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Top 9 Nutritional Lies That Made The World Sick And Fat

In the world where we are exposed to fad diets and nutritional advice that we tend to get confused as to what is actually true and healthy for us.

Top 9 Nutritional Lies That Made The World Sick And Fat

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet
  2. Protein affects the overall health of the body in a significant way
  3. Fats should not be eliminated from your diet completely

Every now and then we come across some news or a study which states that this food is extremely healthy for you or a particular food which should be eliminated from your diet. In the world where we are exposed to so many fad diets and nutritional advice that we tend to get confused as to what is actually true and healthy for us. We all have heard so much about nutrition that is hard for us to believe what actually holds true. According to the Delhi based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra, "Healthy eating may seem to become an increasingly complex dilemma. Every now and then, there is a new superfood doing the rounds, followed by tall claims made by the food industry. Every now and then, a food item is reported to be ‘unhealthier' or ‘healthier' than previously regarded. Facts are often distorted and presented. Also, the findings of research are often influenced by the vested interests of the food industry or pharma giants."

Also read: Top 7 Fitness Myths You Need To Stop Believing

Top 6 nutritional lies that made the world sick and fat:


1. Eggs are bad for your health

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Eggs contain almost all the essential nutrients beneficial for the overall health of the body. Eggs have high amounts of protein and healthy fats and if eaten for breakfast they can help you lose weight. Moreover, the best part about eggs is that one cannot get bored of them as they can be prepared in numerous ways. Pooja Malhotra further said, "Egg yolks continue to be demonized though studies have well established the fact that the egg yolk consumption is not linked with high cholesterol levels or heart disease. Infact, our liver produces much more cholesterol than what we typically consume through diet. Eggs are abundant in vital nutrients like protein, Vit A, Vit B5, Vit B12, phosphorus, selenium, choline and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin."

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Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Eating a lot of protein is bad for your health:

The wonder nutrient protein affects the overall health of the body in a significant way. Proteins are beneficial as they can boost your stamina, helps in shedding those extra kilos, increase bone density, repair tissues and enhance muscle strength. Therefore, include foods that are high in protein like eggs, chicken, nuts and seeds, milk and other dairy products.

Also read: Popular Nutrition Myths Regarding Pre-teens Debunked

3. Coffee is bad for you:

Coffee has gained a bad reputation in the past. But the fact is caffeine helps lower the risk of many serious diseases. Moreover, coffee has large amounts of antioxidants and offers several health benefits. 

4. Meat is bad for you:

Many people believe that meat is bad for your health and can increase the risk of several heart related issues. Whereas it is not the meat but processed meat that is harmful for your health and should be avoided. Processed meat goes through the process of grilling, heating, curing and preserving which can be harmful for your overall health.

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Processed meat goes through the process of grilling, heating, curing and preserving which can be harmful for your overall health.
Photo Credit: iStock

5. Fat makes you fat:

We all need to keep one thing in mind that there are some fats which are healthy and should be included in the healthy diet. Fats should not be eliminated from your diet completely as they help in performing several bodies' function smoothly. Some healthy fats which are vital for the overall health are cheese, olive oil, healthy nuts and seeds, nut butters and full-fat milk. " Saturated fat is unhealthy is possibly the biggest nutrition lie told and retold for decades. This lie resulted in rampant use of refined vegetable oils and hydrogenated oils. Most of these are high in omega-6 fatty acids resulting in a distorted omega 3- omega 6 ratio, leading to inflammation and heart disease. Including good quality saturated fats like those present in desi ghee, coconut oil in moderation, alongside nuts, seeds, fatty fish are beneficial for the heart, nutritionist added.

6. All calories are equal:

All foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body and they have a direct impact on the hormones that regulate when and how much we eat, as well as the amount of calories we burn. Eating protein will reduce your appetite as compared to the same amount of calories from fat and carbohydrates because protein is high on the satiety index, which keeps you full for longer. So you should include potatoes, beef, eggs, beans and fruits, and you should avoid sweets and other baked stuff. Nutritionist Pooja Malhotra said "Calorie in minus calorie out equals weight loss: Every calorie is not created equal. 100 calories from a slice of cake will have a different impact on the body than 100 calories from a serving of fruit. This is because the nutrients and non-nutrients (water and fibre) accompanying the calories differ tremendously. So stop counting every calorie; focus on eating whole and natural foods and eat mindfully. Avoid the two extremes of starvation as well as overeating."

7. All sugar is bad:

"It's true that refined sugar is bad for your health. It causes spikes in blood sugar, leads to highs and lows, and causes insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and PCOD too. However, not all sugar is not bad! One needs to understand what sugars need to be avoided. It is absolutely alright to use some natural sweetener (like sugar, honey, jaggery, or any of the colored variants of sugar) in moderation in your tea/ coffee. What must be avoided is the sugar that comes hidden in biscuits, breakfast cereals, energy bars, chocolates, candies and the likes, added Pooja Malhotra"

8. Banana/mango is fattening:

Nutritionist Pooja Malhotra said, "Naturally sweet fruits like banana and mango are high in natural sugar and are higher in calories than most other fruits. However, these are not fattening, as these calories are not empty calories. Natural sugars present in fruits are beneficial as they are accompanied by soluble and insoluble fibres, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals too."

9. All sodium is bad:

"This is another lie. Infact, our body requires some sodium for maintaining essential functions; maintaining electrolyte balance is essential for our well-being and survival. There is evidence that sodium restriction can lead to better blood pressure control. However, giving up sodium completely is neither required, nor advisable. The ordinary salt or the colored variants must be used in moderation in preparing meals. However, what we must avoid is the sodium that comes hidden in namkeens, smoked meats, salted nuts, the baking soda in bakery items and the sodium benzoate used as a preservative in packaged and processed foods. So, by avoiding the processed and packaged foods, we can avoid the extra salt, the extra fat and the extra sugar," nutritionist Pooja Malhotra added.

Nutritionist Pooja Malhotra said,"These are some of the top nutrition lies that have made the world fatter, sicker and unhealthier. Whenever in doubt, rely on your traditional food wisdom to make food choices."

Also read: Are You Not Losing Weight? Top 9 Diet Myths Busted

(Pooja Malhotra is a Delhi based Nutritionist)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 

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