The surprising truth to some commonly believed diet myths
By now, you are probably aware of the importance of following a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating.
But when you get into specifics, it may quickly become clear that some of the conventional wisdom is anything but wise.
Myth: “Low-fat” or “no-fat” diets are good for you.
Truth: While health professionals advocate following diets that are low in fat, it is not recommended to completely avoid it. About one-third of one’s calories should be coming from fat, as it is an essential nutrient, and according to a Netdoctor article by leading dietician Lyndel Costain, the body needs fat to use for energy, to transport vitamins throughout the body and for tissue repair.
Myth: Food eaten late at night is more fattening than food eaten during the day.
Truth: A study at the Dunn Nutrition Centre in Cambridge suggests that calories eaten late at night don’t necessarily turn into fat. It pointed out that the total number of calories consumed throughout a day is more important than when you eat. Basically, as long as you aren’t going over your daily recommended intake of calories, it’s OK to have a late-night snack.
Myth: As long as you exercise, you can eat as much as you want.
Truth: It’s important to have a good balance between calories consumed and calories burned. So working out and then binging on junk food afterwards won’t help you lose weight. According to an article on EatingWell.com, the average person needs to run or walk four miles to burn 400 calories, which is equivalent to about two medium-sized cookies. Overall, be sure to combine exercise with controlled, healthy eating.
Myth: Skipping meals can help you lose weight.
Truth: There are more negatives to skipping a meal than positives. According to an article on FitDay.com, a study found that skipping meals often cause people to consume larger meals with higher fat and sugar contents later in the day to gain energy. This can open up the risk for dangerous metabolic changes that can lead to several diabetes precursors.
Myth: The most healthful source of calcium is milk.
Truth: “Got milk?” How often have you seen this in commercials, billboards or magazines? It’s commonly believed that milk is the best source of calcium. However, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, green, leafy vegetables are a better source of calcium than milk and dairy products. These should be limited in your diet, as they contain a high amount of saturated fat and can increase the risk of ovarian cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
William Kosileski is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.