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5 Biggest Nutrition Myths Busted

A handful of almonds, along with other nuts, make a great addition to a meal or snack.

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04 April 2021
Simone Austin is an advanced
sports dietitian, keynote
speaker and author.

Nuts are fattening

Nuts are not fattening. As nuts have a fairly high fat content- somewhere between 45-75% depending on the nut, (almonds contain around 50% fat) they have been given bad press! A handful of almonds, along with other nuts, make a great addition to a meal or snack. The protein, fat and fibre in almonds helps keep you full for longer and that may result in you eating less overall food in the day. Numerous research studies[1] have shown that eating nuts does not lead to weight gain. Enjoy a handful of almonds each day!

Low fat means healthy

Do you remember the days of everything needing to be low fat to be considered healthy? We now know this is not necessarily the case. It is the overall nutrient content of a food and meal that is important and the type of fat that matters. A glass of soft drink or handful of lollies are low in fat but they are hardly considered to be health foods as they are very high in sugar with no other nutritional value!

Unsaturated fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats found mostly in plant foods are what we want to eat most of and saturated fat less of particularly for our heart health, but even then it is not that simple. The unsaturated fat found in whole foods such as almonds, seeds, avocados and olives are considered to be fat good for our health, whilst some unsaturated fats in blended vegetable oils and used in commercially produced cakes and biscuits is not necessarily good fat for our health.

Saturated fat found in whole foods such as cheese and milk that we used to think would raise our cholesterol we have now learnt is not bad for our heart health. We should look at the overall nutritional value of the food and not just one component the fat. Aim to eat whole foods, particularly plant foods knowing the nutrients including the fat are good for your health.

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