Nutrition Myths and misconceptions are common when it comes to eating healthy. You may have heard your aunt saying that salt can help with weight loss. And lemons can help clean your stomach.
Also, you may have heard people out there peddling lies that specific food and drinks can protect you from certain diseases. This has made many people modify their diet to lose weight the wrong way. So, it can be difficult to separate facts from fiction. In this article, you will get to get to know why it’s important to be on the lookout while shopping for your groceries. Thereafter, this article aims at debunking the common nutrition myths and misconceptions.
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Why do you need to understand what you eat?
Food consumption across the globe has changed significantly. There has been an increase in unethical eating and movements such as vega-January and Meat-free Monday. Such movements are meant to encourage people to embrace plant-based diets. Digital technology has also made it easier for consumers to purchase and acquire foodstuff without visiting food stores and supermarkets.
Nevertheless, many are still eating unhealthy diets despite the growth and improved technology in the food industry. This is mostly because these days people seek advice from friends, close relatives, and social media platforms. What’s more, this trend is also largely being influenced by false information by people who call themselves ‘food marketers’. Remember, these are laypeople or individuals who want to make a kill in the food industry. So, there is a possibility of consumers getting the wrong information.
Therefore, it is also very important to know that what you eat can have implications for your health and environment. For instance, obesity is a health concern among many people in the world. This is because obesity puts you at risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart-related diseases. Here are nutrition myths and misconceptions that you will come across in your every day to day life:
1. Fatty foods are bad-
debunking common nutrition myths and misconceptions
This is one of the analogies which have been created by people, especially across social media. People have been fearful and cautious when consuming high-fatty food thus going for low fats to stay healthy. Fats are very important in your body. Low fat intake has been linked to diseases such as heart attack and insulin resistance. So, to stay healthy ensure that you do not take too much or too little fat
Some of the functions of the fats in your body
- Transport of vitamins-without the fat, transportation of vitamins would not be possible. So, fats transport vitamins A and D, and Additionally, fats support vitamin absorption too. Therefore, the consumption of fatty foods is critical to enhancing the smooth transportation of these vitamins to the various parts of the body.
- Energy provision-fats are responsible for energy production. A combination of fats with proteins, carbohydrates, and proteins enhances the production of energy. In a nutshell, a concentration of fat provides 9 kcal per 1 gram. This energy supply is higher compared to what is produced by protein and carbohydrates.in addition, the energy produced by fat is higher than that which is produced by fiber (2 kcal).
Is there another function of fats in the body?
- Structural function fats-Makes up the membrane that protects the cell from damage. Therefore, there is controlled movement of substances in and out of the cell. Also, a huge chunk of the brain is made up of fat. These fats comprise fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acids) which enhance the supply of nutrients to the brain. Also, fats are responsible for the formation of the retina which is high in docosahexaenoic acids.
Here are some of the sources of fatty foods
- Avocados-Avocados are fruits high in mono-saturated fats. What’s more, avocados contain minerals, vitamins, and fiber. You can enjoy your avocado on its own or as a substitute for various delicacies.
- Cheese-several types of cheese that contain fat. These fats include trout, tuna, sardine salmon, and mackerel.in addition to this, such food contains omega-3 acids. They are also rich in calcium and protein. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to consume these foods in moderation since they are high in sodium and calorie.
- Dark chocolate-This type of chocolate has a high content of healthy fats and antioxidants. However, it is advisable to take this delicacy with lots of moderation.
- Coconut-This include coconut flesh and oil which is also nutritious. The beauty of it is that it can be used for cooking and also baking. You can also add these coconuts to your smoothies and curries
2. You are healthy when skinny-
debunking common nutrition myths and misconceptions
People believe that skinny people are free from lifestyle diseases such as obesity. This is because obesity is associated with diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. However, this does not mean that you need to be skinny to stay away from these diseases. So what’s important is the consumption of highly nutritious food. On top of these, you also need to adopt other healthy lifestyles such as physical activities.
What does it mean to be skinny?
- Hormonal Imbalances-Extreme underweight or rapid weight loss can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to irregular menstrual cycles in women or hormonal dysfunction in both men and women.
- Bone Health Concerns– Being underweight and low intake of essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D can increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
- Underlying Health Conditions– In some cases, being underweight may be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as hyperthyroidism, gastrointestinal issues, or eating disorders. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns about your weight or overall health.
- Nutrient Deficiencies-Being underweight may indicate inadequate intake of essential nutrients. It’s important to consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of whole foods to ensure you’re getting all the necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats.
- Weakened Immune System-Poor nutrition and inadequate calorie intake can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off illnesses and infections.
- Here are some of the measures that you can take to maintain a healthy body weight:
Other measures to take-
Debunking common nutrition myths and Misconceptions
- Measure your body circumference-One thing that you will realize is that your body shape is different from that of your friend or a close relative. Therefore, you need to measure your body circumference to determine the fat levels. You will require your age, and height when measuring your body circumference. Measuring body circumference is quick and easy. However, this method may not be accurate and errors are bound to happen.
- Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA)-This method entails the usage of X-rays to estimate your body weight in percentage form. You are required to lie on your back while the X-ray scan is over you. The scan gives information about fat concentration in areas such as legs and arms. One advantage of this procedure is that the amount of radiation during the scan is low. This scan can also be used to give information about your bones such as bone mass. This method is also accurate and detailed.
- The hydrostatic weighing-This method entails weighing your body while submerged under water. In this procedure, you need to hold your breath since you are required to be fully submerged in water. The procedure is meant to estimate your body composition based on its density. Thereafter, your body’s density is used to calculate the body fat percentage.
Are there other measures that you can employ?
- Eat a balanced diet-A healthy diet is that which contains essential macronutrients. These macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Your diet should also have micronutrients (minerals and vitamins).
- Intake of calories-if you are a person who wants to add weight, then you may need to increase your consume calorie intake. So, ensure that you calculate your daily calorie needs using an online calculator. You can also consult your dietician for more clarification and advice.
- Regular meals and snacks-This entails eating balanced meals regularly every day. This could include the consumption of snacks in between meals to boost your consumption of calories. Also, you can go for nutrient-dense snacks such as Greek yogurt, protein bars, and trail mix.
- Strength training-Ensure that you incorporate resistance training to take care of your weight. So, with strength training, you aim at staying physically fit by building body muscles. Strength training may include activities such as weight lifting, the use of resistance bands, and body weight exercises.
- Avoid too much cardio-as much as you are looking forward to gaining weight, you should avoid excess cardio exercise. Therefore, focus on resistance training and moderate cardiovascular activities.
- Have patience-Ensure that you give yourself time to rest. Do not over-exercise. Also, be consistent with what you eat and exercise routinely. So, allow yourself to adjust gradually.
3. All juices and smoothies are good
A good number of juices and smoothies are nutritious. They contain minerals and vitamins that benefit your body in the long run. For instance, smoothies or juice comprising non-starchy vegetables can increase your vitamin and antioxidant levels. Additionally, these juices are also linked to low inflammation, improved immunity, and improved brain functions.
However, it is worth noting that the majority of the smoothies and juices being sold in the supermarket have lots of sugar and calories. Excess consumption of sugars and calories could contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is why you should be cautious while consuming smoothies and juices:
- They are high in sugars-Just like sodas and other beverages, juices, and smoothies have lots of sugar. High sugary drinks increase the likelihood of illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome. So, the more you consume these drinks the more the higher the risk of these diseases.
- Both may lead to weight gain-Consumption of smoothies and juices increasing the likelihood of gaining unnecessary weight. This is a result of high levels of calories. This sugar is much higher than sugars from fiber-rich foods with the same amount of sugar such as fruit. So, a calorie in the form of a drink increases the risk of weight gain. Therefore, a reduction in the consumption of these drinks will ultimately lower the risk of diseases such as diabetes.
What are some of the foods that you can go for?
- Water– Water is the best choice for hydration and is essential for overall health. It’s calorie-free and helps maintain proper bodily functions. You can flavor it with slices of fruits like lemon, cucumber, or berries for a refreshing twist.
- Sparkling Water-If you enjoy carbonated beverages opt for sparkling water instead of sugary sodas. You can find flavored sparkling water without added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
- Herbal Teas-Herbal teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, or ginger tea, are great alternatives to juices and smoothies. They are hydrating and can provide various health benefits, depending on the herbs used.
- Coconut Water-Natural coconut water is a refreshing and hydrating option that contains electrolytes. It can be a good alternative to sugary fruit juices, but be mindful of the portion size due to its natural sugar content.
- Milk Alternatives-If you’re avoiding dairy or looking for non-juice alternatives for smoothies, consider plant-based milk alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. These can be enjoyed on their own or used in recipes.
- Vegetable Broth or Soup– Sip on a warm vegetable broth or enjoy a nourishing soup made with fresh vegetables. It’s a flavorful way to hydrate while also getting essential nutrients.
- Infused Water– You could create your own flavored water by infusing it with fruits, vegetables, or herbs. Simply add slices of cucumber, lemon, lime, mint leaves, or berries to a pitcher of water and let it infuse for a few hours before drinking.
4. Carbohydrates are bad-Debunking Common Nutrition Myths and Misconceptions
Some people believe that carbohydrates are not good. For instance, those who are insulin resistant may tell you that carbohydrates are bad. This is because their bodies have difficulties processing carbohydrates. Therefore, such people are much more comfortable with low carbohydrates in their diet. On top of this, those who have a bad experience say digestion problems may develop a poor attitude towards carbohydrate consumption.
Carbohydrates fall under macronutrients together with proteins and fats. What’s more, carbohydrate is a type of molecule that contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. So, carbohydrates are very important for the body’s proper functioning
Will carbohydrates benefit you in the long run?
Carbohydrates are very important as far as your health is concerned. So, carbohydrates supply your body with energy and are the brain’s primary source of energy. Nevertheless, carbohydrates need to be broken down into sugars so that they can be absorbed in your body mechanism. The sugar (glucose) is used as a fuel by the body’s organs and tissues. Remember, when your body does not get enough carbohydrates it goes for an alternative source of energy. In this case, your body goes for the proteins. Proteins are mostly found in your muscles and body fats.
Carbohydrates are mostly known for the provision of energy. However, they are also responsible for good health. Microbiomes are organisms that live in your body, especially along the gastrointestinal tract and the gut. Fiber is also responsible for a smooth bowel movement and minimizes instances of constipation.
Some carbohydrates such as fiber act as food for the good bacteria (Microbiomes) in the gut hence promoting good health and growth.
Some of the functions of carbohydrates in the body
When carbohydrates are added to a prepared diet, they balance the nutrients and at the same time improve the taste and texture of the food. For instance, some nutrition supplements such as nutrition-dense drinks provide important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Apart from improving the taste, carbs provide sweetness to nutrient-dense foods. On top of this, the carbs provide flavors to ensure that the product is easy to drink.
What are some of the foods that are rich in carbohydrates?
- Vegetables-Foods such as starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and peas are high in carbohydrates. You can also benefit from non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, kale carrot, and pepper has a good chunk of carbohydrates.
- Dairy products-This include yogurt, milk, and other dairy products such as lactose that have lactose. However, it’s advisable to go for low-fat and unsweetened options. This is because such products have little sugar.
- Legumes-Chicken peas, lentils, and beans are good sources of carbohydrates. Such food contains fiber and protein making them very tasty and nutritious.
- Grains-This could include foods such as quinoa, oats, rice, and wheat. Nevertheless, you can opt for whole grain. This is because whole grains are healthy since they contain high fiber and nutrients, unlike refined grains.
- Fruits-This is another set of foods that are high in carbohydrates. So, such fruits include mangoes, berries, bananas, and oranges.
Debunking common nutrition myths and misconceptions is a topic that will always linger in your mind when you think about food. So, ensure that you seek advice from the right people so you do not end up eating what you are not supposed to. For instance, you can make use of Google or consult your nearest dietician for nutritional support.
1.Is skipping breakfast a bad habit that can lead to weight gain?
The belief that skipping breakfast leads to weight gain is a common nutrition myth. However, there is no strong scientific evidence to support this claim.
2.Are all carbohydrates bad for you and should they be avoided for weight loss?
No, not all carbohydrates are bad for you. Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient and a primary source of energy for the body.
3.Will eating fat make you fat?
The idea that eating fat makes you fat is a widespread misconception. Dietary fat is a crucial macronutrient that provides energy, aids in nutrient absorption, and supports various bodily functions.
4.Should I avoid all types of sugars, including natural sugars found in fruits?
It’s essential to distinguish between added sugars and naturally occurring sugars. Added sugars, which are often found in sugary beverages, processed snacks, and desserts, should be limited in the diet as they can contribute to weight gain.