Nutritional myths

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Bread and pasta make you fat, coffee is dehydrating, and eggs increase cholesterol levels. The list of such myths, misconceptions, and half-truths in nutrition is long, and many of them persist—13 myths in an individual check.

What are nutritional myths, and how do they arise?
Nutritional myths ascribe properties to certain foods or nutrients that they do not have, according to scientific findings. Some nutritional myths date back to when there were neither refrigerators nor modern nutritional science. It is often impossible to determine their exact origin.

Modern myths sometimes accompany nutritional trends, such as a Stone Age diet that advocates eating lots of meat and few carbohydrates – something real experts advise against. Nutritional science provides insights into the nutritional value of food or the connection between diet and health. Nevertheless, there are probably more nutritional myths today than in the past. Some of these modern myths originate from advertising or misleading wording in press releases from research institutes. If a newsroom then forwards a report in abbreviated form (for example, without mentioning that a particular food only affects mice), the myth is out in the world.

The digital media provide an ideal breeding ground for the spread of all kinds of falsehoods. Nutrition myths reach a larger audience through forwarding, sharing, or linking and spread faster and faster. There are probably thousands of websites, blogs, and vlogs with nutrition tips in German-speaking countries alone.

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