None of us have been immune to diet myths that have accumulated in our thinking over time. Some of these we have inherited, as did our parents, during the process of growing up. Some have been so repeatedly perpetuated by the media and diet gurus, that we have come to believe they are actually true. Others have been surreptitiously implanted into popular thinking by ‘scholarly’ articles, purportedly coming out of deep research, with as much basis as the existence of UFOs or the mythical Himalayan Yeti.
Here are a couple of pointers for busting fake beliefs. Firstly, if it sounds too good to be true, it most definitely is. Secondly, ask the question: who says so?” Is there a bias? Is a product being sold? Is the ‘fact’ based on one single teensy weensy study? Finally, on the issue of weight loss or maintenance, eating right and exercising are the primary things that matters.
So embark with us on our start-of-the-year myth hunt.
Night-time eating makes one fat
There’s no conclusive proof that late-night eating cause weight gain. Reality is, excess calories cause weight gain; and night eaters tend to binge on high-cal foods. Also, eating just before bedtime can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Sticking to regular or early mealtimes, works best.
Some sugars are better than others
Research has shown that our bodies absorb added sugars like high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar in a similar manner. So instead of avoiding a particular kind of sugar, its best to limit added sugars of all kinds.
Coffee is bad for health
When consumed in moderation, viz. 2 to 3 cups a day, coffee is a safe and actually contributes antioxidant phytochemicals to our bodies. Research also suggests that coffee may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, gallstones, Parkinson’s disease, and even some cancers. Keeping coffee calories in check, by avoiding cream, sugar and flavored syrups, is advisable though.
Eating less fat is better
Our bodies need proteins, carbohydrates and fats to thrive. Good fats are found in foods like nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, olives, and low-fat dairy. These give you energy, help rebuild cells, and produce essential hormones. Avoidable fats are saturated and trans fats, generally found in butter, high-fat dairy, red meat and other processed foods.
Sea salt intake reduces sodium
It’s a fact that by weight, gourmet salts have about the same sodium as plain old table salt. Instead of sprinkling foods with salt, flavour your meal with pepper, herbs, or spices like cinnamon. Let’s also remember that, about 75% of our total salt intake comes from processed and prepped food like packaged soups, condiments, ready-to-prepare mixes, cheese and canned products.
Drinking more water helps shed pounds
While water is vital for our bodies, its never been proven that water helps weight loss. True, drinking water can keep you away from high-cal drinks; however adding more water to your diet, without altering other food intake or beginning to exercise makes little difference to your weight.
Avoid all processed grains
While whole grains are good because they’re packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, sometimes processed grains are useful. Recovering from an intestinal bug, may need an intake of refined grains; specially those fortified with folic acid, and the like.
Sugar cause hyperactivity in kids
Most research shows sugar doesn’t make all kids hyperactive. While it is good to pay attention to how much sugar our kids eat, hyperactivity in kids could well be the environment they’re in, like parties, or the company of other kids. It’s also true that consuming sweets and chocolates could interfere with their intake of healthy regular food.
Athletes thrive on proteins
Most normal UK diets provide plenty of protein, even for those in performance sport. What athletes really need to boost their strength and muscle is the right amount of calories, intense training, and a combination of carb+protein snacks, immediately after an intense workout.
Excess sugar causes diabetes
If you don’t already have diabetes, eating sugar won’t cause you to get the disease. The risk of diabetes is being overweight and inactive. So cutting back on empty, sugary calories, and exercising is the key to keeping diabetes at bay.
Carbs lead to gain in weight
Not all carbohydrates are bad for the body. While it appears that people lose weight on low-carb diets, what’s also true is those diets restrict cals as well. Also, fewer cals result in fewer pounds over time.
This list however is not exhaustive. If you have other’s you would like to add to the list, write in www.eatwater.co.uk to us today.