12 Diet Myths

Most people don't even come close to eating a healthy well-balanced diet. In fact, many people who think they're eating healthy really are victims of society's diet myths. These myths are propagated by fad diets that advise cutting out essential nutrients that your body actually needs to function properly.

Myth 1 Cholesterol is bad for you, low or zero-fat diets are good for you.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is made mostly by the liver. We all need some blood cholesterol as it's used to build cells and form vital hormones.

There is in fact good and bad cholesterol. Saturated fats found in food like meat, cheese, cream, butter and processed pastries tend to raise LDL (low density lipoprotein) 'bad' cholesterol. This delivers cholesterol to the arteries. HDL (high density lipoprotein) - or 'good' cholesterol - transports cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver.

Myth 2

Crash dieting or fasting makes you lose weight.

This can be true in the short term but losing weight over the long term burns off fat, and crash dieting or fasting not only removes fat but also lean muscle and tissue. It can also make you feel dizzy or weak and is unhealthy.

It's much better to try long term weight loss as short term weight loss is to traumatic and is essentially unhealthy.

Myth 3

Food eaten late at night is more fattening.

Many diets tell you not to eat after a certain time in the evening in the belief that the body will store more fat because it is not burned off with any activity. However medical studies have concluded otherwise. The results revealed the large meal eaten late at night did not make the body store more fat - it's the total amount eaten in a 24-hour period that's the most important variable in putting weight on over the longer term.

Myth 4 A slow metabolism prevents weight loss

This is a common myth among overweight people trying to manage their weight. Studies have shown that resting metabolism, which is the number of calories used by the body at rest, increases rather than decreases as people become fatter.

In other words, the larger you are the more calories that are required to keep your body going. Weight gain actually occurs when the number of calories eaten is greater than the number used up by the body.

Unfortunately, people are becoming increasingly sedentary in our modern society and burn off fewer calories, and this is the major factor of weight gain not the metabolic rate.

Myth 5

Cholesterol is bad for you, low or zero-fat diets are good for you.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is made mostly by the liver. We all need some blood cholesterol as it's used to build cells and form vital hormones.

There is in fact good and bad cholesterol. Saturated fats found in food like meat, cheese, cream, butter and processed pastries tend to raise LDL (low density lipoprotein) 'bad' cholesterol. This delivers cholesterol to the arteries. HDL (high density lipoprotein) - or 'good' cholesterol - transports cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver.

Myth 6

Low-fat foods help you lose weight.

'Low-fat' or 'fat-free' doesn't necessarily mean low calorie or calorie-free.

Check the calorie content of foods, especially cakes, biscuits, crisps, ice creams and ready meals. Extra sugars and thickeners are often added to boost flavor and texture, so calorie content may be only a bit less, or similar to standard products.

A low-fat food should contain no more than 3g fat per 100g.

Myth 7

Certain food groups should be eliminated

Many fad diets emphasize the elimination of certain food groups or eating primarily only one or two food groups.

Your body actually needs a balanced diet that supplies you with a variety of diverse nutrients that will keep you healthy.

Your body is designed to be fueled by a combination of: Water, vitamins, a little bit of protein, a little bit of fat, minerals, energy (carbohydrates), fiber, and oxygen.

Myth 8

You have to eat meat to get enough protein

Your body needs around 30 grams of protein each day. Meat and dairy products are very high in sodium and fat. Fruits and vegetables have at least one gram of protein in them. Grains, nuts, oils and legumes contain complete proteins whereas meat proteins are actually incomplete.

Myth 9

Cutting fat from your diet will help weight loss

Eating things like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and skim milk, which provide lots of volume and relatively few calories might do the trick.

Many processed fat-free and low-fat foods, such as cookies and frozen desserts, are very high in calories. You can also gain pounds if you consume huge quantities of low-fat, carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta and bread. Always consider portion size and number of calories, because these things count.

Myth 10

Cutting carbohydrates helps you lose weight.

Carbs are now what fats were to the last: the enemy of weight loss. Fact is, you need them for energy, otherwise you can feel terrible.

Like with fats, some are better than others. Experts suggest a minimum of 130 grams of carbs a day much more than a typical low-carb diets that states 20 grams or less. Short-term effects of such diets include fatigue, constipation and irritability; long term, you could be putting yourself at risk for heart disease and colon cancer.

Fad diets aside, what matters most is how refined the carbohydrates are. The best idea is to cut back on refined carbs such as soda and foods made with white flour, while increasing healthier carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Myth 11

You have to go hungry to lose weight

The average woman should never eat less than 1,200 calories/day and the average man should never eat less than 1,800 calories per day. If you feed your body natural foods, then you'll have no need to go hungry. You can pretty much eat all the fresh fruits and vegetables you want, and it will not adversely affect your weight.

In order to maximize the nutritional value of your foods eat them in as natural a state as possible. Avoid chemicals, especially those found in water. Fluoride, for example, is a poison. Although as a treatment for teeth it can prevent cavities, it does no good to ingest it, but rather acts as a poison in your body. By getting back to nature and the foods your body was designed to

Myth 12

Dairy makes you fat.

Combined with calorie control, a dairy-rich diet can nearly double body-fat reduction and weight loss and help prevent weight gain.

Part of the reason is the hormone calcitriol, which helps conserve calcium for stronger bones while telling fat cells to convert less sugar to fat and burn more body fat. The result is leaner fat cells and a leaner you. dietary guidelines, which recommend three servings of low- or nonfat dairy a day.

Finally!

The Biggest Myth Of Dieting

The more you cut calories, the more weight you'll lose.

Cut your calories too far-below 1,200 a day-and you'll end up with a double whammy that quickly decreases your metabolism and muscle mass. To get the most out of the calories you do eat, choose whole foods such as produce, fresh meat and fish, and whole grains that are as close to their natural state as possible. They have a higher "nutrient density" than refined foods, because they pack more vitamins and minerals into fewer calories.


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