Foods And Nutrition Myths Debunked!
“Skipping meals can actually lead to weight gain. Whenever you skip your meal you tend to eat more during the next meal”
We hear so many nutrition and food related stories daily that can be very confusing at times. But it you are planning to adopt some healthy ‘habits’ this New Year, it’s best you get your facts clear. Thus, here are some science based nutrition related myths and facts that you must be aware of.
Myths & Facts
Avoiding carbohydrates completely will help shed unwanted weight.
Many people drastically reduce or stop eating carbohydrates for weight loss. But this practice is completely wrong and can be dangerous for overall health. When you eat carbohydrates they are broken down to glucose in the body.
Glucose is the primary source of energy for the brain and the body. Thus, avoiding carbohydrate intake completely, can make you feel tired soon and your concentration levels will be affected too.
It will also lead to muscle weakness and low energy levels. Bad breathe, headache, constipation or diarrhoea are some other ill-effects of carbohydrate restriction.
So, instead of completely avoiding carbohydrates, opt for healthy, fibre-rich carbohydrate sources such as the following:
- Brown rice
- Wheat cracks or broken wheat
Water is not essential and it can be replaced with any other liquid.
Adequate water intake is essential for the body to function. But often, people forget that water is a vital nutrient too. Without water intake, human beings can only survive for two-four days. Drinking less water can also make one feel tired and less motivated.
Optimal hydration can prevent fatigue, improve energy levels, treat headaches, relieve constipation and improve brain function. Drinking water halt an hour before meals will make you feel full, so you consume fewer calories.
This strategy is very effective for those who want to lose weight. But you should never replace water with soda/ aerated drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Skipping meals will help in weight loss.
Skipping meals can actually lead to weight gain. Whenever you skip your meal you tend to eat more during the next meal. Eating too much at one go leads to deposition of fat and abdominal weight gain. It can further lead to delayed insulin response and elevated fasting glucose which could be a precursor to diabetes.
Furthermore, regularly skipping meals can deprive your body of essential nutrients leading to the onset of various diseases and nutrient deficiencies.
Fat is bad and you should completely avoid it. Fat-free diets are healthy.
It is right to restrict unhealthy fat but you don’t need to restrict ‘healthy fat.’ And yes, there are sources of healthy tat which are essential for the body.
Trans tat and saturated fat are two types of fat that are extremely unhealthy and eating foods that are rich in these types of fat can increase your levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Furthermore, it can also increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Sources of trans fat include:
- Biscuits and cookies
- Cakes and pastries
- Fried foods
- Toasts and rusk
On the other hand, monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) is a healthy fat that improves heart health, increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels and helps to maintain healthy weight.
Sources of MUFA include :
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Groundnut oil
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are two main types of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) that reduce and prevent the risk of heart disease. They reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels too.
Sources of omega 3 fatty acids include :
- Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
- Chia seeds
- Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines
- Fish oil
Sources of omega 6 include :
- Corn oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Soybean oil
Eating three large meals is healthy. Mid-meal snacks are unhealthy.
Studies say that eating six to eight small, frequent and healthy meals throughout the day is a healthy lifestyle practice and it can even help in weight loss as it keeps hunger pangs at bay.
Where as, when you keep more of a gap between meals you later tend to eat whatever you can get your hands on. Furthermore, when you eat a large meal at one go, you tend to gain weight and your body deposits more fat.
Sugar can be replaced with artificial sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners are made up of man-made chemicals which are not found in nature, Ingestion of chemicals can be harmful for the body because our body is not designed to handle long-term use of such chemicals.
Many people think that desserts or drinks made out of artificial sweeteners are healthy and thus, they choose such sweet foods over nutritious foods. This further leads to weight gain and obesity and obesity is the root cause of other diseases.