Misinformation and blatant lies are rife in the world of both fitness and health. Since they’re primarily concerned about general well-being, people tend to look for shortcuts and ‘hacks’ to improve their health. But as we all know, hacks and cheats don’t exist in real life. Facts and consistency are the best way to get results, but what if separating fact from fiction is difficult.
With the number of fitness and nutrition figures contradicting each other, it’s hard to understand which diet is truly correct. Even health professionals with all their qualifications and degrees can get some things wrong or miscommunicate an idea, potentially adding fuel to the confusing fire of nutrition and dieting. To help clear many myths and misconceptions, here’s a quick list to get you started.
Context Matters, even in Diet
Most of the time, it’s not that qualified health professionals are wrong, or they’re lying. Usually, context is necessary to understand nutritional advice. For example, somebody needing to gain weight will definitely be prescribed a high-calorie and nutrient-rich diet to be ‘healthy.’ However, the same diet might not work for those looking to lose weight.
Context is crucial, as diet is a very personalized thing. A one-week plan for someone might not be effective or even dangerous to someone else. That’s why those working in the home health care and general medical hospitality industry are very careful when it comes to feeding their clients specific types of food or following certain diets. Remember, context is important, and keeping that in mind while reading through this article will help you understand the ideas better.
Eating Food You’re Allergic to Makes You Stronger
The popular saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” may sound very brave, but real life isn’t as black and white. It’s a common myth that eating food you’re allergic to will help you develop immunity, and the answer is a bit complex. Oral immunotherapy, which involves gradually more and more of food you’re allergic to, is NOT a guarantee. At most, it will trigger allergies, and that’s it. While studies have been made regarding the topic, the results have been inconclusive to say that eating more of what triggers your allergy will help prevent it. For now, stick to avoiding your allergies.
Fat Is Always Unhealthy
Low-fat milk, zero-fat alternatives, and other ‘less fat’ marketing blather has long persisted, adding to people’s fear of fat in foods. People often equate fat consumption to an unhealthy diet, and while there is a degree of truth in that, it’s not always the case.
Fat, like many other nutrients, is essential to the body. Extremely low-fat diets have actually been associated with many other diseases, such as metabolic syndrome or even heart disease. What’s important is not complete avoidance of fat but a well-balanced diet where you meet your macro and micronutrient requirements.
Alternative Sweeteners Are Healthy
Just as fat is often treated as an evil to be feared, sugar is also another that fuels people’s dietary nightmares. This has led to increased sugar-free options, albeit sacrificing the taste due to the lack of flavor. The solution many companies found is to offer alternatives to sugar: non-nutritive sweeteners.
While it’s true that a diet with a high sugar intake poses a great risk to overall health, non-nutritive sweeteners aren’t exactly free of sin either. Studies have shown that it can increase the risk of certain types of diabetes and severely damage the natural gut flora that helps us digest food.
All You Need to Lose Weight Is to Eat Less
Eating less has become such a phenomenon in recent times that many people often falsely assume that ‘diet’ means ‘eating less.’ While it is true that eating less can help with sudden and rapid weight loss, when done incorrectly, it can actually go in reverse and cause weight gain. It can severely reduce your metabolism, making your body process food less efficiently, and even affect your satiety levels, making you eat more. These combined make a sudden low-calorie diet an ineffective way to lose weight, especially for the long term.
Avoid ‘This Type of Food’
One of the most common diet advice given is ‘avoid this food’ or ‘avoid that food.’ In truth, you don’t want to avoid any food. What you want to do is maintain a well-balanced diet, which often includes eating different kinds of food. Don’t be afraid to eat something sweet. Just remember to balance it out by not eating more than your fill. Remember that the key to a healthy body is a well-balanced diet, which means being open to trying different kinds of food.
With these ideas in mind, you can make well-informed decisions that concern your health and diet. You can make choices that won’t harm yourself when focusing on your fitness.