Top 5 Food Myths
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 34% of Americans over the age of 20 are obese, and that number is steadily on the rise. Because of the rising trend in obesity, billions of dollars are spent each year on weight-loss products and diet pills, and the obsession about losing weight has sparked a wildfire of rumors on how to shed those stubborn pounds fast.
With all the rumors spreading around, how can you know what will work and what will leave you frustrated and in a rut? We’ve asked the experts to give us the ins and outs on the top 5 food myths so that you can get your diet off to a great start.
The Fact and Fiction of Food
1. Fiction: “It’s ok to eat junk food, so long as you work it off later.”
Fact: Theoretically speaking, the more you exercise, the more calories you burn throughout the day; therefore, it’s ok to eat a few extra calories while you’re at it.
However, if you were to hop on a treadmill and counted your calories, you may discover that this is more difficult than you had originally anticipated. For every mile you run, you might be lucky to burn about 100 calories. If you were to run three miles, you might be able to burn off that snickers you just ate. Another 2 miles, and you may be able to buy yourself a small soda.
There is no compensation for unhealthy food choices, and if you’re not eating right, then you won’t be losing those extra pounds anytime soon.
2. Fiction: “All carbs are bad.”
Fact:: While it may be true that those who religiously stick to the Atkins diet (or similar low-carb diets) can successfully lose weight, Carbs are not the culprit for weight gain. Despite their decreasing popularity in the dieting industry, carbohydrates are not as fattening as you may expect.
Your body requires a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and even a small selection of fats to be healthy. Although refined flours and processed carbs contain more calories than your ordinary salad, you may want to keep in mind that a single gram of carbohydrates adds up to 4 calories while a single gram of olive oil or fat totals to 9.
3. Fiction: Olive Oil is safe. It’s a good kind of fat.”
Fact: This is only partially true. When compared to other kinds of oils and fried fats, olive oil is the better option. However, there are pros and cons to any oil you’re going to be using in your cooking.
Olive oil is a mix of many kinds of natural fats. Still, only a tiny fraction of these natural fats are in the form that your body can use to lower your cholesterol, and surprisingly, 15% of the natural fats inside olive oil are bad for you (meaning it contains saturated fats that raise cholesterol).
Oils contain unnecessary calories, and though Olive oil is a better choice if you’re trying to slim down, it isn’t the ultimate solution for a healthy heart.
4. Fiction: “You need more protein if you want to build muscle.”
Fact:: Although your muscles require protein to grow bigger and stronger, and your body requires protein for the proper production of hormones and enzymes, inexperienced dieters often take their protein consumption to the extreme.
Studies have shown that high-protein diets can result in the loss of calcium from the body, increasing the risk for osteoporosis and kidney stones. Even though animal meats tend to contain more complete proteins, you can still get adequate amounts of protein by eating a healthy vegetarian diet if you’re willing to put forth the effort. Rather than trying to bulk up with beef, we suggest that bodybuilders consume more beans, grains, and soy.
5. Fiction: “You burn more calories eating celery than it contains, so you don’t gain weight.”
Fact: As much as we’d love to say that negative calorie foods exist, this myth is nothing more than an old wives’ tale. Although celery is low in calories, making it a healthy snack if you’re on the go. If you were to do the math, you’d see that it simply doesn’t add up.
For example, a 35- year-old female weighing 150 pounds at 65 inches tall can burn around 30 calories per hour while sitting and eating, while a single stick of celery totals about six calories a stick. Let’s assume that it takes an average of 2 minutes for this woman to eat a stick of celery, and she did nothing but eat stick after stick for an hour. Thirty sticks = 180 calories in an hour.
30 calories and 180? Nope. It just doesn’t work.
A little research goes a long way when it comes to staying slim and trim and healthy. As much as we’d love to say that there are dieting shortcuts and quick fixes, these top 5 food myths are busted.