10 Enduring Health Myths, Debunked By Science

10 Health Myths That Just Won't Die, Debunked by Science

Everything makes you fat! Gluten-free food is the key to eternal youth! You need to poop once per day or you'll die! You'll find tons of equally ridiculous health claims around the internet, and some of them are widely believed. Today we're taking a look at 10 common myths and uncovering the truth.

While we've learned a lot about health issues here at Lifehacker over the years, we can't claim expertise on any particular subject. To help us get to the root of these myths, we solicited the help of three experts: Dr Carly Stewart (medical expert at Money Crashers), Andy Bellatti (Las Vegas-based registered dietitian), and Dr Spencer Nadolsky (medical editor at Examine.com). They all offer a unique perspective on each myth but mostly came to the same conclusions: we have a lot of silly misinformation out there about our health.

Myth 1: Eating Fatty Food Makes You Fat

10 Health Myths That Just Won't Die, Debunked by Science

Image: IainBuchanan

It seems obvious that fat makes you fat, but what seems obvious often turns out to be wrong. After all, we used to believe geese grew on trees for reasons that actually made some sense. Just because fat goes into our body doesn't mean it stays there, however, and so we've now found that a long-held assumption didn't make a lot of sense. Dr. Stewart explains:

Eating fatty foods does not make you fat. Fat in moderation is a necessary part of any healthy and balanced diet. Putting on more weight in the form of fat is a result of energy imbalance. You will gain weight if you take in more calories than you burn. Fat is a concentrated source of calories, but it is not necessary to eliminate fat from your diet completely.

Bellatti agrees, providing a little context as to why we might look at fat as a problem:

Sheer lunacy. Whole-food fats (nuts, seeds, avocado) are satiating and help you feel fuller for a longer period of time. You can't put French fries and almonds in the same category simply because both are "high in fat."

Foods like French fries don't fill you up. They also don't contain other useful nutrients like foods with good fats (like the ones Bellatti mentioned). Dr Nadolsky also agrees that it really just comes down to excess intake of anything:

Fat can make you fat, but so can carbohydrates and (to a much lesser degree) protein; it just matters that you over-consume the source of calories. Granted some fats are seen as 'better' than others (such as coconut oil and fish oil relative to trans fats) which accounts for some variability in weight gain, but weight gain will occur when 'excess' is consumed (whatever that may be to your body).

So fat won't make you fat, unless you eat too much of it. You know, like anything else. You have to beware of fat free, as well, as it often actually contains fat and adds quite a bit of sugar. When something gets eliminated, make sure to find out what filled the void.

Myth 2: Eating Carbs Makes You Fat

10 Health Myths That Just Won't Die, Debunked by Science

Image: Dominik Schwind

If eating fat won't make you fat, carbohydrates must. Right? Carbs, the devil of our current decade, get cut from just about every new fad diet to promote super fast fat loss. Again, the truth comes down to striking a healthy balance. Dr Nadolsky explains why a healthy amount of carbohydrates don't really cause a problem:

While it is becoming more popular to blame carbohydrates as the cause of obesity, people don't realise that de novo lipogenesis (DNL; which converts sugars into fat) tends to be inefficient in human bodies. For carbs to make one fat, they would need to work in concert with a poor diet and lack of exercise which makes those latter two more readily blamed.

So how do you tell when carbs cause problems? Bellatti explains:

More over-simplified nonsense. Again, a Pop-Tart (carbohydrate-rich) and a pear (also carbohydrate-rich) are not the same thing. The problem is refined and highly processed carbohydrates, which can trigger cravings.

Dr Stewart elaborates:

It is a good idea to limit the number of carbs you eat in the form of sugar because sugar is low in nutritional value and high in calories. However, if you eliminate carbs completely, you will miss out on healthy food such as whole grain breads and wheat pastas. You will only gain weight if you consume more calories than you burn.

Perhaps you're seeing a pattern here: a healthy diet comes down to balance and choosing natural sources of carbs when you include them. You don't have to eliminate them entirely, but focus on the options with greater nutritional value and limited processing.

Myth 3: MSG Is Bad For You

10 Health Myths That Just Won't Die, Debunked by Science

Image: Nina Hale

Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, has a sordid past. Many of us look at MSG as anything from a dietary problem to a silent killer. In reality, if MSG poses a problem it doesn't stem from the flavour enhancer itself, but where you tend to find it. Bellatti explains:

Yes and no. Some people don't respond to it well. My main thing with MSG is that it's a marker for highly processed foods.

Dr Nadolsky also explains that most of our information about MSG doesn't really add up to much:

MSG is commonly demonised as giving people headaches, and it's possible that some people are more sensitive to MSG or currently unknown reasons; these people can avoid MSG and treat it like some manner of allergen, but this doesn't mean that it is inherently bad (we don't know). MSG is often cited as causing obesity, but that is induced in mice with direct injections into the brain and 'supported' by binges at Chinese food establishments.

So should you avoid it? Sure, if it bothers you. Small amounts, however, shouldn't have an impact on most people so don't let it throw you into a panic.

Myth 4: High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is Worse Than Sugar

Image: Shutterstock

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) gets a bad rap. Make no mistake -- it's bad, but compared to sugar you won't find a huge difference in the overall impact to your health. Dr Nadolsky explains:

The content of fructose in both options (sucrose and HFCS) are pretty much similar, and if you ate enough HFCS for the extra 5% to matter then you over-consumed any type of sugar. There are no other known differences between these two sugars, and that one Princeton study saying otherwise has not only failed to have been replicated but is more than likely just misleading data.

Bellatti agrees, but adds that it has other negative impacts:

It's technically no different, but it's ubiquitous, takes a huge toll on the environment, and is a marker for highly processed foods.

As you may have noticed so far, a lot of stuff we consider problematic in our diets doesn't cause as much trouble as we believe on its own but rather has a negative impact due to where you'll find it. HFCS, carbohydrates and fat often appear in highly processed foods. We think of them as bad because they exist in many unhealthy meal options and show up places where they don't necessarily belong. Rather than demonise an ingredient, we need to focus on the food as a whole. You won't find much good stuff in HFCS or sugar, but you're more likely to find sugar in nutritious options and HFCS injected into foods that don't need it.

For more on what sugar does to your brain and body, check out our explainer.

Myth 5: Gluten-Free Foods Are Healthier

Image: Shutterstock

The gluten-free craze recently took hold and you'll find tons of options as a result. Will you benefit from eating them? That depends on what your specific body needs. Just because some people need to eat gluten-free doesn't mean it will work for you. Bellatti explains when you need to rid it from your system and when it's fine:

If you are celiac or gluten sensitive, gluten is problematic. Otherwise, the body is technically able to process gluten. The absence of gluten in a food does not automatically make it healthier (soda is gluten-free). A lot of gluten-free breads are made with refined starches, which are not healthful. While I think many people can tolerate gluten just fine, I also don't get concerned if someone tells me they feel better when they don't eat it. Shunning gluten from your diet doesn't put you at any sort of nutritional risk.

Dr Stewart, for the most part, agrees:

Gluten-free foods are only healthier for you if you are allergic to gluten. If you aren't, eating a gluten-free diet restricts the amount of fibre, vitamins, and minerals you are able to consume. A variety of foods that are high in whole grains (such as foods containing wheat, rye, or barley) also contain gluten, and these foods are an essential part of a healthy diet. Most people have no trouble digesting gluten.

Why don't most people have difficulty digesting gluten? Dr Nadolsky explains:

You just cannot eat enough grain lectin (ie. gluten) to damage this tissue appreciably unless you have some pre-existing impairment in the regenerative capacity of the intestines, which would refer to celiacs and maybe those with 'sensitivities'. Otherwise, worry about gluten is overblown since the intestines are made to recover from these stressors.

Unsurprisingly, people get duped when they meet celiacs whose lives improved vastly by cutting out gluten. Naturally, since they can't process the stuff, that would happen. Few of us suffer from celiacs disease, fortunately, so we can handle products with gluten. Like with everything else, however, eat it with balance in mind.

Myth 6: Everyone Needs To Poo Daily

10 Health Myths That Just Won't Die, Debunked by Science

Image: Tony Alter

Some talented, amazing people can poo three times a day. How do they process that much waste? It must be magic. If you don't make a bowel movement daily, it can seem like a problem when you compare yourself to those who take more frequent toilet breaks. Fortunately, you don't have to worry. Everybody poops, but schedules vary. Dr Stewart explains:

No single bowel movement schedule is right for everyone. However, staying hydrated, eating foods high in fibre, and being active will help ensure that your schedule is regular and you do not become backed up.

Dr Nadolsky argues that regardless of how well you eat, you shouldn't expect a predictable schedule:

The frequency of defecation is not something that should be put to a schedule, since it is a bit unreliable and dependent on food intake. Consistency of the stool, perhaps assessed by the bristol stool chart, is more reliable of an indicator of health than the frequency; while altering frequency does affect the body, it shouldn't be a major concern unless you get constipated or cannot function due to frequently watery defecations.

If you don't poo frequently, don't worry. Make sure your stool appears healthy and that it doesn't cause you discomfort. Beyond that, you don't need to worry much about your poop.

Myth 7: Microwaving Kills the Nutrients in Food

10 Health Myths That Just Won't Die, Debunked by Science

Image: Orin Zebest

The microwave oven "nukes" your food, or so we've come to describe. Does it actually affect the nutrient content of your food, though? As Dr. Nadolsky explains, sort of:

Microwaving can kill some nutrients (sulforaphane from broccoli, for example) but this does not extend to all nutrients. Unfortunately, we need to look at this stuff on a case by case basis to see which foods you should microwave and which you cannot since there is no rhyme or reason to which compounds are damaged or inactivated. In general, microwaving is not a serious concern.

Even though the microwave won't have a major impact on the nutritional quality of many foods, I think most of us can agree that it heats most meals unevenly and creates a disappointing texture. If you have any great reason to avoid the microwave, that's probably a better one. Besides, cooking broccoli in any way can kill sulforaphane (or at least greatly slow its absorption into your body), so microwaves definitely do not have a monopoly on nutrient death.

Myth 8: You'll Lose 450g Of Fat For Every 3500 Calories You Burn

We all want to believe a simple equation can lead us to fat loss. If we only need to burn calories to lose weight, in theory we should be able to track our progress through meticulous counting. Those who enjoy the predictability of numbers love this myth because it reduces weight loss to an accountable formula. Unfortunately, it's not one you can actually count on because the science behind the equation lacks the consistency it sells. Dr Nadolsky explains:

Technically you do lose a pound [450g] for every 3500 calories, and we could calculate this if our methods for calculating energy expenditure and intake were perfect. Unfortunately we do not have perfect equations right now, so while a pound of fat does have about 3500kcal in it we tend to lose a pound of fat when our diets give us somewhere between a 2000 and 5000 caloric deficit (because we calculated something wrong).

Why does it vary? As Dr. Stewart explains, burning a pound doesn't necessarily mean it all comes from fat:

This statement is partially true. You do lose one pound for every 3500 calories burned (generally speaking), but that loss isn't actually all fat. It's a combination of fat plus a modest amount of water and other forms of tissue.

So while you can somewhat count on this equation to predict weight loss, if you have fat reduction as a goal you might wind up disappointed.

Myth 9: Spot Training Helps You Burn Fat In Specific Areas

10 Health Myths That Just Won't Die, Debunked by Science

Some people believe that focusing exercise to certain muscle groups and parts of the body can help burn fat in those areas. In a way this seems logical, as you'd think literally targeting your efforts on specific areas of your body would help disrupt the fat content. Unfortunately, fat loss doesn't work that way. Dr Stewart explains:

Doing sit-ups (or another type of spot training) will strengthen the abdominal muscles, but will not burn fat specific to that area. Fat is burned or lost throughout the body on a more even basis, and is accomplished through aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. The pattern of fat gain or loss has more to do with each person's unique body than it does with the type of aerobic exercise performed.

The claim comes from somewhere, of course, and Dr Nadolsky points out you really have to make a stretch to believe this claim:

Even if we get the most cherry picked evidence for this claim, the localised fat loss is pretty much one gram (for comparison, a can of coke has 40 grams of sugar). Fat loss comes from all over your body, and there is a lot of evidence that fat gets re-distributed even after localised fat loss surgery. With that said, men and women each tend to have stubborn areas (waist and hips/thighs respectively), and they are usually the last deposits of fat to go.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't perform focused exercises. Like with any healthy diet, it helps to have variety in your exercise regimen. While you should focus on your specific goals, don't shy away from strengthening your muscles solely because it won't burn the fat faster. For greater physical capability and aesthetics, you need a balance of different exercises that train your entire body.

Myth 10: The Scale Is a Good Way to Help You Manage Your Fat Loss Progress

When you diet and exercise, you want numeric proof that your efforts actually matter. Traditionally, we've stepped on the scale to see our weight decrease and considered that progress. For a variety of reasons, your weight will mislead you. You 're made of a lot more than just fat -- water especially -- so losing a kilo can mean progress or it can mean nothing at all. Dr Stewart explains:

Using the scale is not the best way to track the progress of a healthy diet and exercise. The scale treats both fat and muscle the same way -- a pound of fat is the same as a pound of muscle. If you're strengthening your muscles during your exercise regimen, you might actually see a small amount of weight gain rather than weight loss, which is not a bad thing. A better way to track the progress of diet and exercise is to monitor how you feel and how you look. Your local fitness centre may also be able to help with measuring your per cent body fat.

If you want to learn more about effective tracking methods, read our guide.

Remember: We Still Don't Know Everything

We still don't know a lot about our health. Science often makes new discoveries and we learn a bit more, but we also run into several instances where new studies can get taken out of context by the news and myths -- much like the ones in these posts. That said, you can only go on the best information currently available (that's why we consulted doctors and a dietician for this post). Before you start worrying too much about what you eat or how you take care of yourself due to something you've heard or read, make sure you do the research and consult professionals.

Often the myths that propagate throughout our society take hold because they seem logical and reasonable, but science doesn't back them up. Hopefully we've dispelled some good ones for you here today, but you'll always find more. Remember to always keep learning, and that few health answers are definitive at this time.


A special thanks goes out to Dr. Carly Stewart, Andy Bellatti, and Dr. Nadolsky for their contributions to this post.

This article has been revised and updated since its original publication.

WATCH MORE: Healthy Living News & Ideas

Comments

    Excess sugar in nearly all processed foods is an issue though. It's been mentioned before, but it's worth reiterating, Fat was considered the big problem years ago so they reduced it in processed foods. However food without Fat tastes like crap so they added Sugar to make it more palatable. Now there is massive amounts of sugar in almost all processed foods, and it's causing the current obesity epidemic. Sure you can eat food without too much sugar, but the problem with today's sedentary ways is that people just don't exercise enough, fast food is just easier than cooking, and lack of exercise is a symptom of today's lifestyle.

    Last edited 15/10/13 11:12 am

      Not just obesity, but increasing rates of diabetes due to high refined sugar intake is also a massive problem!

    burp

    Last edited 08/07/14 3:19 pm

      I hope you didn't give the water to the plants boiling hot straight from the microwave? Of course that would kill the plants...

      Errr... not sure why that would happen unless as 'vschiralli' mentioned, you poured it hot onto the plants. Microwave ovens do one thing only, they excite the molecules in the substance to the point where it becomes hot, nothing else...! There is no other effect than heat.

      Last edited 15/10/13 12:47 pm

        of course it was cold before i fed the plants, i suggest you try the experiment yourself, its as easy as typing out disbelief in a comment section, let me know your results.

          The water is no different. Your experiment needs refining to work out what you are doing wrong to achieve that incorrect result. You could try using commercially distilled water and using a large sample size of potted plants, also making sure the heating vessels are sterile. Use glass or ceramic.
          There are a lot of other variables like the placement of the plants, how much light and fertiliser they get etc. It'd also be good if you could blind the test somehow so you don't know which plants you're watering with what at the time- maybe get someone else to help with that.

      our entire science class did this for a project and every plant survived. Did you just read some garbage on facebook, believed it and then pretended you did it to make yourself seem cool?

        do the test again lambchop, because i think you skipped science class

          Maybe you live in area with exceptionally salty water? Microwaving mineral rich water could form ions that weren't there naturally and you've created something toxic.... Million to one shot.

          More likely your plants were going to die anyway because you gave them microwave water too often or too little. It's pretty easy to find a result when you go looking for it.

          no, sifu, I think I know who skipped science class here.
          microwaving water does absolutely nothing but speed up the molecules thus creating what you and I detect as heat. NOTHING ELSE.
          If your microwaved water killed plants, then you had a problem with the water before you zapped it.
          Otherwise, we'd all be dead from toxic microwaved water by now wouldn't we.
          But then you do seem to have misunderstood the concept of empirical evidence based study.

          The scientific method is nothing without a control.

          Do the experiment again with the same species of plant, same water source and microwave, except feed one plant un-microwaved water. If this one lives and the rest die, you have a hypothesis from which to start and increase your sample size.

          Then get it peer reviewed. On Lifehacker.

          I think sifu is blaming the wrong thing here. The issue isn't the microwave itself but rather, the inherent deadliness of di-hydrogen oxide. Di-Hydrogen Oxide is a potent killer, it has been implicated in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

          sifu; your methodology should never have been in question, it is surely the most accurate and impartial test. The only thing I would fault you on is the findings that you gave. It wasn't the microwaving that did it.

      i've done an experiment by microwaving water and feeding the water to several different plants, they all died.

      Nothing to do with microwaved water. Plants need more than just water to survive.

      i saw in real time what it was doing when MSG was placed on said persons lip to the point where it would ulcerate

      Best they avoid most asian foods then. MSG naturally occurs in a LOT of things, like, for example, seaweed.

      nope.

      http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp

      I have also done this experiment with 15 of my classmates at university. We had water boiled on a stove, water boiled in a microwave and water not boiled at all. The water was used on three groups of 100 plants without the waterer knowing which water type they were using (very important to eliminate subconscious bias). We found that the microwaved-watered plants fared best, but within a very small margin to be called not very significant.

      Did you conduct your study blind? How many plants did you conduct it on? This experiment has been conducted countless times in plant biology courses at university with all the papers I've read supporting the conclusion that there is no difference. I never understand the constant perpetuation of this myth.

      Did you have a bunch of the same plants under the same conditions that you gave unmicrowaved water to? Because otherwise you don't have a control and your "experiment" is meaningless.

      "The call was coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!"

      Nice work, man. Real spooky.

      MSG doesn't 'open pores in your tongue to enhance flavours'. What the hell. It's dumbass statements like that which lead to most of these stupid misconceptions.

        MSG has a flavour component called "umami" which for some reason wasn't being listed as a basic flavour component until 20-30 years ago.

        I suppose it's possible to be allergic to MSG, but it occurs naturally in many foods. More likely your test had the scientific rigour of your microwave experiment.

        A proper test would have two lumps touched to the lip, one of MSG and the other of something similar texture (sugar?) without giving your friend a chance to actually taste them. See if either or both cause a reaction. Repeat several times, ideally with several different people.

      Many people and scientists have done the microwaved water experiment, if your plants died it wasn't because of the water being microwaved, you silly hippy.

      What a waste of time, leave out the water step and just microwave the plants to achieve the same result faster.

      Wow, the microwaved water must have an altered atomic electron shell strucure or have it's dyno-energy field flux disrupted severly, must write a note to Dr. Hawking about it right now announcing your astounding highly scientific breakthrough that surely has relevance to black hole theories.

    If these things are true then why are Americans so FAT?

      Same reason as there are so many fat Ozzies,
      It's not quality, but sheer quantity.
      Don't matter what you eat, if you eat too much, you'll get fat.
      Lots of "westerners" seem to think that eating is a past time and not just a way of fueling their bodies.
      Look at all the "foodies" everywhere. They're also the same one's who often post photos of their food before they eat.
      Food's just not meant to be anything more than something you need to keep your body going.
      It's not meant to be "entertainment" in and of itself.

        I think it is also quality. A lot of what the average diet now contains is, quite frankly, over processed and unhealthy.

        Add into the fact that people eat far too much of it and it leads to fatty boombas everywhere.

      If you consume more than you burn, you'll put on weight.

      Very simple equation!

        You mean oversimplified equation.
        Take an apple for example.
        Eat 100 grams of
        raw apple,
        cooked apple,
        cooked mashed apple e.g. baby food.
        They all have the same calories, but processing them allows the human digestive system to access the calories more readily.
        So eating the same quantity of calories, but as heavily processed foods results in having to burn more to balance out.
        Consuming and burning are also interrelated in the other direction. A person needs to eat the necessary proportions of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals to exercise frequently and avoid illness. A person with osteoporosis has a greatly limited ability to exercise for example.

          I appreciate there are complexities. There are also other factors, like mental health, injury, etc. But the premise of my statement stands - over consumption = weight gain.

          I don't mean to blame, I was just boiling down the equation.

      HFCS is in EVERYTHING there. We don't really have it here in Australia - the TGA regulates it stringently.
      But HFCS is in things you would not expect added refined sugar to be in - yogurt, tinned food, savoury snacks, etc. It's also in a lot of diet foods that are labelled fat free (always read the label to check out the sugar content on anything claiming reduced fat).

        Also pasta sauces, jarred sauces (often 2nd or 3rd on the ingredients list) and, infamously, "energy drinks" which are mostly a concoction of sugar + caffeine.

    "The Bristol Stool Chart" , glad I didnt have to come up with that one......that would be a crap job...

    About the Gluten free stuff- It's important to note that Celiacs and gluten sensitive people are only a very small minority of the population so not many people at all ever benefit from gluten free diets .

    I still don't get why processed foods are worse as a rule. Isn't homogenised, pasteurised cow's milk EXTREMELY processed? Why do I never hear anyone saying how bad that is?

    And what about stuff like uncooked pasta, bread flour and canned tuna? These things aren't naturally available in these configurations - a lot of processing is required to get them this way.

    I feel like "processed foods are bad" has become an accepted "fact" despite the reality that most of the food we eat - healthy and unhealthy - is processed in some way before being consumed. *confused*

      Pasturised and homogenised milk is not processed. Pasturising is merely the heating of milk to a specific temperature, and then maintaining that temperature for an extended period of time, and homogenising is breaking down the fats in the cream so the milk doesn't separate. All flour is just wheat ground into a powder, most pastas are a mixture of flour and water (often with egg) that has been shaped and then allowed to dry, and canned tuna in just minced tuna is minced tuna that has been mixed with some sort of sauce and oil and stored in a can. These foods are only processed in the broadest sense of the word.

      Last edited 16/10/13 9:32 am

      Read the labels for excess salt, sugar, fat etc.

      It's because of unqualified snakeoil spruikers who like to oversimplify complex concepts so they can sell things to dummies.

      Cavemen werent fat so we should all be paleo and hunt dinosaurs HURR

      Processed foods, are, on the whole, bad for health. It is the WAY things are processed that is an issue - yes, flour is just ground wheat and that is processing and it is safe to use.
      But if you buy the bread made from that flour, you'll find all kinds of stuff on the ingredients list that are not in home made bread, added to make the food shelf stable. This applies to anything that is not stored in the cool/freezer section (but sometimes can occur in products there too), is dried/dehydrated (still can sometimes be in in this stuff too) and comes in a jar or packet.

      Basic lesson: read your ingredients labels. Educate yourself about what should and should be in a product, and how much is a safe amount of sugar and/or sodium (most common culprits) for a person to consume in a day.
      Another option is to always make your own bread, but seriously who has that kind of time?

      The pasteurisation of cow's milk is, of course, important for hygiene reasons, but it is bad for anyone who is lactose intolerant - raw milk contains the enzyme lactase, which is the enzyme required to process the sugar lactose. This enzyme is killed in the pasteurisation process.
      This is why there is such a need for rice/soy/almond milk these days. In the days before pasteurisation was mandatory in Australia, lactose intolerance was not a problem in the general population the way it is now. Unfortunately, this could cause environmental problems down the road (would elaborate but this comment is long enough).

    My only real question is to the commenters above... Why have so many freaking people seemingly spent time at university testing microwaved water on plants..

    And people pay for this stuff. Madness.

      Because it's a really simply experiment that shows the process of the scientific method? Also, it is a great one that engages with the students because it is a commonly held misconception and encourages the kids to question "old wives tales" and produce evidence. All healthy in the fields of sciences.

      If that is madness, I'd hate to see your sane world.

    I suppose it's a matter of semantics but I find the suggestion that eating fatty foods and carbohydrates don't make you fat frustrating. Sure you can eat some of these foods and not get fat but to loose weight most people have to reduce their total intake of these food groups.

    How can you headline a myth as "Eating Fatty Food Makes You Fat" when in the detail you say "Fat can make you fat" ?

    This just confuses and demoralises those of us trying to keep our weight down.

    I think the title "Eating Fatty Food Makes You Fat" fits perfectly, it doesn't make you fat just by you eating it, you have to eat an excess. We all agree water is good for you? No doubt, but in high dosages it's lethal to the human body (Of course you can also drown, but that's besides the point)

    You've just gotta be smart about your portions, I to could gain to lose some weight, and I've found that by just eating a little less every week or 2 over the last year and doing a little bit of exercise I've managed to lose a fair bit, not a lot, got quite a way to go, but to do this and have it stick I need to make these changes last. And the best way to do that is to almost do it subconsciously, little by little at your own pace.

    P.S I for one found this to be quite uplifting, it's nice to read an article like this every now and then.

    HFCS can be a problem for some people because some are sensitive to fructose. My brother is like this - he CAN eat fructose, but needs to offset it with equivalent amounts of glucose. This is not necessary with sucrose. He's also lactose intolerant (but there are enzyme tablets to offsetthat).

    With regard to gluten, some people are "gluten intolerant" which is not quite the same thing as coeliac disease. The reaction for Coeliac disease is an autoimmune reaction triggered by a few parts per million of gluten. If you can eat a "gluten free" takeaway pizza without reacting, you are probably just intolerant, not coeliac, as a regular pizza oven will have traces of gluten. Generally speaking, if you're coeliac you can't eat out at all as commercial kitchens just don't take enough care to avoid cross-contamination.

    Coeliac is frequently genetic in origin - you have a much higher chance of being celiac if you have a family member who is coeliac.

    BTW, the Australian spelling includes an "o". Omitting the "o" is specific to North America.

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