Myth: Carbohydrates are bad for you and make you fat.

Fact: Carbohydrates are an important source of fuel for both the body and the brain, so we shouldn’t exclude them from our diet. However, research suggests that complex carbohydrates, with a low GI, are healthiest - like fruit, vegetables, pulses, oats, brown rice, sweet potatoes and (if gluten isn't a problem for you) wholemeal bread and pasta. 

In contrast refined carboydrates, with a high GI, are now believed to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. So avoid or limit the following - cakes, biscuits, white bread, white rice, pizza, mashed potatoes and soft drinks. 

As with any type of food, what makes us fat is eating more calories than we need, so don’t overeat.

Myth: We should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

Fact: According to the British Medical Journal there’s no solid evidence for this - and the Institute of Medicine reports, ‘most people get the water they need by letting thirst guide them.’  

Myth: Fresh food is always better than frozen.

Fact: Frozen food is usually picked at the peak of its nutritional value and freezing then locks in that nutritional value. Fresh food is good, provided it is truly fresh. In practice, by the time it reaches your shopping basket it has usually lost nutritional value through exposure to heat, air and moisture in the meantime.

Myth: We shouldn’t eat eggs – they increase our cholesterol levels.

Fact: At first sight this looks plausible, as egg yolks contain a lot of cholesterol. However, very little of that cholesterol makes it through to our blood stream, where it could constitute a risk. In fact eggs provide protein and vitamins – so, in moderation, are good for us.  

Myth: Skipping breakfast is a good way to lose weight

Fact: Skipping breakfast means you’re running on empty and your brain then tries to encourage you to compensate by eating high calorie foods at the next opportunity you have.

Published 27/07/2012, Review date August 2014