Top 5 diet myths you need to know!
Texas A&M University would like you to know that many diet fads and trends are less than accurate or reliable. Weight loss is huge business, so it’s no wonder the internet is awash in miracle diets and must-have advice. But not all of it is based on solid evidence. Or any evidence at all, in some cases.
Here are some of the more persistent myths popular today:
Number 1: Gluten-free desserts are healthier. "Gluten-free desserts are not healthier than 'normal' desserts," said Lisa Mallonee, a registered dietician with Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry. "In fact, gluten substitutes may actually increase calorie content and contribute to weight gain. With that being said, gluten-free food is great to consume by those diagnosed with celiac disease or who are gluten-intolerant—but gluten-free desserts should be eaten in moderation and with a balanced diet.” So far, so much common sense.
What about sugar-free and fat-free foods? These foods feature in myth number 2: "Fat free and sugar free do not mean foods are calorie-free,” Mallonee said. "It doesn't matter what type of food you are eating, if you are consuming more calories than you're expending, you will gain weight.”
Myth number 3: Carbs make you fat. Wrong. It’s not carbs alone that make you fat. Rather, it’s simple carbs from over-processed foods that account for so many excess calories in the American diet. "We need carbs because they are the body's main source of fuel," Mallonee said. "The average American needs to be consuming more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and less processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and white flour products.”
Myth number 4: Eating a healthful diet is more expensive. "Indeed, eating fresh may cost more than loading up your shopping cart with processed foods or fast food from restaurant value menus, but, in the big picture, it will likely cost you more in medical bills to maintain an unhealthy lifestyle," Mallonee said. "You have to look at the long-term health impact.”
Myth number 5: You should ‘cleanse’ by fasting occasionally. Our kidneys and livers already cleanse the body. It’s their job on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis. "Simply fasting to 'cleanse' where you don't eat for a certain number of days can be dangerous. I recommend consulting a physician prior to any extreme diet that encourages fasting for an extended period of time,” said Malonee. She also notes that fiber from a whole foods/plants foods diet helps the body eliminate ‘toxins’ naturally. So concentrating on eating more whole foods makes more sense than skipping food altogether.
Texas A&M University. "Popular diet myths debunked." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2016. .