The internet is full of nutritional tips from ‘experts’ with an Instagram following and a gym membership. A lot of the time, these tips amount to little more than, shall we say, alternative facts. We’ve busted the 5 biggest foodie fibs so you don’t have to:
Like us, you’ve probably come across more diets than you can count. Plenty of them come with rules that on the surface might seem to make sense, but when you look at the science quickly unravel. Too often well meaning dieters fail because they’ve been furnished with totally bunk information. We’re here to change that, at least a little.
1. Fat Is Bad For You
Fat is an essential part of your diet. It’s especially important for your brain, which relies on fats like Omega-3 to function optimally. Fats also play an important part in keeping you healthy, by giving your immune system a boost. Yes, fatty food tend to be more calorific, and we’ve been trained to think that means they’re bad. But as the saying goes, “everything in moderation”. So give your body a boost and stop cutting out fats as a habit – avocados and nuts are a great place to start!
2. Carbs Are Bad For You
Carbs. Are. Not. The. Enemy. We cannot overstate this enough. Carbs are absolutely essential for giving your body the energy to function. People on very low carb diets will invariably find themselves suffering from exhaustion, lower level of recovery hormones, and a sluggish metabolism. Low-carb diets only seem to work because the people on those diets generally are also eating less – in the long run however, you’re likely to run into problems.
3. “Starvation Mode” Is Holding You back
Sensibly reducing your calorific intake if you’re on a diet can be very effective. This leads some people to the conclusion that restricting your calories to almost nothing will be an effective long term dieting method. This is totally untrue – most dieticians would recommend you absolutely do not dip below 1,200 calories a day if you’re on a diet. Otherwise, starving your body can have the opposite effect – it begins to conserve energy (as fat), and burns off your energy dependent muscles.
4. Diet Foods = Better Foods
Fats taste good – that’s what makes some of our favourite treats so delicious. However, the war on fats in food has led many companies to produce ‘low-fat’ or ‘diet’ versions of your food. While these may well be low in calories, the companies have had to make up for the loss of the tasty fats by including more sugar and more salt, which present health problems of their own. Even zero calorie drinks may not be safe – the sweeteners replacing all of that sugar, aspartame, has been shown in some studies to stimulate your appetite. Instead, just eat what you want, but in moderation.
5. Eggs Give You High Cholesterol
Eggs have developed an unfortunate reputation for increasing the amount of cholesterol in our bodies, which can be dangerous for our heart. However – this is simply not true. The cholesterol levels in our bodies have much more to do with the amounts of saturated fats in our diets. Eggs are a fantastic sources of protein and a huge variety of vitamins, you absolutely should be including them in a balanced diet. Just try to eat them without adding too much fat such as butter or oil – poached eggs on toast rather than fried, for instance.
Hopefully this has been a good start on the road to better eating habits, and giving some food myths the boot. However, that’s all this is – a start. In future, before taking on a new eating plan, do a little bit of research for yourself, or ask a qualified dietician. Save yourself the time and effort, and get it right the first time.