THE 11 WORST HEALTH and DIET MYTHS

THE 11 WORST HEALTH & DIET MYTHS

Red meat causes cancer? Salt triggers blood pressure?  Read on to sift food facts from fiction

THE 11 WORST HEALTH DIET MYTHS 300x189 THE 11 WORST HEALTH and DIET MYTHS01. TOO MUCH PROTEIN HURTS YOUR KIDNEYS

Reality: Protein helps burn fat, build muscle and won’t harm your kidneys at all. Way back in 1983, researchers discovered that eating more protein increases the amount of blood your kidneys filter per minute. Many scientists immediately made the leap that a high-protein diet places your kidneys under greater stress. They were proven wrong. Over the past two decades, several studies have found that while protein-rich meals do increase blood flow to the kidneys, this doesn’t have an adverse effect on overall kidney function.

Put the truth to work for you: Eat your target body weight in grams of protein daily. For example, if you’re a chubby 80kg man and want to be a lean 70kg, have 160g of protein a day. If you’re an 80kg guy hoping to pack on 10kg of muscle, aim for 180g each day.

02. SWEET POTATOES ARE HEALTHIER THAN WHITE

Reality: They’re both healthy! Sweet potatoes have more fibre and vitamin A, but white potatoes are higher in essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. As for the glycemic index, sweet potatoes are lower on the scale, but baked white potatoes typically aren’t eaten without cheese, sour cream or butter— all toppings that coiltain fat, which lowers the glycemic index of a meal.

Put the truth to work for you : The form in which you consume a potato—for instance, a whole baked potato versus a processed potato that’s used to make chips— is more important than the type of spud.

03. RED MEAT CAUSES CANCER

Reality: Research says enjoy the steak! In a 1986 study, Japanese researchers discovered cancer developing in rats that were fed ‘heterocyclic amines,’ compounds that are generated from overcooking meat under high heat. Since then, some studies of large populations have suggested a potential link between meat and cancer. Yet no study has ever found a direct cause-and-effect relationship between red meat consumption and cancer. The population studies are far from conclusive. They relied on broad surveys of people’s eating habits and health afflictions—numbers that illuminate trends, not causes.

Put the truth to work for you:

Don’t stop grilling. Meat lovers who are worried about the supposed risks of grilled meat don’t need to avoid burgers and steak—just trim off the burned or overcooked sections of the meat before eating.

04. SPORTS DRINKS ARE IDEAL POST WORKOUT

Reality: You need more than that to keep your muscles growing. Carb-loaded drinks like Vitaminwater and Gatorade are a great way to rehydrate and re-energise; they help replenish glycogen, your body’s stored energy. But they don’t always supply the amino acids needed for muscle repair. To maximise post-workout recovery, a proteincarb combination—which those drinks may not offer—can help.

Put the truth to work for you:
After you suck down that sports drink, eat a bowl of 100 per cent whole-grain cereal with non-fat milk, suggests a 2009 study in the Joarnal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. A glass of low-fat chocolate milk is a good choice as well.

05. YOU NEED 38 G OF FIBRE PER DAY

Reality: More fibre is better, but 38g is nearly impossible. That’s the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine. And it’s a lot, equaling nine apples or more than a half dozen bowls of instant oatmeal. (Most people eat about 15g of fibre daily.) The studies found a correlation between high-fibre intake and lower incidence of heart disease. But none of the high-fibre-eating groups in those studies averaged as high as 38g. In fact, people saw maximum benefits witha daily gram intake averaging from the high 20s to the low 30s.

Put the truth to work for you:

Just eat sensibly. Favour whole, unprocessed foods. Make sure the carbs you eat are fibre-rich—- that means produce, legumes and whole grains—because they’ll help slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream.

06. TOO MUCH SALT CAUSES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Reality: Perhaps, but too little potassium causes high blood pressure too. Large- scale scientific reviews have determined there’s no reason for people with normal blood pressure to restrict their sodium intake. Now, if you already have high blood pressure, you may be ‘salt sensitive’. As a result, reducing the amount of salt you eat could be he}pful. However,
people with high blood pressure who don’t want to lower their salt intake can simply consume more potassium-containing foods—it’s really the balance of the two minerals that matters. It turns out, the average person consumes 3,100mg of potassium a day-i 600mg less than recommended.

Put the truth to work for you:

Strive for a potassium-rich diet—which you can achieve by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes—and your salt intake won’t matter as much. For instance, spinach, broccoli, bananas, white potatoes and most types of beans each contain more than 400mg potassium per serving.

07. SATURATED FAT WILL CLOG YOUR HEART

Reality: Fat has gotten a hum wrap. Most people consider turkey, chicken, and fish healthy, yet think they should avoid red meat—-or only choose very lean cuts—since they’ve always been told that it’s high in saturated fat. But a closer look at red meat reveals the truth: Almost half of its fat is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid—the same heart-healthy fat that’s found in olive oil. Second, most of the saturated fat in red meat actually decreases your heart-disease risk—either by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, or by reducing your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good) cholesterol,

08. DIET SODA IS BETTER

Reality: It may lead to even greater weight gain. Just because diet soda is low in calories doesn’t mean it can’t lead to weight gain. It may have only 5 or fewer calories per serving, but emerging research suggests that consuming sugary-tasting beverages-even if they’re artificially sweetened-may lead to a high preference for sweetness overall. That means sweeter (and more caloric) cereal, bread, dessert-everything. In fact, new research found that people who drink diet soda on a daily basis have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

09. CHOCOLATE BARS ARE EMPTY CALORIES

Reality: Research says enjoy. Dark chocolate is a health food Cocoa is rich in fiavonoids-the same heart-healthy compounds found in red wine and green tea— is at its most potent form is dark chocolate. In a recent study, Greek researchers found that consuming dark chocolate containing 100mg of fiavonoids relaxes your blood vessels, improving bloodflow to your heart. And remember:

Milk chocolate isn’t as rich in fiavonoids as dark, so develop a taste for the latter.

10. REDUCED-FAT FOODS ARE HEALTHIER

Reality: Less fat often means more sugan Peanut butter is a representative example for busting this myth. Atub of reduced-fat peanut butter indeed comes with a fraction less fat thanthe full-fat variety-they’re not lying about that. But what the food companies don’t tell you is that they’ve replaced that healthy fat with maltodextrin, a carbohydrate used as a filler in many processed foods. This means you’re trading the healthy fat from peanuts for empty carbs, double the sugar.

Put the truth to work for you: When you’re shopping, don’t just read the nutritional data. Look at the ingredients list as well. Here’s a guideline that never fails: The fewer ingredients, the healthier the food.

11. HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IS MORE FATTENING THAN REGULAR SUGAR

Reality: They’re equally fattening. Beware Recent research has shown that fructose may cause an increase in weight by interfering with leptin—the hormone that tells us when we’re full. But both HFCS and sucrose— better known as table sugar—contain similar amounts of fructose. There’s no evidence to show any differences in these two types of sugar. Both will cause weight gain when consumed in excess. The only particular evil regarding HECS is that it’s cheaper, and commonly shows up everywhere from bread to ketchup to soda.

Put the truth to work for you: HECS and regular sugar are empty-calorie carbohydrates that should be consumed in limited amounts. How? By keeping soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and prepackaged desserts to a minimum.

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