Monday, July 3, 2017

Four Myths About Diets: Busted

Written by a contributing writer

There is so much information out there about healthy diets that it’s virtually impossible to distinguish good advice from misguided weight loss tips. It might not be so bad if they all worked to some degree, but some advice you read online can actually cause you to be deficient in some essential nutrients. If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, you need to forget some of these diet myths and educate yourself about the components of a healthy diet.

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Carb-free diets help you lose weight

When eaten, carbohydrates are digested and converted into glucose (fuel for your body). Every cell in your body requires glucose; it is the main source of energy for your body cells. The brain and central nervous system, for example, rely on glucose to function. Cutting out carbs from your diet will make you feel tired, constipated, and irritable. However, it is also true that there are some carbs you should try to reduce in your diet. Refined or simple carbohydrates such as white flours, rice, pasta, pastries, and sugary foods and drinks are metabolized by your body quickly, which causes you to feel hungry more often and snack more often between meals.

“Diet” foods are healthier

Researchers at Cornell University found that overweight people who choose low-fat versions of snack foods rather than the regular kinds consume, on average, twice as many calories. This is because most companies add twice as much sugar to these sweet products to improve the flavor after the “fat” has been removed. If you find it difficult to resist sweets in the early days, you’re better off giving into temptation and having a small slice of cake, than overcompensating for your craving by eating a whole cake.

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Cutting your calorie intake helps you lose weight faster

Regardless of what some fad diets will say, it’s not healthy to cut your daily calorie intake too much. Cutting down your intake to less than 1000 calories can lead to heart problems, digestive problems, nutrient deficiencies, and it causes your body to destroy muscle tissue, which is an unhealthy form of weight loss. However, when figuring out how to lose weight, it does make sense to eat less and move more. Not all calories are created equal; a turkey sandwich on focaccia with cheese and mayo is around 970 calories, whereas two slices of pepperoni pizza equal 520 calories. You need to be informed about what nutrients are actually in your food.

Vegetarian/vegan diets are better for you

If you want to cut out meat or animal products from your diet, that’s fine, but you should replace the nutrients you’re losing by cutting out entire food groups. Too little iron can increase a woman's risk of postpartum depression, and meat-free diets that don't include dairy, beans, or eggs are also low in the quality protein needed to repair the microdamage to your muscles that comes from working out.

*This post is not meant to give medical advice.  Please consult a medical/health professional before starting a new diet.

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