From our Dietitians: Fad, Fact, or Fiction?

March 4, 2021

This blog was written by Dietetic Intern Elyce Gamble

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of nutrition information available? Between podcasts, social media posts, and advice from friends, it can be difficult and seemingly impossible to sift through the conflicting voices. For this reason, we’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you to dispel common nutrition myths and highlight the truth surrounding a variety of topics. Let’s take a look at the following to see if they are fad, fiction, or fact:  

I need to take a daily multivitamin to be healthy.  

Fiction. While certain groups of individuals can benefit from additional supplementation such as pregnant or lactating women, vegans, and the elderly, most adults who eat a balanced diet don’t need a daily multivitamin. Remember that supplements help complete a healthy diet—they don’t replace it. If you are curious to know if a supplement is right for you, set up a virtual appointment with a Harmons dietitian by contacting

Canned fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh ones.

Fact. Canned fruits and vegetables are picked at peak freshness, and the canning process preserves many nutrients. Choose low-sodium canned vegetables and no sugar added canned fruit for the healthiest options. You can also drain and rinse canned vegetables to decrease the salt content. Canned foods are not only
nutritious, but a very convenient and affordable way to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Juice cleanses can help detox my body.  

Fad. You may have heard about the juice cleanse trend, or have even tried it yourself. The truth is that juice cleanses are often high in sugar and calories and lack the fiber that whole fruits provide. Not to mention, juice cleanses often severely restrict protein and healthy fat intake, which is unbalanced and unsuitable for
many health conditions. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that at least half of our daily fruit intake come from whole fruits. In addition, it’s important to know that the body detoxifies itself naturally by way of our organs such as the liver and kidneys. Focus on whole fruits and vegetables and your body will get everything it needs to support its own detox process.

I can eat carbohydrates and still be healthy.

Fact. Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy to perform daily functions. It is recommended that half our grain servings be from whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and quinoa so that we get enough fiber and other nutrients. Next time you make rice, try making a half white, half brown rice combo for added
fiber and other nutritional benefits. 

A very low calorie diet is the best way to lose weight.

Fiction. Although following a low calorie diet may promote rapid weight loss, over time this restrictioncan lead to disordered eating, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and slowed metabolism. Focus on nourishing your body frequently with a variety of foods rather than counting calories. Remember that health is not measured on a scale and is better reflected in the wide range of your behaviors including but not limited to nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress management, social connection, mental health, and more.

Nutrition myths are enticing on the surface. However, when we dig a little deeper we find that a balanced diet with variety is the key to our nutritional health. One fad or quick fix is unlikely to give the results many of us are looking for. Check out for credible and up-to-date food and nutrition information from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you have additional questions, Harmons dietitians are here to help you. Reach us at