It’s hard to ignore the constant diet and healthy-eating tips we’re bombarded with every day. Scientific research into food and health is continuously updating, but there are some dieting ‘facts’ that people still seem to believe. If you’re trying to lose weight or working towards a healthier lifestyle, take note of these debunked diet myths:
1 Eating low-fat or fat-free foods is good for losing weight
Just because something is labelled as low-fat or fat-free doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Often, when the fat is removed or reduced from a food, sugar is added to make it taste better – and sugar is a huge cause of weight gain. Remember that fat is not your enemy, and there are many delicious ‘good fats’ for you to treat yourself to, like the monounsaturated fats in avocados or nuts.
2 You should only eat the whites of eggs
This is a myth that started back when scientists thought that dietary cholesterol was linked to unhealthy blood cholesterol, and people started avoiding the yolk of eggs for their high-cholesterol content. A whole egg is full of vitamins and minerals, a lot of which you will miss out on if you only eat the whites. Plus, you can’t exactly dip delicious buttered toast or asparagus into runny egg whites now, can you?
3 No-one should eat gluten
It feels like it’s become a bit of a trend to declare that you’re gluten-intolerant – but with only about one percent of people actually having celiac disease (that’s the one where you really can’t eat wheat), you’re probably fine. While gluten isn’t necessarily beneficial, products that contain gluten (i.e. whole-grain food) contain vitamins, minerals and all-important fibre that are hard to replicate in a gluten-free diet. Instead of throwing your body into shock by cutting out the wheat-based products you’ve been eating your whole life, go get your blood tested to see if you are, in fact, gluten-intolerant. It’ll save you a ton of money on fancy gluten-free food, too.
4 Juicing is a great way to lose weight
Throwing a bunch of fresh green ingredients into your juicer can make you feel super-healthy, but juicing is not necessarily the best way to get your nutrients in. The juicing process usually means you get all the flavour but none of the fibre – which is vital for the health of your colon, plus it helps your body to actually absorb nutrients. If you just like the taste of juice (and have already spent the money on that shiny juicing machine), go for it – just be sure to supplement your juices with a healthy and balanced diet, and remember to also eat some vegetables and fruits whole, to get that fibre in.
5 Your friend lost loads of weight on their diet, so you should try the same one
Everyone’s body is totally different and there are no general rules that apply to everyone when it comes to weight loss. Think about that one friend who can eat a slab of chocolate every night and still fit into their clothes from 2008, or your other friend who can’t touch bread because she instantly bloats up a size and has to unzip her jeans. What works for some people might not work for you, so rather keep in tune with your body and note what makes it feel happy and run smoothly (so to speak).
6 You need to detox your body regularly
Step away from the juice cleanse. ‘Detox’ products are just another way for companies to jump on the healthy-eating bandwagon. Your body already has a few in-house detoxing organs (namely your liver and your kidneys) that process and filter everything you ingest. So let go of the notion of your body being something you need to cleanse or purify with products that say ‘detox’ on them.
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