There’s so much misinformation out there – it’s time to set the record straight!
Myth 1: Wholemeal is better than white
Wholemeal bread can actually have as high GI scores as some white breads, meaning that they cause rapid rises in blood sugar, in which the body responds to by releasing the fat storage hormone insulin. As your blood sugar levels come crashing down, you feel tired and hungry shortly after, which makes you crave more sugar and carbohydrates, leading to weight gain.
Most people consume too much wheat in my opinion and it’s easy to do so – toast for breakfast, a sandwich or wrap at lunch and pasta for dinner. Wheat is difficult to digest which is why digestive issues such as bloating and constipation are so much more common these days. Try going wheat free at least for 1-2 meals a day.
Myth 2: Diet soft drinks are better than the original
‘But it’s diet coke/pepsi! It’s got no sugar- isn’t that fine?’ I get this ALL the time and I can’t even begin to explain how much that irks me. Diet drinks may have less calories and no added sugar, but they are still full of chemicals and artificial sweeteners, which are worse than actual sugar in my opinion as they have been linked to cancers, obesity, diabetes, increased blood pressure, heart disease and much more. Whilst they may make your taste buds think they are having something sweet they do not satisfy the brains pleasure receptors. This means that your brain cannot be tricked into thinking it is having something sweet when it isn’t, therefore causing you to crave more sweet things to satisfy your sweet craving. Switch to water flavoured with lemon or mint.
Myth 3: All supplements are created equal
I could go on and on about this one. Supplements differ greatly in quality and many factors affect this, from the source of the ingredients, natural vs synthetic (synthetic forms of vitamin E for example are derived from petro chemicals – crude oil to you and me, consumption of which is thought to increase the risk of certain cancers), to the quantity of ingredients (some don’t contain sufficient amounts to benefit the body) and the absorption rates (will it actually reach the intended destination or will it simply be digested by the body) to name a few. The trouble is that it costs more to produce good quality supplements with the right quantities of ingredients. Seek the advice of a health professional before spending your money on something that might not even be benefiting you in any way.
Myth 4: Low fat foods are healthy and calorie free
When the fat is taken out of products it is replaced with sugar, sweeteners, cheap carbohydrates and salt to compensate for the lack of taste. They also tend to be less satisfying and therefore the majority of people tend to over-consume the product. The notion that it is ‘fat free’ also make many believe it’s okay to eat more. Ask yourself this. If low fat products are the answer, then why (given they have been around for decades) are we as a nation fatter than ever? I personally have full fat everything.
Myth 5: Fats are the enemy and make you fat
If this is what your snacks have been looking like then you’re in for a treat! Don’t fear fat! Fat has an incredibly important role to play in our diets, from building healthy cells, fuelling brain development and manufacturing hormones. They keep us fuller for longer and provide us with the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. The notion of fat leading to heart disease is an age-old notion that has long been disputed. Avoid trans fats found in processed foods and consume heart friendly essential fats found in oily fish like salmon and mackerel, avocados, nuts and seeds. It’s important to remember that eating essential fats does not make you fat.
Myth 6: Egg yolks raise your cholesterol
Whilst eggs contain high amounts of dietary cholesterol, this is different the serum cholesterol found in your blood. Studies have shown little connection between egg consumption and heart disease. Eggs are also a great source of nutrients such as protein and vitamins A, D, E and K and I love them!
Myth 7: Granola/museli is healthy
Granola and museli have long been hailed as ‘healthy’, but a quick look at the ingredients suggests otherwise. Whilst oats are good for you, granola takes healthy oats and coats them in sugar and bakes them in oil to give them a crunch. 1 cup of Quaker Oats ‘Oat Granola’ for example contains 23g of sugar (about 6 teaspoons of sugar!). Go for old fashioned regular oats instead, or even better have full fat Greek yoghurt topped with toasted seeds and berries instead.
Myth 8: Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar
Sadly not. It’s molasses that gives brown sugar its colour, not fibre. Calorie wise, 1 teaspoon of white sugar contains 16 kilo calories, whilst 1 teaspoon of brown sugar contains 17 kilo calories. Whilst brown sugar contains marginally more nutrients due to the molasses (although in such little quantities they are of little benefit to the body) neither do much to promote health.
Myth 9: Organic is always better
This is often the case, but not always. What you want to look out for is the exposure to pesticides. The following guide should help:
Myth 10: Fruit juice is a better choice than soft drinks
I think of fruit juice as ‘liquid sugar’. Even with no sugar added, fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar as coca cola. Despite the fact that these sugars come from ‘fruit sugars’ the body treats it the same as refined sugar, and the result is high sugar intake, imbalanced blood sugar levels, increased fat accumulation and much more. Even with the added vitamin benefits I would still steer clear of fruit juices, but don’t take this as an excuse to drink more soft drinks! Stick to water and you can’t go wrong.
|1 glass (200ml) of:||Coca-Cola||Orange Juice (Tropicana Original)||Apple Juice (Daylesford Organic)|