As we age and gain weight from one reason or another, we tend to go from diet to diet trying to lose those extra pounds. Yet which common phrases that go along with dieting are truths and which ones are lies?
You may have heard that you shouldn’t eat dinner or any snacks after 7 p.m. in order for your food to digest properly, sleep better and lose weight. This could be a good rule if you think of it as axing mindless snacking in front of the TV at night. But many people have different schedules and it may make sense for them to eat after 7 p.m. Otherwise, it is important to remember to not eat a few hours before you go to bed for optimal sleep and digestion. So don’t schedule your eating times by some silly rule, but by your own schedule and your own self-care. For example, some people need to eat small meals every few hours and others don’t.
For years, carbs were at the forefront of the “devil foods” you should avoid or else you’ll get fat. With the exception of special diets for medical purposes, your body needs carbs. The brain alone uses 130 grams of carbohydrates each day. You especially need carbs if you exercise regularly because they are the main source of energy in your body. Look for whole grains, beans, fruit and vegetables. If you do not eat enough carbs, you may notice low energy and constipation. Who wants that?
Lately, the Paleo diet has been in the news. The Paleo diet means only eating food that can be hunted, fished and gathered. So this means you eat only meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruit and roots. You do not eat grains, dairy, beans, salt or sugar. While this can be a very healthy diet, you could be setting yourself up for a nutritional deficiency since it is a very hard diet to maintain.
Another diet myth that goes along with cutting out carbs is cutting out fats. The myth is that eating fats makes you fat, but they have discovered that it is really sugar that makes you fat. Fat, protein and carbohydrates are all essential in your diet. There are healthy fats that are actually good for you such as avocados.
Lastly, another food “devil” is gluten. If you have Celiac disease, you need to avoid gluten altogether, but if you do not have an allergy, you don’t need to cut gluten out completely. Gluten free foods are not necessarily healthier for you, so don’t reach for the gluten free cookies and think that you are eating healthier.
Were you surprised by any of these diet myths and truths? Share with us your thoughts!