Nutrition can sure be confusing! Here’s the truth about a few common nutrition myths.
MTYH: Sea salt is healthier for you than table salt.
Sea salt, just like kosher salt and gourmet salt, actually has about the same amount of sodium as table salt. Eating too much sodium – from any type of salt – is linked to high blood pressure. The main differences between sea salt and table salt are taste, texture and how they are made. Sea salt is coarse and made by evaporating seawater, so it has a distinct taste depending on where it’s sourced. Table salt is mined from dried-up ancient salt lakes. Some table salts have added iodine, a nutrient that helps prevent thyroid disease. Whichever salt you prefer, try to use less.
MYTH: Agave syrup, honey and brown sugar are better for you than white sugar.
From a nutrition perspective, these are all sugars and provide calories with very few nutrients. Brown sugar is usually white sugar with molasses added. Agave syrup and honey and brown sugar may be considered more natural, but in fact our body handles sugars in the same way.
MYTH: Everyone should eat a gluten-free diet.
Gluten is type of protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. About one percent of Canadians have celiac disease. If you’re among them, then a gluten-free diet is a must. However, you may also benefit from eating a gluten-free diet if you have a gluten sensitivity. In this condition, there are similar symptoms as celiac disease. Since wheat flour is enriched with B vitamins, iron and folate, be sure to get enough of these nutrients from other foods and/or a multivitamin-mineral supplement if you are following a strict gluten-free diet. Keep in mind that everyone can enjoy gluten-free whole grains such as quinoa, corn, rice and millet as part of a healthy diet.