There are more fad diets out there than women Joey Tribbiani has taken home. That’s A LOT. But what’s worse is the amount of false information they contain about food. Even though we’re becoming much better at figuring out fact from fiction like a bunch of Sherlocks, some food myths persist.
Maybe it’s because they’re so widely accepted that no one feels the need to question them, or perhaps these myths serve companies by getting them better sales. Either way, we want to debunk some common myths that have managed to infiltrate the lives of so many of us to separate fact from money-making fiction.
All carbs are bad
Ah, yes. We’ve all heard the old “you should avoid carbs if you want to be healthy” saying. But, this entirely depends on who you are as a person, what carbs are being discussed, and how much carbohydrate we’re talking about. Controlling your carb intake is not a one-size-fits-all solution to staying healthy. There are various types of carbs that react differently when we eat them, and this is what may make some people believe carbs are bad.
Healthy carbs do exist, and for some they can be as important as exercise for a balanced lifestyle. So, perhaps instead of thinking in black and white about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ carbs, a better approach would be to consider what type of carbohydrate suit your lifestyle. Understanding your dietary needs is the one way to rule all the food groups and eat healthily.
As an athlete training for high-level competition, you might burn through a tremendous amount of energy in a day. You may find that eating a lot of refined carbs, that quickly release a lot of energy, might be the best way to approach your training, and keep your body energised. On the other hand, as a person with diabetes, studies show that avoiding carbs altogether can be beneficial in keeping you healthy. That’s fine as they aren’t essential nutrients anyway. The point we’re making here is that you can enjoy a variety of different carbs throughout your day as part of a healthy lifestyle, as long as it matches your needs.
What defines the difference between carbs, and what sometimes leads people to label them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, is the level of nutrients and anti-nutrients in the carb. For example, carbs from fruits and vegetables often come hand in hand with other valuable vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B, D, folic acid, iron, potassium, and calcium. The list could go on all day and if you were to fill up on these, you get more nutrients per calorie than if you were to compare it to white pasta, for example, where the grains contain very little nutrients, but more importantly, are renowned for being an antinutrient.
Essentially, carbs aren’t bad for you if you eat them in the right amounts for your body and lifestyle. But, like anyone who has ever tasted any carb ever, they are super delicious, and that’s what sometimes gets the better of us.
Food allergies are the same as intolerances
‘You say tomato; we say potato’. Just like when some people say they are allergic to something, they sometimes really mean they are intolerant. Allergies and intolerances are not one and the same; there are critical differences.
Both allergies and intolerances can have us looking like Harry Potter’s fully-inflated Aunt Marge, gliding over the suburbs of Surrey. But, with allergies, reactions like extreme bloating, swelling, or anaphylaxis are caused by an immune system response to a substance your body incorrectly identified as harmful.
Intolerances, such as lactose intolerance, can also make you feel like a victim of an inflation curse. They can cause many of the same symptoms you get with allergies. But, unlike allergies, they are caused by your body’s inability to digest certain foods. Or, it may be that certain foods irritate your body. Either way, with an intolerance, there is no immune system response. They can’t cause anaphylactic reactions, and symptoms often occur much slower than with allergies. But, if you show symptoms of either, know that it is a good idea to get tested for allergies and intolerances and treated for them because both can be very serious health problems.
Milk gives you strong bones
If you were never told you need to drink milk to have strong bones when you were younger, were you ever really a child? The idea that dairy gives you strong bones due to the calcium is one of the most pervasive myths about food. Yet, the evidence to back up these claims is non-existent.
A Harvard study of 72,000 postmenopausal women over 18 years found no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. Nor does it prevent fractions in adolescence according to another study, however, vitamin D was shown to reduce stress fracture risk.
The truth is, if you want strong bones, you don’t need milk. You need vitamin D which also helps to improve the uptake of calcium from other foods like broccoli. The best way to get it is through the sun, but this is the UK, and (in our best Jon Snow accent) winter is coming. Therefore, you may need to rely on your diet to get your recommended dose of vitamin D if you want strong bones.
These are just three common food myths that we hope will soon be laid to rest. With so much information on the food industry, it can be hard to know what’s true and what’s false. But, you can be 100% certain that the Designed2Eat brownies only contain natural ingredients and natural sugars, free from gluten, dairy, wheat, egg, soy, and corn. Get yours today!