' Myths and Facts Concerning Diet

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Myths and Facts Concerning Diet
By Nanditha T H

January 23, 2013


It is safe to eat fat-free foods available in the market. They are calorie-free

Fact: Check all facts on fat free foods by reading the food labels for the serving size and the number of calories per serving. Most of these foods do contain extra sugar, flour and starch thickeners to make them tasty. These ingredients are high in calories and may lead to weight gain. Some people tend to over indulge in such foods with the belief that they are good for dieters.

Fat is bad for you, no matter what kind

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of “good fats” that are essential for good health and aid in disease prevention. Not all fat is bad. The good fats contain essential fatty acids like Omega3 and Omega6 fatty acids. The best sources of these fats are flax seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, olive oil, avocado, fish and nuts like almonds, cashew, peanuts etc. These fats help to raise your good cholesterol or HDL. Including small amounts of these foods at meal times can help you. Fats that contribute towards weight gain are saturated, hydrogenated and processed fats found in all bakery foods and other fries snacks. These fats also increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and hypertension

Restricting calories drastically is the best way to lose weight

Fact: Regular exercise and reduction in calories contribute towards weight loss, maintenance of lean body mass. Drastic measures like less than 1000 calories diets and starvation will only lead to loss of energy, stamina and reduced metabolic rates. For long lasting energy and better results eat regular meals at frequent intervals and eliminate 100-300 calories consistently from your daily diet.

As long as you eat healthy foods, you can eat as much as you want

Fact: This is a misconception! A calorie is a calorie. Although foods like fruits, oats etc are considered healthy, extra helpings will contribute to extra calories. Healthy or otherwise, it is important to be aware of portion sizes. You must limit your caloric intake in order to lose weight. Understanding how to ‘balance’ calorie intake throughout the day

If you don’t eat carbohydrates, you’ll lose more weight

Fact: This is believed by a lot of people and is a very common and popular myth. When you eat more calories than you burn, you will naturally start to gain weight. Whenever you eat less calories, you’ll lose weight. According to all the experts and research the best way to lose weight is through a sensible eating plan that includes good quality carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, pulses, sprouts, whole grains, low - fat milk and salad vegetables. Remember, if you eat too many calories you will gain weight. It is best to eat foods that fill you up and satisfy your hunger without adding too many calories. Avoid bad carbohydrates like chips, fruit juices, desserts and soft drinks.

People who exercise daily need not worry about what you eat

Fact: Keeping track of what you eat, how much you eat and at what frequency are as important as exercising regularly. Regular exercise and a sensible and sound eating plan work together for good health, higher energy levels and better immunity.

Snacking causes weight gain

Fact: What and how much you eat, and the amount of physical activity you do during an entire day, determines whether you gain, lose or maintain your weight. The tendency to gain weight when you snack in the evening is more a matter of the choices you make. Common evening snacks such as fried foods, desserts, ice cream, potato chips and biscuits and cookies add to your calorie intake for the day, and these calories are what results in weight gain. Substituting these snacks for a fruit or a few nuts is a much better choice.

Eating sugar causes diabetes.

Fact: Diabetes is the result of not having enough insulin and not using that insulin effectively. The main risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes are eating high-calorie diets, being overweight and having an inactive lifestyle. People with diabetes need to watch their carbohydrate and sugar intake to maintain optimal control and include daily exercises, yoga, deep breathing exercises and meditation and ensure that your diet is rich in vegetables, salads, sprouts, whole grains, fruits and fresh vegetable juices.

Brown bread is healthy and a good source of fiber.

Fact: Food manufacturers have succeeded in influencing our food choices, and it's often assumed that foods with a darker hue are high in fiber and nutrients. Brown dyes and additives are often used to give foods the appearance of being healthy. So the best way to really know what you are getting is to read the food label well. To see if it's whole grain, read the list of ingredients. "Whole" indicates that it has not been refined. Another assuring label is the word ‘multigrain’. A good source of fiber will have a dietary fiber value of at least 3 to 4 grams per serving.

Skipping a meal is good for weight loss.

Fact: It is a known fact that people who skip breakfast or eat fewer times during the day tend to gain more weight than those who eat regularly and more frequently. Fewer meals can reduce one’s metabolism and skipping meals also tend to make them feel much more hungry later in the day. The best method is to eat less food more often.

One can lose weight with green tea

Fact: Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has shown to aid fat metabolism. It is also important to follow a sensible eating pattern and do regular exercise in order to lose weight. Green tea helps to lower LDL or the bad cholesterol.

Fact: Fad diets for quicker and permanent weight loss.

Fact: Fad diets are unhealthy and difficult to follow. One gets tired of these diets as there is no variety and one often regains most of the lost weight. These diets are low in nutrition, fiber and if followed for longer periods can have adverse effects on your body and overall health. Make healthy choices for a gradual weight loss. Regular exercise, yoga, stretches, deep breathing exercises and meditation are recommended.


Nanditha T H Archives:



Comments on this article
imtiaz, mangalore/u a e Saturday, February 16, 2013
nice one
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Lydia Lobo, KadriThursday, January 24, 2013

You have made a best effort to put into simple points the vast topic of food that we consume. You have done a very commendable job. Meanwhile, my I add the following.

We humans increase the amount (volume, portion) of food we eat, as we grow. Quite understandable that a toddler needs more food than an infant and as the toddler progress in age as preschooler, adolescent, teenager, youth, the amount and frequency increases. But, when we reach to 20 to 25 or 30, we gradually raise the quantity and then, we continue to eat the same portion. It is after twenty that our body growth stops and after thirty we must actually reduce the quantity we eat and balance our intake into reasonable amounts of Carbo, Protein and protective nutrients because there is no growth taking place any more hence we do not require so much food.

If we don't take this into consideration and continue to eat the same amount, we tend to collect fat, cholesterol and sugar in our body. Now, you can see why all these problems develop after 35. Therefore, it is nice to have some idea about nutrients and our bodily requirement, as per our physical labour.

Please remember a hard working man needs much more calories than the one who works in an office. That is why we see a farmer, wood cutter or a construction worker always lean and slim while an office worker carried a huge belly.

Understanding what we should and shouldn't is as important as monitoring our health.
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antony arun d'souza, dubaiWednesday, January 23, 2013
Nice article.Actually we all eat all foods when we are actually hungry .
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Preethi, Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Nice article. Informative and interesting to read.
Thanks Nanditha.....!!!
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