It can be difficult to sift through fact and fiction when it comes to healthy-eating. Have a look at some surprising food facts to inform your diet.
If you’re trying to get back on or maintain a healthy lifestyle, how you eat is a very important part of that. And while it might seem straightforward, understanding healthy-eating can be trickier than you think. When needing a little help with your diet, it can be easy to latch on to any and all advice and tips you hear – especially if it is telling you what you want to hear. It seems like everyday there is new healthy eating advice being thrown at us. What are facts and what are simply myths? Which foods should you be avoiding and which should you be adding to your diet? While there’s an endless amount to learn about healthy-eating, let’s look at a few helpful facts that might surprise you.
Low-fat is a tricky marketing term.
When you’re on a diet or trying to eat healthier, the term low-fat is like a gift from the heavens. You can eat ice cream again, cookies and your favorite meals so long as they’re coming with that miracle label of low-fat. In actuality, the term is just a clever marketing ploy from the 80s during a more health-conscious boom. The process by which they replace in foods actually increases the amount of trans-fats. So in some cases, these low-fat foods are replacing one health risk with another.
It’s actually not 8 glasses of water each day.
One of the longest and most popular pieces of health advice is that humans need eight glasses of water each day. It’s true that water is an essential part of your healthy lifestyle, but eight glasses a day is stretching the truth a little. While water with your meals and when you need a drink is good, a lot of the necessary water comes from foods you eat, especially produce.
Drinking water does help lose weight.
On a similar note, water is not a suitable replacement for food. One of the reasons that the eight glasses a day myth doesn’t hold any water (sorry), is that water as part of a balanced diet is much better than water on its own. Healthy eating means getting the right nutrition from every meal and a glass of water is just not going to cut it for you.
Sugary drinks are super fattening.
Sticking to the theme of beverages, the health risks of soda and other sugary drinks are well-documented. But if you are convincing yourself that one can of soda can easily be burned off at the gym, think again. Sugar in drinks is much harder to burn off than in your food. The metabolism slows even though you’re not consuming as much. This means more calories without feeling full.
Fruit juices are the same as soda.
Start your day with a glass of orange juice from the store-bought carton? You might as well be having a glass of cola with your breakfast. Despite the fact that they many people just assume they are a healthy option, these juices are packed with so much sugar you can barely distinguish them from soda in terms of your health.
Eating small meals does not help lose weight.
One of the most common diet trends that has been going around lately is the six small meals a day. The theory is that eating multiple small meals as oppose to three bigger meals helps keep your metabolism up and makes it easier to burn calories. Not the case unfortunately. Studies have show there is little-to-no marked difference and the small meals keep you hungry the whole day.
Eggs are healthy for you.
Somehow, eggs got a bad rap over the years. All of the sudden, all anyone could talk about was how much cholesterol is in eggs. While it’s true that the yolks of eggs contain cholesterol, the amount of trans-fats, which contribute even more dangers to your cholesterol is quite low. They are also an inexpensive source of protein and a whole bunch of other nutrients.
Potatoes are healthy for you.
Potatoes are another veggie that has been unfairly maligned over the years. People often look at potatoes as fatty and high in calories, but they are actually very reasonable in both regards. They also happen to be an excellent source of fiber. Just don’t make them the only veggies in your diet.
Raw veggies aren’t always the healthier choice.
When it comes to veggies, it’s the general opinion that picking them right out of the garden and eating them is as healthy as they get. Many think that cooking veggies diminishes their nutritional value. The opposite is in fact true in some cases. Carrots, for example, are better cooked as it releases some of the most valuable nutrients.
Frozen fruits and veggies aren’t less nutritional.
Similarly, most people go for the fresh produce at the supermarket rather than frozen veggies. While the unfrozen options might seem fresher, they have actually been out of the ground longer while the frozen veggies are likely fresher.
White meat isn’t healthier than dark meat.
At Thanksgiving, those health-conscious individuals might be more likely to choose white meat over dark, thinking it the healthier option. While dark meat does have a slightly higher calorie count, “slightly” is the optimal word. It is virtually the same as white meat and dark meat offer a lot of nutrients that white meat does not. So rejoice — you can enjoy dark meat while sticking to your healthy-eating habits.
Healthy-eating is something that takes effort, sacrifice and knowledge. Knowing what is good and what is bad for your diet can help you to shape a healthier lifestyle. Be critical of the healthy-eating tips that you hear, do the research and ask your doctor about your best options. The more informed you are, the more your eating habits will improve.