Four nutrition myths debunked

Food and mood

Recently the world learned that dietary advice around fat consumption is wrong.

Revolutionary research showed that for the past 30 years we have been misinformed about the importance of fat in our diets.

Unfortunately, this is just one area of nutrition and health advice that is misleading – as a nation we are inundated daily with false messages on what we should and shouldn’t be eating.

So to ensure you are living life to the full and not sacrificing certain food groups in a bid to be healthy, we explore four common nutrition myths:

Myth: Fats and carbohydrates are bad for you

Fact: Both can be part of a healthy, balanced diet – as long as you choose foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, and made from unprocessed carbohydrates. Ultimately, fat and carbohydrates are not fattening. Eating too much is fattening. Studies show eating the right fats and carbohydrates can actually help to lower cholesterol.

Your diet should consist of the following healthy fats and carbohydrates:

  • Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables with skins intact where possible.
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, whole oats and buckwheat.
  • Avocados, olives, olive oil and nuts.

Myth: Frozen vegetables are less nutritious than fresh vegetables

Fact: Vegetables are frozen when they are at peak ripeness, which means your bag of frozen broccoli is probably more nutritious than the fresh version you bought from the supermarket produce section. The freezing process doesn’t damage the nutrients in vegetables, whereas overexposure to air can. Overcooking them will also deplete nutritional value.

Myth: Eating late at night causes weight gain

Fact: It doesn’t matter when you eat – what it really comes down to is how much you eat during the day. There is limited research to suggest stopping eating at a certain time of night leads to weight-loss. The issue is primarily that when people snack at night, they tend to make unhealthy food choices. Portion sizes tend to be bigger as well, and often people have not burned enough off during the day to make up for it.

Myth: Counting calories is the best way to lose weight

Fact: The types of foods you eat is far more important than the number of calories you consume. Calorie counting narrows your vision when it comes to healthy eating, whereas taking a look at your diet as a whole and what kinds of calories you are eating can be more beneficial.

For example, a fast-food blueberry muffin may contain the same amount of calories as an omelette with vegetables. Unlike the muffin, the omelette will keep you fuller for longer, so you are less likely to experience a crash and be tempted to reach for sugary foods.

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Tamara Marshall

Written by Tamara Marshall

Written by Tamara Marshall

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