There is a lot of nutrition information out there. One day something is good for us and the next day, it’s public enemy number one. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out on what to eat, which is why we asked Dr. Yoni Freedhoff to debunk some common nutrition myths.
Is there such a thing as too much protein?
If you’re eating everything from chicken to vegetables, you can almost be sure that you’re getting enough protein in your diet. But it’s not about what protein you eat, it’s more about when that can play different roles in your health. If you’re trying to lose weight, try eating protein with every meal, even your snacks. It will make you feel fuller. If you have diabetes, eating your protein first can keep your blood sugar low. If you’re older, having some protein in your diet keeps those muscles strong. Just eating all your protein in one large meal at the end of the day won’t be very helpful.
Carbs are our enemies
From the beginning of time, we’ve been told that carbs are our enemies. But there’s no real evidence that all carbs need to be on the don’t eat list. The carbs you should concern cutting back on are high-processed ones. (Yes, that means the chips at the convenience store and that tempting cupcake.) Instead, carbs like whole grains, fruits and vegetables are good and should be our friends, especially when it comes to a healthy well-balanced diet.
Eat organic if you don’t want pesticides
That “Dirty Dozen” list that scores all the pesticides in your food is not as useful as you think. It doesn’t include how much pesticides are also in organic food. That’s right—there are pesticides in your organic oranges, just not enough for it to be considered in-organic. There are still benefits in eating organic fruits and vegetables, just don’t go out your way if you can’t afford it.
Artificial sweeteners cause cancer
This mostly comes from our fear of “if it’s not natural, don’t trust it”. If anything, the best thing for your health is to cut down on too much sugar, both natural and artificial. But if we are to compare artificial sweeteners to sugar, sweeteners are the lesser evil.
Too much barbecue can cause cancer
This concern came from the chemicals that can be found when meat is cooked over flames, but there has been no strong evidence that barbecue can cause cancer in humans. If you’re looking to improve your diet, it’s best to swap barbecue for fish or other alternatives.
Only eat your veggies raw
Cooking your veggies can change their nutrition, but that can also go fo washing them or putting them in the freezer. It doesn’t really matter how you eat them. Whether it’s raw, cooked or frozen, all veggies are good veggies. Well, of course expect deep frying them with an excessive amount of oil (we’re looking at you, fries). Besides that, getting your veggies in is never a bad thing.
Don’t skip breakfast
It’s been drilled in our heads to never skip breakfast and that it’s the most important meal of the day, but for some it feels pointless. Breakfast is important but it depends on what you eat. Just having a bowl of cereal or a granola bar can still leave you hungry but having a breakfast with protein can have you feeling fuller for longer. So if eating a good, hearty breakfast feels good for you then, go ahead. If you feel like you it doesn’t, don’t worry.
Timing your meals matters
There are so many diets out there. Some tell you to eat twice a day or to keep your daily calorie intake at 500. At the end of the day, do what’s best for you. If it makes you hangry and want to eat everything in sight at the day, then it’s not for you. It’s better for your health to get all your meals in and avoid skipping any of them.
Drink eight glasses of water a day
The best thing for your body is to drink when you’re thirsty. Our bodies are great with telling us when it needs some water. Unless you are doing high endurance sports, or you’re very young or very old, drinking when thirsty is ideal.
Find the perfect diet
The only perfect diet is the diet that is both healthy and enjoyable, not the one you absolutely hate and find yourself cheating on. Remember that no one is perfect to begin with and that everything is a work in progress. Don’t worry about always eating super healthy all the time. Sometimes choosing to cook over going to restaurant is all you need to do.