All across the country, Americans are becoming more and more aware of the importance of nutrition and what they put in their body. With this newfound interest there can be a lot of misinformation about what is or isn’t good to put in your body. Here are a few myths that circulate that have been debunked by doctors and nutritionists.
The only important part of weight loss is managing calories
While maintaining a mild calorie deficit is important for weight loss, it is not the only factor in losing weight (keep in mind most nutritionists recommend a deficit of 200-400 depending on the person for effective, long-term weight loss). Many other factors play into weight loss such as hormone imbalances, certain health conditions, metabolic adaptations, medications, and genetics all play a part in weight loss. Maintaining a very low caloric intake is also not sustainable in the long-term nor does it promote making healthy food choices as often times, maintaining a low caloric intake means choosing less nutrient rich foods that aid in healthy body functions
High Fat Foods are Unhealthy
Fats in your diet are important for optimal health; low fat diets have also been linked to greater health risks like metabolic syndrome, which induces insulin resistance and is a known factor for heart disease. It is important to maintain a balance of healthy fats, such as those in fatty fish or avocado, in your diet and fats have proven to be more effective in weight loss. Foods marketed as low or fat free usually contain added sugars or sodium and oftentimes do not keep you full for long and contribute to overeating.
Unrefined Sugars are Better than White Sugar
While unrefined sugars do provide a margin of nutritional benefit, it is not as stark as it may seem. Using unrefined sugars like honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar contribute to your intake of sugar regardless and should be monitored just as much as refined sugar intake.
Smaller, More Frequent Meals are Better
Every person is different and has different levels of hunger throughout the day; listening to one’s body signals for hunger is more effective than forcing or scheduling meals throughout the day. If you are generally healthy, the frequency of your meals does not matter as long as your body’s energy needs are met. However, those with certain conditions like diabetes, coronary artery disease, IBS, or those who are pregnant may benefit from more frequent meals. Research shows that a regular pattern overall is best for health.
Being Skinny Means You’re Healthy
While obesity does increase the risk of health disparities, all bodies are not created equal and low weight does not equal a healthy lifestyle. Reducing your risk to health disparities does not mean you have to be skinny; improving your diet and maintaining an active lifestyle are the best ways to improve health.
Eating After 7 Will Cause Weight Gain
Late night snacking can lead to weight gain, but not because of timing. Eating late at night is usually caused by boredom, habits, or craving which can lead to overeating and thus weight gain. Eating at any hour of the day is okay if it aligns with your regular scheduled eating and does not contribute to excess calories.