A plate-full of healthy eating myths have been challenged in a new report that aims to banish confusing food facts. The new research reveals the most common misconceptions, including claims that eating healthy is expensive, eating at night causes weight gain and that small, frequent meals are best for optimal health.
The survey of 2,000 UK adults by Samsung Electronics also found 17 per cent of UK adults admitted they’re confused by which foods are healthy, and which aren’t. Other barriers include a lack of motivation and not having the best equipment to cook healthy food.
Most popular methods of eating healthier include consuming more fruit and vegetables, avoiding sugary foods and cutting down on saturated fat and sugar. A huge 70 per cent of those polled stated they had tried to use alternative cooking methods including steaming and air-frying to cut the calories.
Speaking about the Samsung study, nutritionist and wellness expert Lily Soutte, said: “ Conflicting nutrition advice is confusing and frustrating for many. With the internet providing large amounts of misinformation, it can be difficult to know right from wrong when it comes to healthy eating.
“It’s therefore not a surprise that many struggle to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Debunking these common nutrition myths may break down some barriers to healthy eating by helping individuals to make more informed choices.”
She advised that health-conscious adults tried ‘too much, too soon,’ when it came to lifestyle changes. The expert said: “Making too many dietary changes at once can be overwhelming and hard to maintain, especially when time is poor or under stress. However, small sustainable changes can be more impactful to long-term health.
The jump in the cost of living is putting household budgets under pressure, with some having to choose between heating and eating.
Here are some resources available if you need help.
Citizens Advice is an independent charity offering free, confidential support with legal, consumer, housing, debt and other problems. Its website details what help is available and where your nearest bureau is, for face-to-face advice.
Helpline: 0800 144 8848 in England / 0800 702 2020 in Wales (open 09.00 – 17.00 Monday-Friday)
The Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust supports a national network of more than 1,200 food banks, providing emergency food for free to those who need it. You can use its website to locate support wherever you live.
Helpline: 0808 208 2138 (open 09.00 – 17.00 Monday-Friday)
Turn2us is a national charity providing practical support to people who are struggling financially. Its website includes a benefits calculator and details of schemes and grants in your area, including for energy and water bills.
Helpline: 0808 802 2000 (open 09.00 – 17.00 Monday-Friday)
“For example, swapping our deep-fried foods for air-fried means we can still enjoy our favourite classics and overtime may be beneficial to our waistline.”
Samsung’s study coincides with the launch of a new range of appliances designed to offer healthier cooking options. Dan Harvie, head of home appliances, Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd, added: “A healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition, which is why Samsung continues to innovate and provide features to encourage people to cook more healthily.
“Samsung has announced a new range of ovens and cooking appliances offering leading nutritional cooking benefits, including air frying and various settings for steam cooking even including Sous Vide all within one appliance. Plus, with SmartThings Cooking, you can get personalised recipes and a weekly meal plan that promote healthy eating, ensuring you always stay on track.
“Many of the new ovens also perfectly steam vegetables and fish, so food is cooked optimally and retains its natural flavour and vitamins. Samsung refrigerators also come with humidity controls for storing healthy fruit and vegetables, so they last longer.
“Keeping our food and drinks at the right temperature is not only essential to preventing them from going off, but it can also maximise our enjoyment eating and drinking them.”
Top 10 food health myths:
- All processed food is unhealthy – 65%
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for everyone – 62%
- A low-calorie diet is the best way to lose weight – 53%
- Eat small, frequent meals for optimal health – 53%
- Eating healthily is expensive – 52%
- All low fat and diet foods are healthy alternatives – 50%
- Eating at night causes weight gain – 49%
- Weight loss requires tracking calories and macros – 46%
- All supplements are a waste of money – 41%
- You can exercise away a bad diet – 32%
Healthy eating barriers:
- Lack of motivation – 34%
- Lack of time and competing priorities – 23%
- Confused by which foods are healthy and which are not – 17%
- Not having equipment to cook healthy – 15%
- Don’t have the knowledge to cook healthily – 14%
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