The 10 health myths that will never keep you away from eating again!
Who has never felt guilty when eating chocolate or having food late at night? You do not have to be too harsh to your body, as some existing food myths might turn out to be incorrect. So have a look at our Top 10 health myths and be surprised!
- “Chocolate is bad for you!”
It depends on which chocolate you eat! Dark chocolate can actually be beneficial for your heart. Studies of Harvard Medical School have proven that dark chocolate may in fact lower blood pressure and help prevent cancer too. So if you go for chocolate, go for at least 70% of cocoa and watch the fat and sugar content!
- “Carbohydrates make you fat!”
It is not the carbohydrates, but the total amount of calories consumed during a day that might cause weight gain, as studies from the University of Vermont about nutrition and food sciences reveal. There are two kinds of carbs, the bad carbs such as sugar, white bread, noodles and doughnuts and “good carbs”. These can be found in beans, fruits, whole grains and vegetables. They supply your body with fiber, vital nutrients and deliver energy!
- “Eating a late snack will make you gain weight, as our organs do not digest the food properly at night!”
This myth goes hand in hand with myth number 3. It is not the late night snacking that causes gain weight, but the total amount of calories consumed throughout the day. Recent research of Oregon Health and Science University has found out that our body does not process food differently at day or nighttime. However, do not overeat or choose unhealthy snacks! “Many small meals throughout the day are healthier than fewer, larger meals!”
Each time we eat our metabolism slightly revs up. Nevertheless, in this process only a negligible amount of more calories are burnt, the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found out. Some dieters may feel more satisfied by eating many smaller meals, because it keeps them from being overly hungry throughout the day. Other ones might see it as a trap of eating uncontrolled snacks. Whatever works for you, both ways are totally fine!
- “Your body craves certain foods, because it is deficient in the nutrients they provide!”
The truth is that we tend to crave certain kinds of food in order to satisfy our emotional needs, rather than suffering from any deficiency. This is what studies at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia revealed. As Marcia Levin Pelchat, the University´s sensory psychologist explains, “Cravings tend to occur when your diet is restricted or boring, or when you know that you can’t have something”. So no more excuses for eating hamburgers!
- “It is healthier to eat gluten-free!”
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Grocery stores provide more and more gluten-free products. Originally these products are intended for people with gluten intolerance and eliac disease, an autoimmune condition in which the body is unable to digest gluten. Most of these people experience abdominal distress and fatigue. However, is it healthier to eat gluten-free if you do not suffer from these illnesses? Without any medical reason, “there’s probably no benefit,” states Tricia Thompson, R.D., a Massachusetts-based dietitian and founder of glutenfreedietitian.com.
- “Keep away from red wine!”
- Not every alcohol is created equal! Red wine may actually be beneficial for your heart. It contains antioxidants, such as flavonoids and a substance called resveratrol, which have heart-healthy benefits. Nevertheless, do not go too crazy about it, because too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body. So enjoy in moderation!
- “If you exercise you can eat as much as you want!”
If you are an Olympic runner making 23 miles a day, you certainly can! If you are not better watch your daily calorie intake, eat until satisfied, but do not overeat. Of course exercise will help you burn calories, but in order to burn four miniature Snickers chocolate bars you have to walk 50 minutes with a fast pace. Quiet time consuming, isn´t it?
- “Low-fat or fat-free products are better for you!”
Less fat equals less flavor, which means that other ingredients need to be added in order to make our food tasty. Usually these ingredients are big amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners or salt. Furthermore, “the evidence is fairly strong” that dairy fat may be beneficial, as the National Dairy Council states. The research indicates that dairy fat is in fact associated with a lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
- “If the packaging does not indicate specifically ´sugar`, the product does not contain it!”
It would be great, if that was the case! Unfortunately, we have to disappoint you here. Food manufacturers are smart and just use different expressions or “types” of sugar on the labels of their products. The most common terms are “high fructose corn syrup” and “evaporated cane juice”.Also, be aware of where the sugar is taking place in the ingredients, if it is listed first it is the major ingredient of your food or beverage. That means if sugar is the first component, your food is packed with sugar! We hopefully made you a little smarter now, so that you can still indulge yourself while sticking to a healthy lifestyle! So enjoy, stay fit and smart! Any more questions?!