By Dr. Suneet Khanna, Dietitian/Nutritionist
When it comes to something like nutrition, it’s very necessary to distinguish between myths and facts. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about nutrition, which are so well circulated and popular that they have acquired the status of facts. Following these lies can not only increase the risks of chronic health issues but also decrease your lifespan.
Here are some of the most prevalent nutrition myths and the truth behind them.
1. The most significant meal of the day is breakfast – Breakfast doesn’t necessarily always qualify as the most important meal of the day as established by multiple studies. Most studies favor the fact that having healthy meals always prove to be beneficial irrespective of the time of the day. Moreover, cultivating the habit of intermittent fasting (which comprises skipping breakfast) has been observed to provide a lot of health benefits
2. Consuming seed and vegetable oils rich in omega-6 fats is beneficial for you – Most of the seed and vegetable oils available in the market are highly processed and their consumption in huge amounts can cause an imbalance in the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats in your body. The presence of excessive amount of omega-6 fats affect your health by adding to the probability of getting cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis and many other disorders. Moreover, some of these oils are also manufactured using genetic engineering, which adds to their unsuitability for consumption in large quantities
3. Artificial Sweeteners enable you to shed extra weight – The most common factors that lead people towards consuming artificial sweeteners are the urge to lose weight and/or to manage diabetes. However, studies reveal that artificial sweeteners contribute more to weight gain than caloric sweeteners. This happens because they increase your hunger and craving for sweets, which in turn does nothing to limit your normal sugar intake. On the contrary, these artificial sweeteners have a negative impact on the human body’s usual ability to “count calories,” resulting in intake of more calorie rich foods
4. Whole grains are among the healthiest foods – Whole grains are considered to be highly beneficial by most people but it remains largely unknown that excessive consumption of any types of grain including whole grains lead to rise in insulin and leptin levels in your body, which in turn, adds to the risk of chronic diseases. Also, people who suffer from insulin/leptin resistance, high levels of insulin and leptin may lead to high blood pressure, imbalanced cholesterol level, diabetes and excessive body weight. Moreover, gluten is also present in whole grains, which is known for stimulating sensitivities and allergies
5. Low-carb diets are bad for your health – Low-carb diets are criticized by most nutritionists for having high fat content, but research contradicts this. Studies prove that low-carb diets are good for weight loss, keeping blood pressure level in control, increasing good cholesterol and lowering blood sugar level.