The Truth Behind Nutrition Folklore

HCA image for food myths Do you eat carrots because they are good for your eyes, avoid chocolate because it makes you break out, or not let your kids eat sugar because it will make them hyper? Unfortunately, when stacked up against medical facts, many of these beliefs are misperceptions. Test your knowledge of nutrition folklore by answering the questions below.

Do Eggs Raise Your Cholesterol Levels?

Although egg yolks contain cholesterol (about 184 milligrams [mg]), many scientists think that eating foods high in saturated fats and trans-fats has a greater impact than dietary cholesterol in raising blood cholesterol levels. Still, the daily recommended limit for people with normal cholesterol levels is 300 mg per day. This means that if you eat one egg, the rest of your day’s diet needs to be very low in cholesterol. Eggs are a source of high quality protein and provide many vitamins and minerals, including the amino acid tryptophan, selenium, vitamin A, iodine, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12, vitamin D, among other nutrients. A study from the University of Washington has found that eating 2 eggs daily may lead to a small but significant increase in LDL, also known as bad cholesterol. Other studies suggest that people vary quite significantly in how much effect egg consumption has on their cholesterol levels. If you have high cholesterol or are at risk for developing it, talk to your doctor about your diet and whether you should limit how many eggs you eat. Remember, too, that you can always just eat the eggs whites, which have protein but no cholesterol.

Does Eating Chocolate or Other Sugary Foods Give You Acne?

There is no scientific evidence that eating any food, including chocolate or other sugary foods, leads to acne. Acne results from a combination of factors such as heredity, overactive oil glands, dead skin cells that block skin pores, and hormonal changes. However, some new research has been done that suggest that nutrition-related lifestyle factors may play a role in the development of acne. Specifically, a low glycemic index diet has been associated in one study with improvement of acne. However, more research is needed to clarify this.

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