All you need to do is talk to your friends or go online, and you’ll find all sorts of healthy eating myths. It becomes confusing, and you never just know what is good for you and what isn’t! Suddenly, the idea of healthy eating becomes a complex issue that you never can figure out. With all these people contradicting each other, how are you supposed to know what healthy eating really is? Well, that’s where we come in.
In actuality, there are hundreds of healthy eating myths. Newspapers, magazines, and the internet cloud our minds with new “facts” all the time, and it’s difficult to know who to trust. Today, we’re going to take a look at a comprehensive list of myths about healthy eating. This should help you to separate the “facts” from the real truths. Settle in, as this is going to be a long list!
1. Diet Drinks Are Better Than Sugary Ones
While diet soda drinks such as Coca-Cola might reduce sugar, they come with other unhealthy additives. To compensate for the lack of sugar, one of the most worrisome ingredients is aspartame, which is only found in the diet versions of these drinks. It has been subject to controversies over the years, and there still isn’t a definitive answer as to its damaging properties. It has been linked extensively to all sorts of side-effects and health issues, so we can’t definitively say that diet drinks are better.
2. Dairy Is Important
Since we were very young, most of us have been told the health benefits of dairy. It has gotten to a point where many of us believe that we can’t even live without the right amount of dairy products. That’s not true! When we grow older, many of us struggle to break down lactose (ever heard of lactose intolerance?). The idea that dairy is important for us is because it gives us healthier bones, and that’s true to a point. We’re not saying that dairy isn’t nutritious because it is, but only some of us can tolerate it properly. You don’t need dairy products to live healthily.
3. Carbs Are Bad For You
There are a lot of people out there who believe that carbohydrates in any form are bad for you. That isn’t the case. Unfortunately, many of us consume carbohydrates in an unhealthy manner. We all know that unhealthy foods such as processed foods contain carbohydrates. Ideally, you shouldn’t be consuming these on a regular basis. That said, there’s no reason why you can’t get your supply of carbs from healthy options like fruit and vegetables.
4. You Can’t Enjoy Sweet Treats
When people go on an exclusively healthy diet, they often cut out sweet treats altogether. You don’t have to do this! Sure, it’s a good idea to try and limit the amount of cakes, chocolate, and sweets when you’re dieting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. There are loads of alternatives on the market like Nakd bars that will give you that chocolatey fix with goodness thrown in. Hampton Creek and Josh Tetrick have even come up with brownies that use the properties of plants to improve health benefits. What I’m trying to say is that there are loads of alternatives if you still want your sweet fix.
5. You Need 8 Glasses Of Water A Day
Just like in the case of a good sleeping pattern, there’s no set amount of water that you should have to drink every day. While it’s a nice idea to aim for eight glasses, that might actually be too much for your body to handle. It all depends on how much you can cope with, and other factors such as the weather. It’s definitely important to drink water rather than sugar-filled drinks such as soda. Still, as long as you’re getting what you feel is a good amount, you shouldn’t have to worry about this too much. Aim for eight glasses if you want to, but don’t go over-the-top if you feel like you can’t handle anymore.
6. Night Eating Is Worse Than Day Eating
I’m sure you’ve been told by someone at some point that eating at night could make you fatter. The idea is that that food doesn’t digest properly, and it sits in your belly making you fat. It shouldn’t really come as any surprise that this isn’t the case. It doesn’t matter when you eat your food; calories are calories. You don’t have to worry about getting fat because of this because it won’t happen! That said, many of us like to snack late at night, and this can lead to weight gain unintentionally. Don’t confuse this with the effects of eating at night!
7. Fruit Juice Is As Good As Eating Fruit
There’s nothing wrong with drinking fruit juice at all, as long as you consume it in small amounts. However, it’s a much better idea to skip the juice entirely and eat fruit instead. The reason for this is that fruit juice contains massive amounts of sugar. Natural they may be, but it’s still a high intake, and it can be damaging to your health even in moderate amounts. Also, fruit juice doesn’t contain the fibre that you get from eating fruit. Some of that goodness is stripped away, meaning that the effects aren’t as positive. If you’re really keen on fruit juice, make sure you buy some that is freshly squeezed for the health benefits.
8. Raw Is Better Than Cooked
In some cases, raw foods are better than cooked in terms of nutritional value. That said, in some cases, cooking can actually improve the nutritional value instead of eating something raw. The reason why people believe that raw foods are better than their cooked counterparts is because of a loss of enzymes. While it’s true that this is the case, it’s not as big a deal as you might think. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter how you consume these foods. Whether it’s raw or cooked; as long as you’re eating them, it should be a healthy option!
9. Saturated Fats Are 100% Bad For You
It’s commonly known that saturated fats are believed to be bad for us. We definitely shouldn’t consume them on a big scale, or our health could be at risk. That said, not all saturated fats are necessarily that bad for us. There are loads of different types of saturated fats, and some are believed to actually be good to consume in small amounts. If you’re concerned about your intake of saturated fats, don’t worry so much! Adhere to the guidelines and try and consume as little of them as possible. As long as they’re part of a healthy diet, they shouldn’t cause any health-related issues in most people.
10. Frozen Vegetables Are Worse Than Fresh
It makes sense that people would assume frozen vegetables are worse than fresh. However, that isn’t the case. The reason for this is that when vegetables become frozen, they are preserved almost immediately after being picked. This works to lock in some of the nutrients, meaning that they don’t lose that nutritional value. In terms of fresh vegetables, they have to be packed and transported in their current state. Throughout this time, the lock-in process doesn’t occur, and their nutritional value decreases. Ideally, you want to eat fresh vegetables as much as possible. If you can’t; frozen is still a good option.
Healthy Eating Tips
Let’s end this article with a few healthy eating quick tips to help you along the way.
- Remember to eat lots of fruit and veg. Add them to different meals or simply eat them on their own. Keep in mind that fruits, in particular, contain high levels of sugar, so don’t go too overboard.
- Drink as much water as you feel you can. It’s always better to drink water instead of soda and alcohol. This is even more important in the summer when dehydration can often become an issue.
- A balanced diet is important. Yes, you’re allowed to eat the odd chocolate bar, as you compliment it with other healthy foods. Read the packaging to ensure that what you’re buying is healthy and suitable as part of a balanced diet.
- Salt and sugar are fine in small doses but don’t go over-the-top. Just because you’ve eaten healthily during the day, it doesn’t mean you can gorge on unhealthy products at night.
- Healthy eating is complimented by an active lifestyle. The two go hand-in-hand, so make sure you’re getting plenty of exercise. It’s great to eat healthily, but you won’t enjoy the true benefits without putting your body to work.
- Make sure you’re getting the right amount of calories. The amount you need differs depending on gender, and if you eat too much, you’ll start to gain weight. Similarly, if you eat too little, you’ll lose weight. If you find that you’re struggling to hit the required amount of calories, don’t be tempted to eat the wrong things to make up for it. You can still reach that limit by eating healthy foods.
Image Credits: Pixabay.com
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