All fatty foods are bad! Gluten-free food is really good for you! Microwaving kills nutrients! You’ve no doubt heard these ridiculous health claims around, and you might believe some of them.
Today we look at 10 common health and diet myths and uncover the truth.
Myth #1: Scales are the only way to monitor weight loss progress
It’s always great to monitor your weight loss, but it is a common myth that scales and the number on them matters. However, for a variety of reasons, your weight will mislead you because your scale treats both fat and muscle the same way – a kilo of fat is the same as a kilo of muscle. If you’re strengthening your muscles during your exercise regimen, you might gain a little weight rather than lose it, and if you use just scales, you may feel discouraged. Another way to monitor your progress is with fitness apps. You can also take progress selfies – you’ll be amazed!
Myth #2: All fatty foods are bad for you
Actually, the opposite is true, though what kind of fat you’re eating makes a big difference. Opt for healthy fats that promote cardiovascular health such as monounsaturated and essential fatty acids. Fish and red meat offer the right types of fats that are needed in a health diet.
Myth #3: Gluten free foods are healthier
With more and more gluten-free products available in supermarkets, it’s easy to think their benefits might help those people without celiac disease and gluten intolerance. If you don’t have a medical reason for following a gluten-free diet, there’s probably no benefit. In fact, gluten free foods have been found to have more sugar and fats than gluten foods.
Myth #4: We need to drink 8 glasses of water per day
While drinking water is important for your health, there’s no need to go overboard – 1.5 litres a day is plenty for healthy people with normal kidney function. With that said, if you’re outdoors on a hot day or exercising, you will need more to keep hydrated. People over the age of 60 are less likely to feel dehydrated when they are, so more is better, but don’t overdo it.
Myth #5: Microwaving kills nutrients
When most people think of radiation, they think of negatively but the definition of the word refers to energy that travels in waves and spreads out as it goes. Microwaves used to cook foods are many, many times weaker than X-rays and gamma rays. In actual fact, heat and the amount of time you’re cooking affects nutrient losses, not the cooking method or the radiation. And because microwave cooking often cooks foods more quickly, it can actually help to minimise nutrient losses.
Myth #6: You crave certain foods because you’re deficient in something
This is a very big myth, and we’re more likely to crave something because we enjoy it or need it emotionally, rather than for survival. But there is one exception: iron. Researchers have found that lack of iron affects the body’s appetite mechanisms and makes you crave meat or even ice when you need more iron in your diet.
Myth #7: Eggs are bad for your heart
While eggs do contain a substantial amount of cholesterol in their yolks, and cholesterol is the fatty stuff in our blood that can clog arteries and cause heart attacks, experts say that there is nothing wrong with eating one or two eggs a day. IT’s all about moderation.
Myth #8: Frozen fruits and veges lack nutrients
Frozen fruits and vegetables are frozen within hours of being picked which locks in nutrients, rather than eliminating them. But if you can, buy fresh produce when you can.
Myth #9: You need to detox your body regularly
Forget detox drinks and programs – your body does not need these sorts of detoxes, no matter what the label says. Your body does it for you every day – that’s what your liver and kidneys are for. No expensive detox plan can put a magic wand over bad diet – that’s something you need to fundamentally change.
Did any of these surprise you? Will you be changing your diet habits?