We tackle some of the common health myths and put an answer to those age old questions like are carbs bad for you, does fruit have too much sugar and more.
Myth - A vegetarian diet is an automatically healthy
In some regards yes, though this depends on what you’re eating.
Consuming a mostly plant-based diet has incredible health benefits, which can help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and many more. However, stopping the consumption of meat doesn't necessarily mean you are healthy. We can be vegetarian or vegan and still consume fries, white bread and white rice. So, it’s more about the foods we consume, as well as the ones we don’t.
Myth - It's healthier to eat egg whites instead of whole eggs
Yes, egg whites are high in protein, though the yolk is where the nutrients lie.
Most don’t realise the yolk contains about half of the protein as well as nearly all of the nutrients like calcium, B vitamins, iron and vitamin A, D, E and K. As well as, containing the healthy fat to not only keep you full, but to also help absorption of the protein, and keep those hormones regulated and healthy.
Myth - Carbs are bad for you
Refined carbohydrates aren’t healthy, though not all carbs are bad.
Carbohydrates are essential to a healthy diet, to provide good bacteria for gut health and provide energy for our whole-body. Getting carbs from good complex sources is best, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and legumes.
Myth - Fruit has too much sugar
Essentially, it’s all about the whole form.
Sugars are naturally occurring in fruits, though they are also combined with fibre, which helps to gradually absorb the sugars, without the spike. Plus, whole fruits contain rich antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. If you’re wanting to reduce the amount overall, opt for berries, avocado or citrus fruits, which contain lower amounts compared to other fruits.
Myth - Artificial sweeteners are a good choice
Yes, they don’t have calories like sugar does. Sweeteners give sweetness to meals, though overall, they’re not as healthy as you may think.
Studies show that it changes our perception of sweetness, causing us to crave sweetness (sugar) more. Other studies suggest some artificial sweeteners may change our gut bacteria, making the flora toxic and making communication difficult with other areas of the body, including the brain. It seems best to avoid these as we still don’t fully understand the long term effects.
Myth - Cold weather can cause a cold
To some extent yes, if we’re wet from rain or wet hair, our bodies become colder. This is because water evaporates with the heat of our body and this happens faster than air.
However, what actually causes a cold is a lowered immune system. Or the pathogen being unknown to our immune system, thus our body cannot create the barriers to eliminate the foreign bacterium quick enough. Interestingly enough, studies show that those who are exposed to a colder environment have immune-protective enzymes to inhibit viruses. We are more likely to have a lowered immune system if we mostly stay inside, due to germs sitting dormant and passing through air vents.
Click here to find out 5 tips for supporting immune health