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10 Nutrition Myths Every American Must Know

Sift the fact from fiction before you choose something to eat

Advice is free across the globe. The problem is most people do not know where to stop. They are more confident about their advice than any expert nutritionist or a health professional. They can make the craziest of statements without blinking an eyelid. And when they happen to be owners, promoters or agents of nutrition products, their advice can be more persuasive than the advertisements and obviously, more misleading. But many people hear such things and have no time to think about them or to assess their correctness. They just accept them at face value and are burdened with erroneous myths for long. Here are the top ten myths that every American should be aware of
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Myth # 10: You can plan your own diet

Yes, of course! Every person has the right to plan his or her own diet. But, what do you do when your TV set doesn’t function normally? What do you do when your car has a breakdown? You seek an expert advice! Similarly, you may plan your own diet as long as your body is functioning well and you are in an overall good health. However, it is important that you seek the assistance of an expert nutritionist if you are facing any health issues, want to lose weight or get into perfect shape!

Myth # 9: If you want to remove fat cells from your body, you will have to have an invasive procedure such as liposuction

This is a myth. Liposuction is a procedure performed to remove the fat deposits in the body. It also reshapes some areas and reduces the weight. It removes some fat cells, thus reducing their total number in the body. However, to say that liposuction is the only way out to get rid of your excess fat would be wrong! You can avoid liposuction by sticking to a healthy, balanced diet. An expert nutritionist would be able to guide you in the process of losing fats without having to undergo the knife.

Myth # 8: If you do not maintain your diet, the fat cells you had lost earlier become double their size

This is a myth. Everything depends upon what and how much you eat. The fat cells or their number are not affected by what you ate and when you ate or the time gap during which you had been on a strict diet. The fact is when people lose weight, they just reduce the size of the fat cells their bodies have. The number of fat cells in a body is fixed around the age of 15 or 16 and stays constant throughout the life. If you lose weight, these cells lose their fat content. If you gain weight, they increase in size. The number of these cells can, however, grow if you gain so much weight that the cells are not able to support the fat. However, the cells can not grow to the double of their earlier size just because you had been dieting earlier and not doing the same now.

Myth # 7: Carbs should be your big source of calories

A diet high in non-fiber carbohydrates spells trouble for you by causing insulin and leptin resistance. Most high-carb diets are high in sugar and starch. The high-carb craze followed the low-fat mantra. Sugar replaced the fats. This sugar can lead to inflammation, metabolic dysfunctions, diabetes and heart disease. But the food industry continues to add fructose to everything. This kind of high-carb diet can disrupt your insulin and leptin signaling and result in type 2 diabetes.

Myth # 6: Low-fat foods prevent obesity and heart disease “Avoid fat” is the general admonish from everybody.
But this fat aversion is leading to ill health, metabolic dysfunctions and even obesity. People have to get 50 to 85 percent of their calories from fat. A very low-fat diet is not good at preventing heart diseases, obesity or cancer. Despite non-stop new researches, low-fat diets continue to be pushed as heart healthy by people with half knowledge! But the fact is most of the low-fat foods that are marketed are processed products containing sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. It is these products that are unhealthy, not the fats that you get from the natural sources. You may eat fats in limited amounts so that your body gets all the essential nutrients rather than eating the so-called low-fat foods.

Myth # 5: Eggs are bad for your heart

Some people think that eggs are bad because they can bring in heart diseases. Actually, they don’t. It is wrongly believed that the cholesterol in egg yolk is responsible for causing heart diseases. Eggs have no detrimental effect on the cholesterol levels. Egg consumption has no negative effect on the functions of the heart.

An egg has six grams of quality protein and nine essential amino acids. So, don’t hesitate to eat an egg a day!

Myth # 4: Whole grains are good for everyone

Unfortunately, all grains raise your insulin and leptin levels, increasing your risk of chronic diseases. Many whole grains have gluten, which triggers allergies.

Grains are low in nutrients compared to the foods like vegetables. By binding to the essential minerals in the intestine, the phytic acid in whole grains prevents their absorption. So, don’t get fooled by the claims that whole grains are all good for the health.

Myth # 3: Artificial sweeteners are safe replacements for diabetics and for promoting weight loss

People use artificial sweeteners to lose weight or because they are diabetic. But they cause more weight gain than regular sweeteners. They can do more harm to the body than sugar for diabetics. The sweet taste of the sweeteners can also increase the hunger. Artificial sweeteners also boost the craving for sweets. They cannot reduce the sugar consumption. They affect the body’s ability to count the calories consumed. Sugar is not healthy as it has empty calories and no essential nutrients. Fructose in the artificial sweeteners prepares us for rapid fat gain and metabolic diseases. Liver turns fructose into fat, which elevates triglyceride and cholesterol levels. It resists the action of insulin and leptin, thus promoting obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Myth # 2: High omega-6 seed and vegetable oils are good for you

Foods processed in vegetable and seed oils are not good for your health; but most Americans consume them in big quantities. This greatly distorts the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Excessive omega-6 fats increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 lower your risk of heart disease. But all the types of polyunsaturated fats are not the same. The omega-6 fats can cause an inflammation of the arterial walls, which is a major reason behind most heart disease. So eat your omega-3s; but avoid the industrial seed and vegetable oils, which raise your risk of disease.

Myth # 1: Saturated fat is bad for you

Official agencies had recommended against eating too much of saturated fat way back in 1950s because it led to heart diseases. This unsubstantiated view was the generally accepted version for a very long time. This flawed decision has now been proved completely wrong. A 2010 study has established that there is absolutely no association between saturated fat and heart diseases.

In fact, saturated fats offer building blocks for the cell membranes and some hormones that are essential for the normal body functioning. It acts as a carrier for vitamins A, D, E and K. It is also needed to transform carotene into vitamin A and for absorbing several minerals. In fact, your heart’s best choice of fuel is saturated fat. The only warning here is to limit its intake. But we all know that there is no food on this earth that can remain good when consumed in excess and saturated fats is no exception. So, just discard the myth that saturated fat is the main villain for your health! It has a shade of grey with some health benefits. Avocados, cheese, butter, meat, egg yolks, coconut oil and raw macadamia are good source of saturated fat.

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