Are you on a diet that forbids carbs? Have you tried to prevent a cold with extra Vitamin C? There are many misconceptions regarding diet and healthy eating. These are just five myths that have been debunked.
Myth: You need to eat fewer carbohydrates to be healthier.
Fact: Choose complex carbohydrates, such as unprocessed whole grains, instead of simple carbs. Studies have revealed that men and women who eat whole grains have a lower risk of heart disease and lower body weight. Refined grains can boost your heart attack risk by 30 percent (Reader’s Digest). Include a variety of the following in your diet: brown rice, bran, bulgur, kasha, oats, quinoa, rye and whole wheat.
Myth: Vitamin C can help prevent a cold.
Fact: Although research has found that Vitamin C can help to ward off colds in certain athletes who spend a lot of time in cold weather, it doesn’t ward off a cold in the average person. However, it is an important part of the diet that strengthens blood vessel walls, heals wounds, helps with iron absorption and more. It can be found in citrus fruits, melons and berries, peppers, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and various other fruits and vegetables.
Myth: A nightcap will help you sleep better.
Fact: While alcohol may help you fall asleep more easily, it will not be a good, quality night of sleep. Drinking alcohol before bedtime may disrupt sleep patterns and increase wakefulness in otherwise-healthy adults. Studies have shown that a glass of wine a day can have certain health benefits, such as reducing heart attack risk, warding off dementia and lowering stress. If you are going to drink alcohol, have it with dinner–or, at least a couple hours before bedtime.
Myth: Bread is fattening and needs to be avoided.
Fact: A slice of bread contains only 65 to 80 calories. Butter, spreads and toppings add the majority of calories. Instead of highly-processed white breads, choose a whole grain breads for a healthy serving of fiber. If you prefer the taste of white breads, you can look for whole-grain white bread or sourdough for a healthier alternative.
Myth: Raw carrots have more nutritional value than cooked carrots.
Fact: Often, cooking vegetables can remove some (or a lot of) their nutrients. However, cooking can actually increase the nutritional value of a carrot by breaking down the tough, cellular walls that encase the beta-carotene. Eat your carrots with a small amount of fat for extra beta-carotene absorption. Try either a small amount of butter or olive oil to help your body fully absorb this nutrient.
Instead of avoiding all carbohydrates or eating only vegetables in an attempt to lose weight, try to consume a balanced diet of lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, exercise regularly and try to limit the fatty and sugary foods in your life.
Reader’s Digest, Foods That Harm; Foods That Heal: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. 2013. Print.
Harvard School of Public Health