The diet myths that may be putting your health at risk.
There are so many misconceptions about what healthy eating really is, our notion of healthy eating is getting lost in a mound of quinoa flakes, gluten free raw food paleo bars and activated almond milk. We are eating less fat and more supposedly “healthy” food than we ever have, yet the fat are getting fatter and the sick are getting sicker. Making healthier food choices is relatively simple yet we over complicate it by chasing the latest health trend or diet forever in the quest of finding a quick fix miracle cure.
Avoid these 5 common healthy eating myths
1. Calorie counting
Calories are basically units of energy. The more energy we burn, the more calories we need. It would therefore make sense that if we consume less calories than we burn we would lose weight. This is true however simply counting calories without taking into consideration the nutrient value of a food takes us on a dangerous road of becoming nutritionally deficient. Calories are not created equally, if we simply count calories we may not be feeding our bodies the import nutrients that it needs. Look at counting the nutrient content of food rather than fixating on empty calories. Choose foods that are close to how you would find them in nature. The more refined or processed a food, even a healthy food, the less beneficial it is for our bodies. The more nutrients we eat, the more satiated our bodies become which can help diminish food cravings and the desire to overeat high calorie foods devoid of nutrients.
2. Exercising to counteract a bad diet
Exercise is important for our general health and wellbeing. It helps to energise the body, balance hormones, reduce stress, improve cardiovascular and circulatory health and improves our mood and general well-being. The more we exercise the more calories we burn so whilst it may be true that you can exercise off a high calorie snack, exercise cannot provide you with the missing nutrients of a diet high in processed foods. Put simply you cannot out run a bad diet. Choose fresh, minimally processed nutrient rich foods and compliment a healthy diet with daily exercise.
3. Relying on supplements and superfoods
Whilst nutritional supplements and wholefood powders can most certainly boost nutrients and provide the body with important vitamins and minerals many people rely on these as the main source of their nutrients. Eating processed foods devoid of fresh enzymes, natural nutrients and fibre puts us at risk of nutritional deficiencies. Turning to synthetic vitamin supplements to boost nutrients is not giving your body the fresh variety of nutrients that it needs to stay fit and healthy. Look at food first and foremost as the main source of nutrients in your diet and choose natural wholefood powder supplements as a nutrient boosting addition when you need extra support. Synthetic vitamin supplements are often loaded with excipients such as fillers and artificial chemicals which are not listed on the label. Most synthetic vitamins are not in their natural form meaning that the body has to convert them and relies on other nutrients and enzymes to do this effectively. If your diet is missing vital nutrients these synthetic vitamins can be harder for the body to process. Look for fresh natural wholefoods and when choosing supplements choose those that are as natural and as close to nature as possible.
4. Following food fads
Avoid diet fads and extreme diet rules and regulations such as cutting out complete food groups or eating anything in excess. New diet trends are usually just another marketing ploy to push a new product or book and usually have an ulterior motive behind them. Ditch the diet food. Avoid foods that are marketed as low fat. They tend to be highly processed, full of toxic chemicals and high in sugar to replace the taste loss from the removing the fat. If diet trends worked we would not need to keep inventing them. Eat all foods in moderation, a little bit of everything and not too much of any one thing. Remember if a diet sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
5. Eating the same foods everyday
We can easily fall in to the trap of eating the same foods every day. Once we find a food that we like and know that it is good for us we can easily choose to eat it over and over again. Eating the same foods daily e.g. the same breakfast or lunch can put us at risk of not getting enough of a variety of the important nutrients that we need to stay fit and healthy. Mix up meal choices and incorporate a variety of different vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds to ensure the widest variety of nutrients.
Eating a diet that is based on nutrient rich wholefoods, high in plant foods and low in processed foods and free from toxic chemicals allows our bodies the necessary nutrients we need for health and longevity. Eating healthily doesn’t mean following strict rules and regulations, expensive Amazonian superfoods or brewing alien like fermented concoctions at home. Making small simple changes to our daily routine can lead to significant improvements in our general health and wellbeing.