Ten common nutrition myths debunked

Thursday, August 26th, 2021 00:00 |
Common nutrition myths debunked.

Single foods can help burn fat

Recent fad diets have it that taking single foods, such as grapefruit, cayenne pepper or vinegar can burn fat.

Sorry, no foods burn fat, make you lose weight more quickly or increase your metabolism enough to have an effect on weight loss.

Diets that focus on single foods, such as those mentioned above, are restrictive and lack nutrients the body needs.

They are also unsustainable, and any weight loss that may occur is a result of calorie restriction and will likely come back once you discontinue.

Gluten-free foods are healthier

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. If you do not have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, gluten-free foods are not healthier for you.

A gluten-free diet is not intended to be a weight-loss diet, instead, it’s supposed to help those with these conditions. Avoiding gluten can potentially limit your fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Fats are bad

Fat has beneficial functions, such as protecting our organs, maintaining cell membranes, promoting growth and development, and absorbing essential vitamins. So, you should never do away with fats.

All you need to do is to limit the amount of saturated and trans fats (fats that are most often solid at room temperature) that goes into your body to avoid extra calories and increase the amount of unsaturated fat (fats that are liquid at room temperature).

Dairy products are fattening and unhealthy

Dairy products are an important food group because they have protein your body needs to build muscles and help organs work well, and calcium to strengthen bones.

Plant-based diets are always healthy

In recent decades, an increasing number of studies have demonstrated links between red meat consumption and poorer health outcomes.

For instance, processed and red meat intake is associated with colon cancer, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

This might suggest that a diet without meat is better for the body. But, just as not all meat is red, not all vegetarian or vegan diets are healthy.

For example, if an individual only ate potato chips, they would be vegan, but certainly not brimming with vitality, energy, and health.

It is incredibly easy to consume thousands of calories each day without any of them being associated with animals.

As with any other diet, it depends entirely on what an individual consumes. Additionally, lean white meat and fish are not associated with the same health issues as processed and red meats.

Carbohydrates make you gain weight 

Some people shun carbohydrates over fears that consuming this macronutrient will cause obesity, diabetes, and other adverse health effects.

In reality, eating a moderate amount of nutritious/complex carbs that are high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals will likely benefit your health and not harm it.

This is because complex carbs are more nutrient-dense and found in healthier sources, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.

What one should avoid is simple carbohydrates since they come from not so nutritious sources, such as chips, sodas, cakes among others  

Salt is bad for you

Salt is not bad, actually, sodium is a mineral that is essential for many bodily functions.

Sodium is an electrolyte that helps water balance, and is necessary for our muscles and nerves to function, including our heart and brain, but when consumed in excess it can lead to high blood pressure and kidney damage.

Like many other things, it is the excess consumption of salt that can lead to health hazards.

Dietary supplements are necessary to be healthy

Many people should be able to get all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients through eating a balanced and healthy diet.

Instead of taking supplements to gain the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need, you should consume a variety of healthy, nutrient-dense foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy proteins.

Dietary supplements should only be taken at a doctor’s suggestion if a deficiency is found and cannot be helped through diet alone. 

All smoothies and juices are healthy 

Certain juices and smoothies are highly nutritious, but not all. Juices and smoothies sold at eateries and supermarkets are mostly loaded with sugar and calories.

When consumed in excess, they can promote weight gain and other health issues, such as tooth decay and blood sugar dysregulation

High cholesterol foods are unhealthy

Not all cholesterol-rich foods are bad. You should not do away with high cholesterol foods all in the name of eating healthy.

This is because cholesterol is an essential building block for cell membranes.

In fact, including cholesterol-rich, nutritious foods, such as eggs and full-fat yoghurt in your diet may boost health by enhancing feelings of fullness and providing important nutrients that other foods lack.

While avoiding foods with high cholesterol content may be beneficial for some, the most effective dietary approach to cutting blood cholesterol is choosing foods that contain unsaturated fats over those that contain saturated or trans fats.

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