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It’s stressful out there for women who want to be both fit and healthy. No matter where you go, you’re bombarded with headlines, radio ads and a seemingly endless supply of “You won’t believe it!” tricks to help you “lose belly fat – FAST!” It’s exhausting – and most of time it’s false. Let’s take some of that stress off of you by debunking the most popular, persistent nutrition myths out there. It’s nice to know what B.S. to completely ignore.

Myth 1: Dark breads are better for you


I know what you’re thinking, “But white bread is the devil and whole wheat breads have more nutrients!” To a certain extent, you’re right! But don’t get fooled into thinking that the darker the bread, the more nutrients it has in it. Many times, darker breads can have molasses or brown sugar in them. Always be sure to check nutritional facts if you’re looking for breads rich in nutrients.

Myth 2: Late night eating will make you fat


This should come as great news to all you night owls: eating is eating, no matter what time you do it. Whether you eat the Snickers bar at 9pm or 9am, calories are calories. The myth suggests that your body won’t work off those calories throughout the rest of the day, so all calories will be stored as fat while you sleep instead of being used. Fortunately, that’s not how your metabolism works. But don’t just take our word for it. The CDC agrees: A calorie is a calorie.

Myth 3: Crash diets will work for you like they do for celebrities


If you want a toned, healthy looking body with luminous, happy skin, you need nutrients. You need carbs, vegetables, fat, protein and vitamins. You don’t need lemonade and cayenne pepper. It’s certainly tempting to starve yourself under the false pretense that “less in means less on,” but in reality, all you’re doing is lowering your metabolism.

Myth 4: Sea salt is healthier because it’s more natural


Nope. Salt is salt, just processed differently. Always make sure you check the back of the box to make sure you’re only getting NaCl, but don’t be fooled into thinking sea salt is healthier for you than table salt. Sea salt is, however, rightfully so popular because of its distinct flavor and flakier texture. One perk of table salt? It’s often fortified with more iodine which is a great help for your body’s hormone regulation.

Myth 5: Comfort food is comforting


Depending on your diet habits, this may be great news for you or sad news. A 2014 study in Health Psychology titled “The Myth of Comfort Food” found that comfort food won’t actually make you happier. After depressing a group of volunteers with sad movies, the scientists would feed them comfort foods (like mashed potatoes), nothing at all, or some other meal. The results? Doesn’t matter. All three groups felt the same afterwards regardless of what they ate. So, next time you watch Marley and Me, grab a granola bar instead of the ice cream; you’ll feel the same regardless.

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