There are loads of myths about the health risks and benefits of practically everything we eat. Many of the most commonly held myths focus on three foods eaten nearly every day: bread, milk, and eggs.
While these used to be food “basics” with limited options, over the past few years, dozens of products in these categories are now available, making it more challenging to make healthy choices.
It’s time to take a closer look at what’s true and what’s not — with facts that can support smarter choices and healthier eating.
Eating bread will make you gain weight. Truth or myth?
MYTH! Eating bread won't make you gain weight. Eating bread in excess will, though — as will eating any calories in excess.
- Bread has the same calories per ounce as protein.
- Whole wheat bread and white bread have the same calories per slice.
- Whole grains packed with fiber will leave you feeling fuller, so you can eat less to still feel satisfied.
Organic milk contains more nutrients than regular milk. Truth or myth?
MYTH! Organic and regular milk contain the same nutrients.
- Organic and regular milk are equal in protein, calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients.
Almond milk is naturally very low in protein, but some brands are fortified with added protein, to match or exceed the protein in milk.
- Exposure of the milk to antibiotics and hormones is roughly equal for both milks: if milk is organic, the cow has never been on antibiotics; if milk is regular, it will still not have antibiotics in it, as milk is thrown out when produced from cows on antibiotics.
Brown eggs are healthier for you than white eggs. Truth or myth?
MYTH! The color of the egg has nothing to do with its health benefits.
- Different types of chickens produce different colored eggs.
- Nutrient levels are determined by the feed the chickens eat, which is why there are some differences.
- Eggs are a healthy option, regardless of their color. The body can absorb and process pretty much the entire egg.
- One large egg contains 75 calories, 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 1.6 grams of saturated fat.
- Eggs also contain iron, vitamins, minerals and carotenoids.
Madelyn Fernstrom is NBC News Health and Nutrition Editor. Follow her on Twitter @drfernstrom.