Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Health Myths

Myth : Certain foods like grapefruit, celery or cabbage soup, can burn fat and make you lose weight.
Fact : NO food can burn fat. These foods are very low in calories with almost zero fat content. In addition, some of those foods may contain caffeine which might speed up the metabolism (the way your body uses energy or calories) for a short time, but they do not cause weight loss nor do they cause loss in fat mass.

Myth : Natural or herbal weight-loss products are safe and effective.
Fact : "Natural" or "Herbal" does not always mean safe, especially in health related products. These products are not usually scientifically tested to prove their safety and efficacy. So far there are no FDA regulations on these products to control their claims and commercialization.

Myth : Low-fat or fat-free means no calories. You can eat more foods if they are low fat or fat free.
Fact : Low fat or fat free does not mean calorie free. A low-fat or fat-free food is OFTEN lower in calories than the same size portion of the full-fat product. But many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as the full-fat version of the same food-or even MORE calories. Usually, when the fat is taken out, sugar and other carbohydrates are added in to keep the taste. This brings the low-fat version to usually the same caloric content as the regular full fat version. When shopping, make sure you read nutrition labels of the regular versus the low-fat product and compare the calories per serving size. Remember that weight comes down to calories, not fat!

Myth : Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.
Fact : One popular approach used to lose weight is skipping a meal, usually breakfast. Many people think that by skipping a meal, they eat less food and therefore lose weight. Studies show that " people who skip breakfast and eat fewer times during the day tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast and eat four or five times a day." This is partly due to the fact that when skipping a meal, you feel hungrier and tend to overeat at the next meal and pay less attention to your satiety cues. A better approach is to eat smaller frequent healthy meals and snacks to keep blood sugar balanced.

Myth : Eating after 8 p.m. causes weight gain.
Fact : It does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the whole day that determines whether you gain, loses or maintains your weight. No matter when you eat, your body will store extra calories as fat.

Common Myths & FactsMyth : Sugar Causes Diabetes.
Fact : The most common nutrition myth is probably the misconception that sugar causes diabetes. If you have diabetes, you do need to watch your sugar and carbohydrate intake, to properly manage your blood sugar level. However, if you do not have diabetes, sugar intake will not cause diabetes. So far, a diet high in calories, being overweight and an inactive lifestyle are the main risk factors for diabetes.

Myth : All Fats are bad.
Fact : Fat is an essential part of the diet. Around 30% of total daily caloric intake comes from fat (with less than 10% coming from saturated fatty acids). Fats help nutrient absorption, nerve transmission and maintain cell membrane integrity just to name a few functions. However, when consumed in excessive amounts, fats contribute to weight gain, heart disease and certain types of cancers. Also, one must keep in mind that fats differ in their effect on the body. Some fats promote our health positively while some increase our risk for heart disease. The key is to replace bad fats with good fats (monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats) in our diet.

Myth : Medical tests are useful for the human body.
Fact : The medical community strongly advocates that regular tests of patients suffering from a particular illness is beneficial but contradictory to this they may actually pose a threat to a person's health. This stands true for almost all kinds of prevalent tests these days that are done for cancer or various other diseases. Some of these tests use radiations that may prove harmful for the human body and hence may damage various cell in the body including the cancerous cells. These days the treatment of a disease is focused more rather than the prevention, hence it is the money which talks and not the disease.

Common Myths & FactsMyth : High-protein/low-carbohydrate diets are a healthy way to lose weight.
Fact : The concept of high protein/low carbohydrates diets comes from the assumption that starches (carbohydrates) are fattening. This is a nutrition myth because starchy foods (bread, rice, cereals, beans, fruits and some vegetables) are low in fat and calories. They become high in fat and calories when eaten in large portion sizes or when covered with high-fat toppings like butter. In addition, the long-term health effects of a high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet are unknown. But getting most of the daily calories from high-protein foods like meat, eggs and cheese is not a balanced eating plan. These foods are usually increase fat consumption especially saturated fats which may raise heart disease risk. Also this kind of diet contains too few fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which may lead to constipation due to lack of dietary fiber and vitamins and minerals deficiencies. A well- balanced diet is still the best option for weight loss.

Myth : "Going vegetarian" means you are sure to lose weight and be healthier.
Fact : Research shows that people who follow a vegetarian eating plan, on average, eat fewer calories and less fat than non-vegetarians. They also tend to have lower body weights relative to their heights than non vegetarians. Choosing a vegetarian eating plan with a low fat content may be helpful for weight loss. But vegetarians-like non vegetarians-can't make food choices that contribute to weight gain, like eating large amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods or foods with little or no nutritional value. The term vegetarian is not synonymous with health. Healthy nutrition comes down to choosing nutritious foods within the recommended amounts and limiting foods high in fat, sugar and calories. These facts hold true for those people who choose to include animal products into their diets as well as those who do not!

Myth : Vaccines prevent diseases and increase immunity.
Fact : The term immunity refers to the resistance of a person's body against diseases. Similarly immunization refers to the injection of foreign proteins to the human body of a particular kind in order to increase the immunity. Medical research has however proved that direct injection of such proteins makes the recipient more susceptible or affected to the diseases in future. Hence vaccines actually do exactly the opposite of what they should do.

Common Myths & FactsMyth : Fluoride Prevents Tooth Decay.
Fact : The highest selling tooth pastes these days seem to promote their product by saying that they contain fluoride which is useful in the prevention of tooth decay. However it is the biggest scientific fraud ever promoted by the government in order to sell products, as fluoride does not prevent tooth decay. Consuming fluoride is actually harmful for the health and human body. Consumption of large quantities of fluoride may be the cause of osteoporosis, cancer, auto immune diseases and also may cause disruption of DNA repair enzymes by 50%.

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