There is no one agency in this country regulating all that’s bombarding us surrounding food to determine what “healthy” truly means. That’s why you can’t, and shouldn’t, believe everything you hear or read when it comes to your diet! Below, we’re debunking the top five myths about food you might want to explore before putting a fork in them:
1. Carbohydrates Are The Best Source Of Energy
The first myth to debunk is that carbohydrates are the best source of energy. The idea that you should eat them before a workout or when you need an energy boost is an old myth. Conventional wisdom believed that carbohydrates like white breads, white flours, cereals and pastas were once considered the best source of energy but new research is showing us that our bodies actually prefer to produce energy from a much easier and more effective food source: healthy fats.
Healthy fats like avocado, nuts/seeds, salmon, and healthy oils (like olive, coconut and MCT oil) will fill you up faster and keep you satiated longer, and that is the key to giving your body the fuel it wants and needs to keep you going like the Energizer bunny. We’re learning that healthy fats aren’t just a better alternative for fueling the body and increasing overall energy, but also they are proving to be some of the best foods for boosting your brain power too.
Want to know more? Below are links to some resources I’ve seen and used that can help you understand the real benefits of dumping grainy carbohydrates for healthy fats.
2. Losing Weight Is All About Cutting Calories
No one can dispute the theory of calories in vs calories out but now the buzz among health and fitness professionals surrounds “counting macros”. That means counting up the total number in grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates you eat in any given day. Although counting macros can work I would much rather you think less about the numbers and more about the quality of the foods you are eating.
Even when two foods have the same caloric value, a nutrient-rich salad is a much healthier option than a frozen dinner, even if the word healthy or lean is in its name. Your body needs certain vitamins and minerals to function optimally. Instead of counting fats, protein and carbohydrates I recommend making sure you’re eating enough of these crucial micronutrients. This includes things like vitamin A, Vitamin B, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and sodium, just to name a few.
Yes, there is truth to the calories in vs calories out theory, but I’d like to shine some light on the importance of eating whole foods to achieve a healthier body and to get you thinking in a more holistic way. A healthy lifestyle can ultimately help you lose weight and keep it off. Remember the rule. Eat foods that started as a plant, not the ones that were made in one.
3. Organic Is Always Better
It’s time to stop listening to packaged food claims. If a package says fat-free, or gluten-free, it usually contains extra sugar. If the food you purchase carries the labels natural, no chemicals, antibiotic free, free-range or hormone-free, there’s a good chance they were developed without public or industry input, as those labels fall out of the range of the FDA and USDA. So just because the label says it’s organic, does not make it a healthy option.
When shopping for foods try to buy things that are minimally processed. How do you do that? Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you’ll find your lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, be aware of the Dirty Dozen list. The Dirty Dozen is the list of 12 produce items that were found to have the highest levels of pesticides. This list includes strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and potatoes. Consider it essential to purchase these 12 foods organically whenever possible.
4. Follow This Diet
No matter what diet makes the cover of a health magazine this month, I shouldn’t have to tell you crash diets are no way to lose weight and keep it off. When it comes to losing weight, there is no quick fix. Whether you are following paleo or keto or any other diet, the only way it works is if you make the change part of a healthier lifestyle. In order to see results you must stick to something long enough to see substantial changes and no I don’t mean 72 hours or even 2 weeks. Healthy lifestyle diets are different for everyone and it takes time and effort to figure out what works best for you and your body. Eating a balanced diet that works with your lifestyle and incorporating exercise 3-4 times a week is the best way to lose weight and stay fit.
5. Diet Is The Most Important Factor For Health And Wellness
Although diet and physical activity are crucial to keep you healthy and illness free, they don’t actually guarantee that you’ll live a longer and healthier life. In her widely popular TED Talk, Psychologist Susan Pinker can help you understand that although diet and exercise do play large roles in health, they are not the most influential factor in life expectancy.
So what is? What can you do to guarantee longevity? Pinker’s research shows that close relationships and social interaction have even stronger effects on life expectancy than what you eat. Yes, it’s important to eat healthy and exercise regularly, but consider this a gentle reminder to get out more and connect with those you love, meet new people and appreciate your relationships. You might even want to treat yourself to some ice cream, just make sure you’re in good company when you do it!