In our quest to eat healthy, sometimes we end up believing myths surrounding the food we eat, which in most cases is healthy but we neglect it because of our misconceptions.
Every time I pick up my favorite doughnut, a sense of guilt starts filling me from inside, because despite knowing how unhealthy and calorie laden it is I mostly end up on gorging on it and compromising on my health. Here, my belief that doughnuts or any bakery item I love, is unhealthy for me but that’s not the case with all the foods or eating habits that we follow.
There are some foods, which are actually good but have been labeled as bad because of common myths and misconceptions that have been doing the rounds for a quite a long time. In same way, some foods have been enjoying the reputation of being healthy, but in reality they are doing more harm to our health than any good.
So, in our quest to find the truth behind the nutritional value of some so called healthy food items, we digged a little deep to find the truth behind the claims they make.
Myth 1: Added Sugar Is Bad For You
We all have heard this like zillion times that added sugar is bad for our health, but that only half true. Sugar is bad only when it is bringing only empty calories with it and nothing else.
In Indian kitchen, sugar is one of most essential ingredients used in our daily cooking. Additionally, you cannot bake tender cakes and crisp cookies without sugar. Even the so called natural sweeteners like ‘honey’ are more or less refined in their edible form and act the same way in our body as a regular sugar would do. Most importantly, sugar balances the flavor of all the healthy foods that we eat, which do not taste so great on their own. So eliminating sugar completely is first quite impossible and second is not worth it, because experts suggest that the sugar supply should be 10 percent of your total calorie intake. This however doesn’t mean that the sugar intake can’t be reduced especially when you are on a weight loss diet.
Myth 2: Low Fat Foods Are Good
We are often asked to opt for low fat food options wherever possible as we consider fat an enemy to our heart. In a last few decades an entire industry has taken shape revolving around low fat food items. We all know that a well done hamburger with all its juices cooked extremely well is appeasing to your taste as it is full fat and fat tastes really good, but when you remove fat from you are food you are left with something less flavorful.
So all the companies involved in low fat food products market use some or other kind of accompanying flavor that compensates the lack of fat in your food to make it flavorful. Do you know that the accompanying flavor they use is either some variation of sugar or not so healthy artificial sweetener? This way the product may come with low fat labeling but its still making you fat, because the added sugar they used has often been linked to obesity and diabetes.
Well this certainly is not the goal you are pining to by eating low fat food items, is it? All the artificial sweeteners they use are close relatives of metabolic syndrome, depression, heart disease, premature birth and a lot more. So, do check the label the next time you pick any low fat food product.
Myth 3: Eating Eggs Increases Cholesterol
Here, we completely agree with the fact that eggs contain high amount of fat and cholesterol, but that should not be a reason to saddle them with the ‘bad food’ label. It has been proven time and again that cholesterol present in eggs actually plays a vital role in increasing good HDL cholesterol in the bloodstream
Cholesterol levels in your body get affected by a certain kind of saturated and trans fats and eggs contains relatively small amount of saturated fats. For example: one large egg comes with only about 1.5 grams of saturated fats, which equally to only a fraction of the amount of butter you use to cook the same egg in. So instead of cutting on the eggs in your daily breakfast cut on the amount of butter or oil you use to cook them.
On the other hand, eggs are a great source of 13 vitamins and minerals along with their rich protein content which keeps you full for a longer time. If you are still not convinced with the health benefits of eggs, then consider including soy protein in your diet.
Myth 4: Whole Grains are Good For Everyone
White flour and white bread have long been the object of nutritional scorn because of their lack of nutrition and fiber content. Whereas, whole grain bread has always been applauded for all the things that a white bread lacks.
However, humans found their acquaintance with grains after a long time, after they are evolved. According to the history, agricultural revolution began only around 10,000 BCE and before that humans ate grains sparingly. Even today, our digestive systems find some or other forms of grains problematic. Grains have relatively low natural nutrient content when compared to fruits, vegetables and meats. Also, grains are rich in phytic acid, which binds some minerals to the intestine thus preventing their optimum use for body.
Wheat is the most popular form of grain consumed in our country, but do you know that wheat contains a substance known as gluten that makes your breads and rotis soft. There are several people suffering from celiac disease, a kind of gluten sensitivity, which makes you immune system attack the small intestine. Some people suffer from gluten sensitivity even if they do not have celiac disease, which leads to bloating, stomach pain, intestinal damage, etc