The supremacy of diet when it comes to mental and physical wellness in our culture is ubiquitous. A proper diet provides nutrients needed for the proper functioning of the body. Advice about what to eat, what to avoid, when to eat, and more spreads like hot gossip and is immediately seized on by devotees. This is further exacerbated by society-wide fatphobia and the desirability of slim bodies. Here are some myths about diet and wellness.
Myths about diet and wellness
Myth 1: Eating fat makes you fat
The body needs fat in moderation for healthy performance. There’s also no evidence that eating a moderate-fat diet causes weight gain.
Myth 2: Carbohydrates (carbs) make you fat
In order to process energy, your body needs carbs. All carbs are not equal though, the most beneficial are those that are fibre rich and minimally processed. Carbs critical in your diet come from fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
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Myth 3: If you exercise, you can eat anything
Although exercise is important to maintain a healthy weight, working out should be accompanied by a healthy diet. Natural, minimally processed food is nutrient-rich, boosting the body’s overall functioning and immunity. Processed food including fast food and soft drinks is detrimental to overall health.
Myth 4: Skipping meals saves calories
Skipping meals has the negative effect of making you feel tired, hungry, and potentially cranky which makes you more likely to reach for high-fat, high-calorie snacks. It’s significantly harder to make healthy diet choices when you’re hungry.
Myth 5: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Breakfast is a meal like any other. Take yours whenever you’re hungry. It doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning.
Myth 6: Snacking is bad for you
Snacking takes the edge off your hunger which can keep you from overeating and making other poor diet choices. The trick is to reach for healthy snacks like apples, walnuts, bananas, carrots, etc instead of highly processed foods.
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Myth 8: Eating at night leads to weight gain
Just be mindful of what you include in your diet, the time does not matter.
Myth 9: Skinny equals healthy
People store fat differently and thinness is not an accurate measure of health. Regardless of your size, it’s important to exercise and be on a healthy diet.
Myth 10: Go on a diet to lose weight
Going on a diet does not lead to weight loss and can even be unhealthy. Dieting has a staggering 90% failure rate. Fad diets are highly ineffective, restrictive, and difficult to stick to. A better option is to eat healthy food in moderation along with regular exercise.
Myth 11: Certain foods help you burn fat
There are no foods that can specifically help you burn fat. Just eat fewer calories than you expend and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Myth 12: Intense exercise only way to lose weight
To lose weight, you need to reduce the number of calories you eat and drink and keep your diet healthy. Exercise can support this. However, it doesn’t have to be an intense exercise to be effective. Other moderate physical activities including dancing, riding a bike, washing a car, water aerobics, walking up and down the stairs, brisk walking and even mowing the lawn can help with maintaining a healthy weight.
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Myth 13: People with darker skin don’t need sunscreen
The dangers of sun exposure are real for people of all skin tones. Research shows that people with naturally darker skin tend to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage of skin cancer and have lower chances of survival than Caucasians.
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Myth 14: We need eight glasses of water
Water and a diet with hydrating foods are extremely beneficial for the body’s functioning. While there are people who may need that much water to be hydrated, for most people, drinking water when you are thirsty is sufficient. There are so many variables determining how much water a person needs. It is dependent on their health, their level of activity, the physical environment, and temperature among more. Research backs up the idea that we should drink water with meals and when we feel thirsty.
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Myth 15: Avoid gluten
A gluten-free diet is one of the latest diet fads. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. About 90% of people are gluten tolerant and have no adverse reactions from consuming it. Research even finds that 86% of people who thought they were gluten-sensitive could eat it just fine. There’s no reason to avoid gluten unless you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Myth 16: I have perfect vision, so I need no testing
The thing about eyes is one could be compensating for the other. Even if you have what you imagine is good eyesight, you should get tested at least once in a while because early diagnosis is critical for treating vision problems. Spinach is also more beneficial in protecting the eyes against disease than carrots.
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Myth 17: Slimming pills and teas are safe and effective for weight loss
Slimming pills and slimming teas pose a real danger with side effects like addiction, liver injury, stroke, heart attack, diarrhoea, constipation, and depression. A better way to lose weight is consuming a healthy diet and exercising.
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Myth 18: You need to detox or reset
The body has organs like kidneys, the liver, and lungs whose primary function is to detoxify the body naturally. You do not need a specific diet or detox program in order to detoxify.
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