Nutritious food plays an important role in everyone’s life. Maintaining a balanced diet that contains all types of nutrients, vitamins and minerals nourishes your body and keeps you healthy. In this age of information overloaded world, there are a lot of fad diets and nutritional advices which can lead you to get confused as to what is truly healthy. Regardless of what your health goals are, it’s important to separate fact from fiction with regard to nutrition. Here are 8 common nutrition myths debunked:
- The same diet will work for everyone: One diet plan cannot benefit everyone as each person is unique. As different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body and they can have vastly different effects on hunger and hormones, each person should aim for personalized diet plans that are recommended by their doctors or nutritionists.
- Eggs are bad for you: One of the most nutritious foods available, eggs contain almost all the essential nutrients. But many people believe that eggs are bad for health as the yolks have a lot of cholesterol. According to Mayo Clinic, eggs are high in cholesterol, but the effect of egg consumption on blood cholesterol is minimal when compared with the effect of trans fats and saturated fats. Moreover, as with any food, moderation is the key to healthy eating.
- Raw vegetables are healthier: Both raw and cooked vegetables are beneficial for health. Some say that cooking vegetables above a certain temperature may lead them to lose their nutrients and that the natural enzymes in “living” food make it best for the body. But that’s not true. Though in some cases, cooking does cause nutrients to degrade, in other cases cooking vegetables increases the availability of nutrients and also makes it easy for the body to absorb the nutrients and helps with digestion. Ultimately, what you need to do is eat more vegetables, whether raw or cooked. Find a balance that works for you.
- Exercise and eat whatever you want: A common assumption is that you can eat what you want as long as you workout. You can occasionally binge on foods, but overeating every day will lead to a calorie surplus. Moreover, nutrition is key to losing those extra kilos and not the other way around. It’s important to eat foods that will benefit your body, especially if you’re engaging in more physical activity than you used to.
- Salads help you lose weight: It’s a fact that salad helps lose weight, as fiber in salads are low in calories, which keeps us feeling full for hours. But salads loaded with dressings or toppings such as sugar, unhealthy fats, or too many dry fruits cannot help you lose weight. So if you are looking for a weight loss salad, pick a healthier salad dressing like a low fat or non-creamy dressing over creamy dressings.
- Eating fat makes you fat: One common misconception is that eating foods that have fats can lead to weight gain, making many people avoid fats completely. The fact is that fats are an important part of healthy diet and a major source of energy that help the body absorb some vitamins and minerals.
Certain types of bad-fat or fat-like substances can elevate cholesterol levels which can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. Good fats are considered “heart-healthy” and come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish. Eating good fats in moderation to replace saturated or trans fats can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. So, don’t eliminate fats completely. Know which fats are better than others for long-term health and include them in your diet in moderation.
- You will gain weight if you eat late at night: This is not necessarily true because calories are calories and it doesn’t matter what time you eat them. What matters is calorie intake. Excess consumption of calories leads to weight gain, increases risk of obesity and related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Studies show that people who consume more calories in the evening tend to be more overweight, but this happens because they routinely overindulge after dinner, which sabotages their weight loss efforts (www.henryfordlivewell.com). So work towards balancing your calories throughout the day.
- Food is the only way to health: Mental health is very important for overall health and wellbeing. While focusing on maintaining a nutritious diet, keep a check on your emotions as well. As a healthy mind resides in a healthy body, aim to achieve wholesome health.