Have you been skipping meals to lose weight? Think carbs are bad for you? There are a lot of pervasive food myths that are spread in our society because people want to lose weight and they want to lose weight fast. Often times, these myths can be detrimental to a healthy lifestyle.
Let's take a look at some common misconceptions about healthy eating and some of the ways you can begin to address them.
Myth #1: Carbohydrates make you fat.
Truth: Cutting carbs from your diet may have short-term weight loss benefits due to water loss from a decrease in glycogen stores, but eating complex carbs - think whole grains - in moderation does not directly lead to weight gain. The body uses carbs for energy and are the sole source of fuel for your brain. Going too long without them can cause lethargy.
Myth #2: Eating eggs (or foods high in cholesterol) will increase blood cholesterol.
Truth: Research shows that eating foods high in saturated fat contributes to a rise in cholesterol levels. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, so choose low cholesterol and low saturated fat foods for optimal heart health.
Myth #3: Everyone needs a vitamin supplement.
Truth: Yes, our eating habits are going south and the majority of us don’t consume the recommended amount of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. However, if you are following a well-balanced diet, there is no need to supplement with a multi-vitamin.
Myth #4: Extra protein builds muscle.
Truth: In order to build muscle, you must do a significant amount of weight training as you consume protein to rebuild and repair broken down muscle tissue. Even then, the increased requirement can easily come from food. A potential problem with protein supplements is that the body has to work overtime to get rid of excess protein and can become distressed as a result. How can you prevent this? Look for more plant-based protein sources, as these are not as difficult to digest or toxic to our body.
Myth #5: Food eaten after 6 p.m. turns to fat.
Truth: Though we're less active in the evening, food eaten after this time doesn’t necessarily turn to fat. Weight gain is the result of eating too many calories throughout the entire day. The timing of the meal has less impact than the overall quantity of calories consumed. I recommend eating more of your energy in the front of your day. This will not only reduce the amount you consume overall, but will allow you time to properly digest food prior to sleeping. A restful sleep maintains balanced hormones and allows for rejuvenation of all our bodily systems. Best to give it a rest! Finish your last meal at least 3 hours before going to bed, but if you can't, don't worry! It won’t go directly to you thighs!
Remember, first and foremost, that there's no such thing as a quick fix. A healthy heart, body, and mind will come with dedication to healthy living, so live your best life!
And stay tuned as we debunk more common myths and give you the tips you need to become a healthier you.