When it comes to weight and health, the area of nutrition isn’t always black or white. In fact, there can be a lot of grey areas – as many people often disagree about what’s “good,” “bad,” or neutral” in terms of food.
If you ask around – especially on the Internet – you might have heard others say things similar to “The best way to lose weight is…” or “This product is like magic! Use it, and you’ll discover amazing results.” However, it’s very important that you remember that there’s no “magic” product or food, and that a balanced diet is the best way to ensure you’re giving your body what it needs.
Below, we tackle a few popular and common myths that you might have come across.
Myth-Busting Common Nutrition Myths: Here’s What You Need to Know
MYTH: If You eat foods low in sugar or low in fat, you can eat more of what you really want.
TRUTH: This always seems too easy! Before purchasing or consuming a food product, always look at the entire nutrition label. If a manufacturer lowers the sugar content, they may increase the fat content and vice versa. However, the calorie count may stay the same! Instead, eat all foods in moderation and practice balancing your plate. And remember – nutrition labels are your best friend!
MYTH: If you want to lose weight, the best way is through a diet low in carbohydrates.
TRUTH: If you’re considering a diet that limits a specific food group, it’s probably not a plan that can be followed long-term. In other words, you generally won’t be able to stick to it. Limiting fats, carbohydrates and protein may leave you lacking certain nutrients that your body really needs. Know this: all foods can fit into your nutrition plan. Keep it balanced!
MYTH: Eating one meal a day will help you to lose weight quickly.
TRUTH: While skipping meals will certainly lead you to lose weight temporarily, the results won’t stick. For one, limiting the amount of food you consume doesn’t give your body the fuel it needs to function properly. As a result, you won’t be able to perform your daily functions the way you normally would. Second, skipping meals may even bring you extreme hunger which can later result in overindulgence – thus packing on more calories than you originally intended.
Instead, aim for three meals a day to give your body the fuel it needs. As a general rule of thumb, try eating every four to five hours with balanced foods. And, if you’re hungry, grab a healthy snack to stay on track.
MYTH: By taking vitamins, you can get away with eating less “healthy” foods.
TRUTH: Vitamins are not a replacement for a healthy, well-balanced diet. Instead, think of them as an insurance policy. If your balanced plate still isn’t providing you enough of a certain substance (like calcium, for example), a multivitamin can make up for what’s missing. Aim for a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains to give your body a leg-up.
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