At Slimming World, it’s extra easy to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet through our flexible, no-fuss, family-friendly Food Optimising plan. Yet many of us have misconceptions about nutrition that are hard to shake. We asked Carolyn Pallister, our nutrition and health policy manager, and Slimming World nutritionist Evie Lovell to bust some of those myths for good:
6 myths about food and drink: busted
Myth: Water is the only drink that counts towards the recommended six-to-eight glasses of fluid a day.
Busted! Any drink, other than alcohol (sorry!), counts, so you can fill your glass or cup with no added sugar squash, juice, teas, coffee, milk, diet fizzy drinks and, of course, trusty water. Evie tells us more:
Tip: If you’re not a fan of the simple, straight-from-the-tap stuff, infuse water with chopped fresh fruit (leave it to sit in the fridge for maximum fruity flavour). You can also buy ready-made ‘cold fruit infusion’ teabags, so it’s super-easy to stay hydrated.
Myth: We should limit the number of eggs we eat because they contain cholesterol, which can increase cholesterol levels in the blood.
Busted! Although this may sound strange, the fact is the cholesterol we eat doesn’t really impact the amount of cholesterol in our blood. This misconception comes from early research where incorrect conclusions were drawn. It’s now been found that it’s actually our saturated fat intake which has the biggest impact on cholesterol levels.
Saturated fat is found in food like butter, cakes, fried food, chocolate and pastry. At Slimming World, these high-fat, high-calorie foods have a Syn value to protect members’ weight losses. As for eggs, there’s no limit to the amount we’re advised to eat, and because they’re a Slimming World Free Food, we can crack on and enjoy as many as we like!
Shell-ebrate the humble egg with our five ways with eggs video:
Myth: Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar
Busted! Both brown and white varieties are straight-up sugar and neither is healthier than the other. This myth may stem from brown, starchy carbohydrates, such as brown rice, being healthier than the white versions, due to their increased fibre and nutrient content. However, this logic doesn’t apply to sugar, so when it comes to choosing brown or white.
MORE FOR MEMBERS: Sugary foods (like chocolate, sweets, biscuits and fizzy drinks) can be common triggers that, despite best intentions, send our slimming plans off track! As well as all the help Slimming World members get in group to uncover and overcome their personal triggers and danger zones, our Make friends with your trigger foods article is well worth a read.
Myth: Fresh veg is better for you than frozen
Busted! Frozen vegetables are often thought of as lower quality than fresh, yet, nutritionally, they’re often superior. This is because, over time, certain nutrients can start to degrade. Frozen vegetables such as peas are typically picked and packed within hours, and frozen quickly afterwards, which locks in the nutrients. Of course, both fresh or frozen veg are still fantastic sources of nutrients overall, plus they taste amazing and they’re a Free Food – so it’s safe to say that we’re big fans of all veg at Slimming World.
How to get your FREE 7-day vegetarian menu
If you fancy finding out how Slimming World works for vegetarians, you can try our FREE 7-day meat-free eating plan by signing up to our weekly newsletter. Scroll to the bottom of this page, enter your email address and we’ll pop a menu in your inbox.
Myth: You can boost your immune system with food
Busted! There’s some very confusing information out there around foods that ‘boost’ our immune system, however the simple answer is there isn’t a specific food or nutrient that can offer protection from illness and infection. Our advice is to ignore the claims made about faddy products – like apple cider vinegar or certain herbal supplements – improving immunity, as there’s no robust evidence to support them. Eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of variety is the best way to support your immune system – and that’s definitely something we can help you with!
MORE FOR MEMBERS: On joining, every Slimming World group member receives a new member pack, which explains our three easy steps to a healthy, balanced diet, to help you on your way to looking and feeling fantastic.
Myth: Gluten is unhealthy
Busted! Unless you have an allergy or intolerance, there’s absolutely no need to avoid gluten. People with coeliac disease, for example, must avoid gluten. For the rest of us, gluten is an innocent protein that’s found in lots of starchy carbohydrates, such as pasta, couscous and bread, as well as some seasonings, pastry and cakes (anything containing regular flour). While gluten-free varieties of food and drink products are a great option for people who need to avoid gluten for medical reasons, they’re no healthier than their regular equivalents.