April 18, 2024

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

Crash diet? Be mindful!

GUEST COLUMN: N Prabhudev

Among the sea of information regarding nutrition there is a tide of Myths and inaccuracies.

Bengaluru, April 4: Crash diets are unlikely to result in long-term weight loss. In fact, they can sometimes lead to longer-term weight gain. Many adults in India have more body fat than they need. If you have excess weight and you’re trying to find the best way to lose it, it can be hard to know what information to trust when there’s so many fad diets and diet myths. At the outset keep your reasoning sharp! Let’s debunk a few common myths.

Myths if it sounds too good to be true, it almost definitely is.

There’s no secret ingredient to weight loss or maintenance. We’ve known for a long time that eating right and exercising are what matters. Eating healthy is not expensive.

Myths debunked!

1.            You cannot be overweight and healthy. 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.

2.            Skipping breakfast makes you lose weight. If you are not hungry don’t eat. The common adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day may not be true, but it seems unlikely that skipping the morning meal aids weight loss.

3.            The rationale behind this strategy is that missing one meal a day leads to a lower overall intake of calories. However, the story is not so straightforward.

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

5.            Everyone should follow a gluten-free diet. Unless you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you don’t need to avoid gluten, which is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Whole-wheat products have great nutritional benefits, including essential B vitamins and fibre.

6.            A detox diet will clean toxins out of the body. Wrong! Dietary cleanses don’t detox the body.

7.            Certain foods, such as grapefruit, cayenne pepper or vinegar, can burn fat. Wrong. no food burns fat.

8.            Late-night meals cause you to put on weight. There’s no conclusive proof. True, too many calories cause weight gain, and many night eaters do tend to overeat and choose high-calorie foods. As a general rule of thumb, wait about three hours between your last meal and bedtime. This may prevent problems like heartburn at night and even insomnia. So try to stick to regular — and earlier — mealtimes.

9.            Use unrefined sugars, such as honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar in place of white table sugar. No added benefit. All sugars are bad! Limit all added sugars.

10.          Coffee Isn’t Good for You is a debunked diet myth. When consumed in moderation – 2 to 3 cups daily, is a safe part of a healthy diet and contributes antioxidant phytochemicals. Coffee may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, gallstones and Parkinson’s disease. Avoid trimmings like cream, sugar, and flavoured syrups.

11.          Fat is not good for the body. Body needs three nutrients to thrive: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Yes, fats! Good-for-you fats found in foods like nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, olives, and low-fat dairy give you energy, help rebuild cells, and produce needed hormones. Avoid fats are saturated and Trans fats like butter, red meat, and many processed foods.

12.          Switch to Sea Salt to Reduce Sodium! That’s a diet myth. Table salt is as bad.

13.          Drink More Water to Peel off Pounds. Water is vital for your body — but a weight loss aid? No, Not really. Adding more water to your diet makes no difference in lowering the numbers on your scale.

14.          Avoid Processed Grains. Whole grains are good for us because they’re packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. And some processed grains are fortified with folic acid. While whole grains are the healthier choice, you can make room for some fortified processed grains, too.

15.          Sugar Makes Kids Hyperactive. Sugar is energy. More sugar more energy! Wrong! Avoid sugars all the time!

16.          Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes. Wrong! If you don’t have diabetes, eating sugar won’t cause you to get Diabetes. What does raise your diabetes risk, however, is being overweight and inactive. So do your body a favour: Cut back on the empty, sugary calories, and get moving!

17.          Carbs Lead to Weight Gain. Not all carbohydrates are bad for you. True, Low carbohydrate diets help weight loss! Fewer calories add up to fewer pounds over time – does not matter how many of your calories come from fat, protein, or carbohydrates.

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