrates, but whole grains can also be part of a healthy diet. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

22. Nutrition bars are great for weight loss

They are not. Nutrition bars are packed with additives. Worse, they contain four different types of sugars, which exceed the limit of what an adult woman should averagely consume in a day.

Healthy Oat and Apricot Bars
Image SaraJane, CC BY-SA 2.0

23. “Trans fat” free foods are trans-fat free

FDA’s food labeling regulations permit a “0 grams trans-fat” claim despite the product having 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. However, the World Health Organization permits only about 1 gram per 2,000 calories to cut down on the chances of heart disease. This means that you are taking in more amounts of trans fat than that limit from products dishonestly marketed as “trans-fat free.”

Trans fatty acids
Trans fatty acids may actually be good for you in small amounts. ebrull CC BY 2.0

24. Caffeine in energy drinks boosts metabolism

Caffeine can somewhat be effective in revving up the metabolism, but the empty calories obtained from energy drinks are hard to burn. What really can do miracles with the metabolic levels is drinking plain water, experts say.

Energy Drink
Energy drinks like Monster and Rockstar are estimated to contain over 50 grams of sugar per can while Redbull contains nearly 27 grams. thom masat/Unsplash

25. Skipping meals will burn calories

Skipping meals will do nothing but increase your desire to reach for high-calorie, high-fat junk foods. So instead of seeing pounds fly off, there is a good chance that you will put on some more.

empty plate
Americans may be eating less, but the quality of nutrition in their food may still be low. Photo courtesy of

26. Diet sodas help you keep in shape

The diet community is becoming increasingly aware of the malevolence of diet sodas that secretly contain aspartame and sucralose, which induce hard-to-control food urges and make you obese, studies have found.

Diet Soda
A new study shows that drinking diet soda alone may not directly cause weight gain as its common artificial sweetener needs to be combined with carbs to cause changes in metabolism. PxHere.com

27. Sugar makes kids hyperactive

There is no definitive evidence that it does, although most websites trade this idea. As part of a 1994 study, families with preschool-aged children were told to consume a diet either high in sucrose with no artificial sweeteners, a diet low in sucrose and containing aspartame (artificial sweetener), or a diet low in sucrose and containing saccharin (the placebo) and subsequent cognitive and behavioral tests proved that “neither sucrose nor aspartame produces discernible cognitive or behavioral effects” in those youngsters.

Both white and brown sugar came from either the sugarcane or sugar beet plant but they have different properties. Pixabay

28. The less you eat is more

The body functions solely on food. Therefore, your diet should consist of all sorts of nutrients including protein, carbohydrates, and fats. However, a good diet should feature good sources of fat like nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, olives, and low-fat dairy as these assist in building cells, produce essential hormones, and give you energy.

New study found that fish consumption early in childhood could reduce occurrence of eczema, asthma and hay fever by 28 percent to 40 percent. Pixabay

29. Steer clear of processed grains

While whole grains are always a better choice, this doesn’t mean you need to ditch all the processed grains as some of them are enriched with folic acid, which has a plethora of benefits such as improving fertility issues, reducing inflammation, and even lowering blood sugar levels.

whole grains
A study has found that very few Americans are eating enough whole grains and dietary fiber, and therefore, are missing out on an important, healthy part of their diets. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

30. Late-night meals make you fat

There is no conclusive evidence they do unless the platter comprises high-calorie choices. Eating the right meal doesn’t cause weight issues, but, yes, if eaten right before bedtime, one may have heartburn or digestive disorders. Doctors, therefore, urge people to stick to proper and earlier mealtimes.

Late night snack
Avoid overindulging in these surprising constipation triggers — from green bananas to frozen dinners. Michael Gil, CC BY 2.0