Busted! Myths Around Food Choices

16 Sep 2020

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Most of us believe everything we hear from people when it comes to food, diet and nutrition. However, we fail to understand that not everything we hear has to be true, and what works for someone may not work for us. Therefore, it is important that we take a deeper look at your relationship with food, as well as the facts surrounding it. So, to get you started, here we bust a few of the most common food-related myths. 

Myth: The Less Fat You Eat, The Better

Fact: Our body needs three major nutrients to thrive – proteins, carbohydrates and fats! Yes, you heard us right. Our body needs fat to convert it into energy and help various bodily functions. 

There are three types of fats – unsaturated, saturated and trans fats. Unsaturated fats are found in foods like nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, olives, etc and are good for you. Saturated and trans fats, on the other hand, are the unhealthy form found in most processed foods and must be avoided [1]. 

Myth: Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes

Fact: It’s about time you put this myth to rest. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease. Factors that must be blamed for it include a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, obesity, family history of diabetes, etc. Eating sugar alone cannot put you at risk of diabetes. However, limiting sugar intake can be a better bet on health [1].

Myth: Fruits Contain Fructose So Should Be Avoided

Fact: It’s true that fruits contain fructose, which is an unhealthy form of sugar. However,  fructose is only harmful in large amounts, and it’s difficult to get excessive amounts of fructose from fruit. Additionally, fruits are rich in fiber and other key nutrients that provide several health benefits [2].

Myth: Potatoes Should Be Avoided

Fact: Potatoes may seem like a bad food option to most, but it’s a healthy vegetable that can provide many health benefits when consumed in moderation. It is packed with B group vitamins and fiber, and yet contains a relatively high glycaemic index. A single potato contains just about 20g of total carbohydrates, making a simple baked potato a great nutritional choice [2]. 

Myth:  Following A Very Low-Carb Diet Is The Best Way To Lose Weight 

Fact: Sure, reducing the intake of carbohydrates can boost the weight loss process and may show great results initially. However, studies have found that after 12-24 months, the results may not be exciting, and the benefits may not be substantial. In fact, managing weight may become even more difficult if you cut down carbs completely from your diet [3].  

Myth: Intermittent Fasting Is The Best Option For Those Looking To Lose Weight

Fact: Intermittent fasting has taken the internet by storm with its effective and absolute results. It made us all believe that it is the ultimate way of losing weight. However, with deeper studies made into the subject, it was found that it may not be the best option after all. Studies suggest that since intermittent fasting requires one to severely limit calories and skip meals, it may cause more harm than benefit to people with certain health conditions. People who have diabetes or take medications for blood pressure or heart diseases may not be an ideal fit for this diet. Also, people who are not used to dieting may be affected by this diet, or may not gain any benefits if they don’t understand portion control or are unable to limit their calorie intake [4]. 

Myth: All Smoothies And Juices Are Healthy 

Fact: Certain juices and smoothies are highly nutritious and these include nutrient-dense smoothies, freshly made juice at home, etc. It can be a great way of increasing your vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant intake. However, it is important to know that juices and smoothies sold at stores and supermarkets are loaded with sugar, artificial flavors, and preservatives. When such juices are consumed in excess, they can promote weight gain and other health issues such as tooth decay and blood sugar spikes [5]. 

References: 

  1. https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-diet-myths
  2. https://www.hcf.com.au/health-agenda/food-diet/nutrition/diet-myths-busted
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/low-carb-diet/art-20045831#:~:text=In%20contrast%2C%20the%20Dietary%20Guidelines,calories%20a%20day%20from%20carbohydrates
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/not-so-fast-pros-and-cons-of-the-newest-diet-trend
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5916434/

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