Dieting is often a difficult process and over the years i have come across many patients that have struggled to control their weight.
Myth No. 1 – Salt Cause High Blood Pressure
The average body needs around 6 grams of salt/sodium per day to maintain the bodies fluid balance, however with processed foods becoming so common in our diets, many of us easily exceed this level. Salt does Cause blood pressure problem, but you have to nearly double this level each day for it to start to cause you problem. Medical research shows that high blood pressure is rarely linked to purely salt concentration in the diet, but rather a combination of salt and other toxins in the body.
Myth No. 2 – Carbohydrates Make You Fat
Carbohydrate-rich foods are a great source energy as they provide a lot of fibre and nutrients that our body needs on a daily basis. However they also contain a high concentration of calories and ultimately what makes us fat, is a calorie rich diet with a lack of exercise to burn off those calories.
Diets such as the Atkins diet where the body is starved of carbohydrates are famous across the internet with many users boasting about their success in losing weight, however often it’s not the carbohydrates that are the problem, but how we cook those carbohydrates. An example, potatoes are a great source of carbs and probably the best source of vitamin C across the food groups, however we often fry them with batter to make chips which increases the calorie-count substantially.
Myth No. 3 – Dairy Products Make You Fat
Again another example of where certain types of dairy products do make you fat however diary products are packed full of nutrients that the body needs on a daily basis. What makes us fat is by drinking or eating the “Full Fat” versions of many diary products such as full fat milk which is high in calories, fat and a selection of other nutrients that the body does not need.
By drinking or eating low-fat versions of diary products we’re still allowing our bodies to benefit from the protein, zinc, Vitamin B and calcium that all diary products are packed with. What’s more the low-fat versions of many of our favorite dairy products contain more nutrients that the full fat versions. Take skimmed milk which contains nearly double the calcium levels than full fat milk contains and will help prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Myth No. 4 – Red Meat Is Bad For You
The short version, another round of rubbish. Processed red meat should be avoided, however natural steaks of organic red meat are okay to eat as part of a well balance diet.
What caused this myth was that The World Cancer Organisation came out with a report that suggested that people limit their red meat intake down to around 500grams per week. As with all reports, the general public decided to change this from 500grams per week to red meat is bad for you and wipe it out of their diet. The problem with this is that red meat is a fantastic source of protein and iron which the body needs. Of the years, i have seen patients that have such low contentraion of iron in the body due to not eating protein, they are suffering from anaemia.
Myth No. 5 – Fresh Food is Better Than Frozen
I am not 100% sure where this came from but it’s total rubbish and whilst it’s not medically proven, the opposite is almost true. Low quality frozen vegetables are probably not as good for you as fresh food, but as long as the vegetable is frozen with a few hours after it’s picked, the nutrient loss will stop and those good minerals and nutrients locked into the vegetable.
In some cases, fresh fruit and vegetables can be less good for you than frozen however it does depend on where it’s come from. As an example, Apple’s are grown in South America, picked when they are not ripe, transported to the UK fresh, placed in a warehouse and stored until they are ready to be placed on the shelf and bought by you or me. During this time, the heat, air, water and time will cause a significant loss of nutrients to the fruit meaning that it’s probably better to buy frozen or even tinned.
Myth No. 6 – Soy Products Reduce Menopausal Problems
Another total rubbish myth that has no medical research to back it up, however this time I do know where it came from. Over the last half-century, it’s been noted that Asian women have less menopausal symptoms than their western counter parts due to their diet which is high in soy product such as Tofu that contain natural plant oestrogens. It’s said that these natural oestrogens help to offset Asian women’s dwindling levels as they are going through menopause.
Over the years medical research has show that this simply is not true and whilst early signs showed some benefits to soy, once the sample size started to increase in numbers, that percentage has been drastically reduced.
Myth No. 7 – Brown Bread Is Better For Your Than White Bread
Typically when choosing a loaf of bread, you need to focus on what it made from and not so much the colour of the bread. To feel the full benefits of bread, you’re looking for the words “WholeGrain” Or “Whole Wheat” as this type of bread has been made from flour where the outer husk has not be removed and therefore it contains larger concentrations of Fibre, Protein, Vitamins, Folic Acid and Biotin.
Whether its white or brown bread does not really matter as it could be white bread that has been dyed or even brown bread that has been made from milled wheat where the nutrients have already been extracted.
Myth No.8 – Crash Diets Help To Reduce Weight
Crash diets typically consist of diets involving a calorie intake of less that 1,000 calories and can be a great way to reduce weight quickly. The problem is the effect on your body in the short-term and over the long term 71% of patients put the weight back on in the long term.
Medical research suggest the short term effects of a crash diet include slowing your metabolism which only helps to put the weight back on if you move away from your crash diet. What’s more, a crash diet deprives your body of essential nutrients and can weaken your immune system and increase cardiac stress.