When it comes to diets, there are a lot of misconceptions and fake information. Whether because a study was misunderstood or had its results not verified by a second one or just downright fake statements, you should pay attention to what you read.
In the list below, I compiled six of the most common misconceptions/misunderstandings about diet. Enjoy.
Diets are the ultimate tool to get fit
This is just plain wrong. While going on a diet has its benefits and will surely make you lose weight, the best way to lose them is to exercise regularly. If you do so, you can eat a truckload of calories every day, and you will still be slim. That is, if you spend all the calories you ate, of course.
Diets are not meant to make you get slim, but to make sure that your body has the right nutrients to work properly.
For instance, there are diets that are meant to make you gain weight, not lose. There are diets that are meant to supplement your body with some vitamin that you have a deficiency, like the D, for lack of sunlight exposure, something that is very common in night workers.
The truth is that diets are not the main tool you should use to get fit. It is also true that different bodies have different needs.
Because of that, you should never go on a diet you see on the internet and should always consult a nutritionist, for they will provide you with the right diet to your body.
Eating pasta makes you fat
Yes, it is true that pasta makes you fat. But so does everything else that you consume. Lettuce, broccoli, pizza. Everything. They will make you fat, regardless of if they are grains, vegetables or junk food. They will make you fat because everything that you eat will turn into fuel for your body, the calories. But the misconception about this is that it will not happen just because you are eating pasta. Your body will not think “whelp, she is eating pasta, gotta go fat.” No, that is nonsense. The truth on this one is that your body will indeed gain weight if you eat more calories than you spend during the day, whether from pasta or tofu. If you do not exercise, you will get fat; this is a fact. So, the next time you are at that Italian restaurant that you adore so much, you can order that plate of pasta with Alfredo sauce and meatballs without feeling guilty. Just don’t forget to exercise afterward and you are fine.
Coffee contributes to weight loss
That is a big no. Coffee may indeed help you to alleviate the hunger, but so will plain water. What makes your hunger go away is that the liquid you are sipping will dissolve the gastric acid in your stomach. It doesn’t matter (for this reason) if it is green tea, coffee, water or even vodka. Though the latter is not recommended in an empty stomach, it is still possible. The benefit of the coffee over the other alternatives is that it has caffeine, a compound that gives your body energy, but drinking too much of it can cause several side effects to your body. Insomnia, headache due to a higher blood pressure, increased heart rate and even anxiety are some examples. Also, coffee is highly addictive, and you will suffer from the same symptoms of abstinence that you would from other drugs.
Eating after 8 PM is bad for you
While yes, eating late at night is not a good thing per se, it is still not recommended.
Eating late at night is bad because depending on the amount of food and the type of what you eat, your sleep will not be as good as if would be if you had consumed light meal.
But the story that usually goes with this theory is that eating high caloric foods will make you fat just because it is worse to consume them at night. Well, as calories do not have watches, they will not care about what time of the day it is and will be absorbed at the same rate as any other time.
The truth is that indeed, eating colossal amounts of food at night are not recommended, especially fibrous meals like beans, as they will take the whole night or even more to be absorbed, meaning a less relaxed sleep.
The recommendation to avoid this kind of situation is to eat the right way during the day, that is, eating your breakfast, lunch, and supper as normal, but also adding small meals spread through the day.
This way you will not starve yourself during the day and will not eat the first thing that you see before going to bed.
Red meat causes cancer
This is one of the most stupid “facts” that people talk about every time.
Yes, processed red meat may contain carcinogens that can lead to the development of cancer, but so have all other industrialized food. The problem is in the food preservatives that are used to keep the food good for longer, not in the meat itself.
If that was the case, our ancestors will have all died of cancer, for they were hunters only for the first 100.000 years of our existence and so would every carnivore animal on the planet.
You should avoid salt like the plague
Excess salt is not good for your blood pressure, as it will make it rise, causing all sorts of problems, like headaches, but that is in excess only.
The truth on this is that if you eat a moderate amount of sodium, like a pinch here and there just to add a bit of flavor, you are good.
If you have hypertension, then the restrictions may apply, but otherwise, the salt is not your enemy.