Diet Myths vs. Facts

Keto and Vegan and Paleo oh my! I feel like I’m preaching to the choir when I say we are constantly bombarded with the latest diet crazes. Diets that use verbiage such as ALL or NONE of a certain type of food or style of eating can be extreme and leave us thinking, is this best for me and my lifestyle? Regardless of diets there seems to be little nuggets of diet advice that are engrained in us- even at an early age. Carbs are bad, don’t eat late at night, fat makes you fat, the list goes on. These are what are called diet myths.

A diet myth is advice that becomes popular without facts to back it up. When it comes to weight loss, many popular beliefs are myths and others are only partly true. Here are some facts to help you sort through what you hear.

MYTH? Cut back on carbs to lose weight.

FACT: Carbohydrates come in different forms: simple and complex. Simple carbs found in foods like cookies and candy lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Cutting back on these sweets, is a great way to eat healthier. Foods with complex carbs like whole-wheat bread, beans, and fruit, have lots of nutrients that are good for you. Cut back on simple carbs but keep complex carbs on the menu.

MYTH? If the label says “no-fat” or “low-fat,” you can eat all you want and not gain weight.

FACT: Many low-fat or no-fat foods have added sugar, starch, or salt to make up for the reduction in fat. These “wonder” foods often have just as many calories, or more, than the regular version and may actually be cutting out the good stuff.  Check the nutrition label to see how many calories are in a serving. Be sure to check the serving size too.

MYTH? Eating at night will make you fat.

FACT: People who eat late at night do tend to put on extra weight. One possible reason is that late-night eaters tend to choose high-calorie treats or just eat extra calories in general. Some people who snack after dinner do not sleep well, which can lead to unhealthy cravings the next day. If you are hungry after dinner, limit yourself to healthy snacks such as low-fat yogurt or baby carrots.

MYTH? You cannot be overweight and healthy.

FACT: There are some people who are overweight with healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. For most people, excess weight increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The longer you are overweight, the more your risk for developing disease increases. While you can be overweight and healthy, carrying extra weight will increase your risk for health problems down the line, but healthy eating and regular activity are good for you no matter what you weigh.

MYTH? Fasting can help you lose weight quickly.

FACT: Fasting is not healthy if you go hungry all day and cap it off with a huge meal that replaces all the calories you skipped earlier. Compared to people who lose fat by eating fewer calories, people who fast lose more muscle than fat. Look at your daily diet for empty calories you can cut out, such as refined grains and sugary drinks. DO NOT cut out meals entirely.

 What are some other “diet myths” you hear or have heard in the past? Do you know the truth behind the myths? Comment Below!

-Haley

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