We’ve heard it all before; the Do’s and Don’ts when trying to eat healthy. Though some diets may have certain restrictions that need to be followed, healthy eating in general is surrounded by myths, promoting certain foods and completely banning others.
Here are the top 8 dieting myths you shouldn’t believe.
1. Stop eating “bad” foods
A healthy diet is one that can be sustained as part of a lifelong lifestyle. Cutting off favourite foods is the easiest way to discourage and derail all healthy eating habits. When indulging in the occasional fun foods, it is important to monitor your meals and resume your regular clean eating habits at the next meal. Too much of any food can be unhealthy, even the healthiest of foods, so choose what you eat, but don’t be afraid to have a treat once in a while.
2. Carbs are bad for you
Generally speaking, sugary, processed and carbohydrate-rich foods aren’t the healthiest options and should be avoided, but not all carbs are created equal. Simple carbohydrates, found in white bread, pasta and other processed foods can raise your risk of developing health problems like heart disease and diabetes. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand contain more vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients for a balanced diet. Wholegrains, fruits and vegetables are the best sources of carbs if you’re looking for any.
3. Drink 8 glasses of water a day
There is no scientific proof backing up the old myth that one needs to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Although drinking plenty of water helps promote healthy skin and removes waste, there is no prescribed amount. A number of factors, including weather, lifestyle and overall heath will affect our recommended fluid intake. Other ways of consuming fluids include juice and other foods such as lettuce and watermelon-, i.e. foods with high-water content. Just be sure to not go thirsty and keep hydrated.
4. Too much sugar in fruits
There are two major types of sugar, added sugar and natural sugars. Consuming too much added sugar increases your risk of health issues, whereas natural sugars are less of a concern. These sugars are found naturally in fruit, together with fiber, essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is especially difficult to go overboard with natural sugars, making fruits, the least likely cause of high glucose levels. That being said, it is possible to overindulge and eat unhealthily large servings of fruit, so moderation should be advised.
5. Eat more or fat free, low fat food
In an effort to reduce fat consumption or in some cases cut it out of diets completely, many low-fat or fat-free alternatives are widely available for consumption. Fats are necessary for a healthy diet as they help the body carry out certain essential functions. Low-fat or fat-free products are not very different from naturally fatty foods, and in some cases may be worse, since they contain more sugar and carbs, as a substitute of fat. It is better to mindfully eat a small serving of full-fat foods as opposed to processed alternatives.
6. Eating at night increases weight gain
No matter at what time you eat, unhealthy eating will lead to weight gain. It all depends on the number of calories consumed. Eating out of ordinary mealtimes or late-night snacking would lead to weight gain if you have already had enough calories for the day. For most people, they require the majority of calories around midday, when they are most active as opposed to bedtime. As long as you're making healthy food choices and exercising, then eating at whichever time shouldn’t cause any issues.
7. Organic food is healthier
In recent times, organic foods have become a popular option. But despite its green label, it isn’t necessarily healthier. Organic products are still processed the same way chips, biscuits and other processed foods are made- with the same amount of sugar, fat and simple carbs. So eating organic foods in excess does not make them any more healthier than conventional ones. Organic products are preferable not because of the level of nutrients, but because of how they are farmed with less chemicals and pesticides.
8. It is better to eat several small meals throughout the day
The number of meals you eat does not have much of an effect as opposed to what you eat. It is theorized that several small meals will make you eat less since you have eaten well and often. However, not everyone can benefit from this meal plan as metabolic rates and body types differ from person to person. You would essential burn the same number of calories no matter if you had three meals of 400 calories or six meals of 200 calories.