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Style Magazine

Food Rules: Nutrition Myths, Debunked

Having studied nutrition over the years, Heather Crivellone, a personal trainer and nutritionist at Roseville Health & Wellness Center (, has had the opportunity to help hundreds of people lose weight and regain their confidence. “I have been asked numerous questions over the years regarding the latest diet ‘fads’ and how to keep off those pesky pounds,” she says. Here, Crivellone—along with four more experts—tackles some top nutrition myths with a dash of science and a pinch of common sense.

Skinny is healthy.
“This is one of the biggest lies out there,” Crivellone says. “Just because someone is ‘skinny,’ doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Someone can be in the ‘normal’ BMI range but not [physically or mentally] fit. Pant size doesn't matter, it’s what’s on the inside and whether you've been living a strong and healthy lifestyle. Instead of focusing on getting ‘skinny,’ we should all be focusing on getting fit and strong to live a long, healthy, and productive life.”

Fats make you fat.
“Good sources of fat are very beneficial for you and keep you satiated for longer,” says Isidora Marín and Ryan Martinez, co-owners at Bikram Yoga Folsom ( “Some good examples are avocados, olive oil, plain Greek yogurt, butter, and nuts.”

Drinking fruit juice is a good way to increase fruit in your diet.
“Fruit juice is high in added sugars and an easy way to add more calories to your diet than necessary,” Crivellone says. “A cup of fruit juice can have as much as 40 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to 10 teaspoons! Consuming too much sugar increases your risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. One of my biggest pet peeves—not only as a trainer but as a mom—is when I see kids constantly drinking fruit juice. With the obesity pandemic we have in America, the last thing we should be doing is teaching our children that fruit juice is the same as eating a piece of fruit. Skip the juice and have a crisp apple or drink water.”

Your body needs a cleanse.
“Whether a juice, liver, or colon cleanse, our bodies already have a built-in detox system. It’s our lungs, liver, kidneys, and digestive tract all working together to eliminate toxins from our bodies. We don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for shakes, juices, and powders to ‘eliminate’ these toxins,” Crivellone says. “If you really want a ‘detox,’ take a few weeks off from drinking alcohol, eating processed foods, and get in some good sweat sessions at the gym. This is the type of ‘detox’ everyone needs!”

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
“By definition, breakfast means to break the fast,” says Pamela Connor, functional medicine nutritionist at Connor Wellness Clinic ( “This does not have to be done at any particular time of day. I tell my patients that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. If you’re hungry in the morning, eat breakfast, but avoid sugary, processed foods, and focus on whole foods consisting of healthy fats, clean proteins, and unprocessed carbohydrates. If you’re not hungry in the morning, then wait to eat until you are. This is probably one of the best golden rules: Only eat when you are hungry. With that said, it's a good idea to [meal prep], so when you are hungry your meal is ready.”

Sugar-free is healthier for you.
“Though a sugar-free food item doesn’t contain sugar and is thereby ‘safer’ for diabetic blood sugar regulation, it would be a stretch to call it ‘healthy,’” says Devon L. Gaston, DC, MS, DACNB, founder of Passport 2 Health ( “These items contain several toxic chemicals—aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin—which all bind to receptors in the brain and exacerbate ADD, ADHD, and chronic pain syndromes, like fibromyalgia. Plus, you can still potentially have an insulin response, i.e., gain weight from sugar-free foods. In addition, high sugar or chemical-laden diets are pro-inflammatory and contribute to increasing systemic inflation, which can lead to excess weight gain and chronically inflamed joints.”

A low-carb diet is the best way to lose weight.
“Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that we need to survive, along with proteins and fat,” Crivellone says. “While cutting out some carbs may help with weight loss, labeling all carbs as ‘bad’ and/or as ‘fattening’ is a harmful myth. Those that we do want to limit from our diet include starchy and/or sugary food items—think cookies, cakes, potato chips, etc. By choosing the ‘right carbs,’ such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains like oats, brown rice, and whole grain bread, we provide our bodies with fiber and vitamins. So, rather than cutting carbohydrates from your diet entirely, focus on the quality and quantity of the carbohydrates you consume.” 

by Kourtney Jason