Search This Blog

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

5 Food Myths

I saw this on the paper (Metro) this week and thought it was quite interesting:

1. A calorie is a calorie, no matter what type of food it comes from

It is the type of food and not the number of calories that makes us gain weight. The amount of calories may be the same for different foods but the effect they have on our metabolic function can be quite different. A 2011 Harvard study that examined factors linked to weight gain found foods such as nuts, avocados, whole grains are associated with weight loss, while the same amount of calories from refined grains and fatty foods such as chips and crisps lead to weight gain.

2. Eating fat makes you fat

Fat does not make you fat. Sugar and excess carbs do. When you eat excess carbs or sugars, our glucose levels rise which sends a message to our pancreas to secrete insulin to break down the sugars. Insulin is a fat storage hormone- it lowers our blood glucose levels but it also tells our body to store fat. Dietary fats however do not mobilise insulin. The body requires these fats to keep its metabolism properly functioning.

3. Coconut oil is a dangerous saturated fat and should be avoided.

For years coconut oil were seen as unhealthy and contributed to heart disease due to high amounts of saturated fat. We now know that they type of saturated fat they contain is very different to the saturated fat in animal foods and that it does not cause heart disease. In fact coconut oil is now considered one of the healthiest oils.

4. Eating eggs raises cholesterol levels

While eggs contain a large amount of cholesterol, it has recently been proved that consuming them does not raise the bad cholesterol (LDL) in blood. Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet-high in a number of nutrients, along with antioxidants. Including eggs regularly in diet is proved to aid weight loss. That is good to know as I eat minimum 21 eggs a week.

5. Canola oil is healthy

The food industry promotes canola oil (an oil pressed from rape seeds) as a healthy salad and cooking oil. However, few realise canola oil is a hidden source of trans fats, which raise artery-clogging bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and have been implicated in obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The food industry touts canola oil as healthy as it contains omega-3 fats known to aid weight loss. However, these fats are very fragile and their molecular structure lends for a very easy conversion to trans fats when the oil is processed and deodorised with high heat and chemicals before being bottled and sold for cooking. If you want to avoid trans fats, read the ingredient lists on your food packages and look for the term "hydrogenated oil".