Are you avoiding cheese because it's bad for your heart? Or not eating white foods in case they make you fat?

Well, you could be falling victim to some of the classic food myths and not doing your waistline any favours either.

Australian nutritionist Fiona Tuck has busted the five biggest health myths that you should ditch today.

Myth one: Cheese harms your heart

Cheese gets a bad name for causing havoc for heart health, but Tuck explained that this is simply not the case.


"Cheese provides a valuable source of nutrients such as protein, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin K2 and vitamin B12," she told FEMAIL.

"Munching through 40 grams of cheese daily can dramatically cut the chance of developing heart disease by a staggering 14 per cent."

"The rich nutrient profile of cheese is thought to be what helps protect the body from heart disease, in particular, the vitamin K2 content," Tuck added.

Myth two: You must eat small regular meals

Many common diets recommend eating lots of small meals often in order to keep your metabolism from slowing down.

However Tuck states this is just another "common myth" that you do not need to follow.

"If we go without food for long periods of time our metabolism can drop as part of our survival mechanism, but it takes three days of zero food for your BMR to drop a mere eight per cent," she said.

"Eating every couple of hours or not eating at certain times of the day will have no impact on weight loss, it simply comes down to calories in and calories out."

Myth three: White foods will make you fat

While it is true that sugar and refined carbohydrates can cause you to gain weight, Tuck told FEMAIL that this doesn't mean you have to ban them entirely.

"Eating potatoes and pasta (often demonised by the Paleo and Ketogenic diet carb phobic community) will not prevent us from losing weight, provided we are not eating more than our body really needs," she said.

Tuck added that many white foods such as onions and cauliflower are packed full of nutrients and fibre that we need.

Myth four: Olive oil becomes carcinogenic when heated

Extra Virgin olive oil is well known as the single healthiest oil you can use when cooking due to its high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Tuck explained: "While EVOO has a lower smoke point than some vegetable oils the high antioxidant content protects the oil from oxidation (breaking down), thereby making it a safe oil to use during cooking."

However, she added that hotter the extra Virgin olive oil is, the more antioxidants it loses while cooking.

Myth five: You must eat fruit on an empty stomach

It's rumoured that fruit must be consumed on an empty stomach, otherwise, it sits in the stomach and rots.

However, Tuck stated this is simply not true: "Fruit or any food doesn't rot in the stomach.

"The stomach breaks down food in order for it to be passed into the small intestine for absorption," she added.

"Eating a large rich meal may slow the digestive process or transit of the food, but eating fruit after a meal will not cause it to 'rot.'"