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Some myths originated in our childhood, others were started by magazines and TV programs decades ago. So here are the top 13 myths about your diet.
1. There is little good in frozen or canned fruit and vegetables. It is astonishing, but frozen and canned fruit and vegetables can sometimes turn out to be better for you than the fresh ones since they are frozen or canned right off the field. As we all know, an immediate freezing is one of the best ways to preserve vitamins. And fresh produce has to travel a long way before it makes it to the store. In order for the vitamins to survive till the moment they get into your body we should unfreeze the produce as soon as we possibly can and cook it in water only. Canned corn, apricots and gooseberries contain no less vitamin C than their freshest version. The trick is to pick out not the ones that are canned in marinade or syrup, but rather the ones that are canned in water or their own juice without any added sugar or artificial coloring agents.
2. Drinking wine every day is a sure way to become an alcoholic! As a matter of fact, quality wine can protect your body from bacteria, stimulate the digestive gland’s function and the production of hydrochloric acid which balances the acidity level. For example, the popular tradition to follow oysters with wine has emerged because of the fact that this delicacy is often contaminated with
colibacillus, and there is no other method to neutralize these bacteria that would be more pleasurable. Also when you are traveling to tropical countries, adding a little bit of wine to your drinking water will help you prevent problems with your stomach or intestines. Wines are classified according to their effects: white dry wines are recommended if you have atherosclerosis, red table wines are great at toning you up, and muscat wines act like sedatives. Hence, we should make it a rule to drink half a glass of wine at dinner (you can dilute it with water) in order to combine business with pleasure.
3. Eating right before going to bed is unhealthy. The work day of a modern person has a tendency to end later in the evening when seemingly dinner is strongly not recommended. However, the dietitians have recently discovered something that is good news for those of us who like to have late dinners. There has been a survey done involving thousands of men and women: half of them were eating as late at night as they wanted to, and the other half was not allowed to eat anything after 6pm. It turned out that after two years of this experiment the participants of the first group did not gain an ounce of extra weight. In other words, as the result of this research it has been proven that the time of your meals does not have any effect on the process of losing weight!
Thereby, night raids on the fridge are no longer forbidden, although there is still one condition: instead of reaching for doughnuts and fried chicken in the middle of the night, go for low-calorie yogurts, fruit and vegetables. It is even permissible to drink white wine. In other words, the quality and quantity of the food you choose for your dinner is more important than whether you eat it at 6pm or at midnight. Furthermore, the doctors assert that we should eat before going to sleep since the acid required to digest food is produced by our body at night and it should not irritate the mucous membrane of our stomach. The same doctors strongly advise to give preference to dairy products right before sleep.
4. It is good to chew gum after you eat. In spite of the mass advertising, the dentists are not too excited about gum. Although it does indeed refresh your breath, it is hardly a means of hygiene of the oral cavity. Scientific data about positive effects of gum on the teeth’s condition is true only for a limited range of gum containing fluoride. Gum containing sugar is equal to candy when it comes to the calorific value and destructive impact on enamel. As far as the rest of types of gum, you should know how to chew gum correctly, when and how long in order to avoid damaging the periodontium tissues. It is recommended to chew gum no more than 3 times a day for no longer than 3 minutes. Note that chewing gum for a long time causes an excess amount of gastric juice and since there is no food that actually goes into the stomach it can harm its mucous membrane.
5. Eggs contain a lot of cholesterol. Our grandfathers and grandmothers, who used to be big fans of eggs when they were young, restrict themselves from having this dish for breakfast as they get older fearing that their cholesterol level will increase. Similar threats have been all over newspapers and magazines devoted to health topics in the last decade. However, scientists today say that it’s not the eggs that are to blame but the saturated fat that is practically lacking from them. Therefore one egg a day is permissible to anyone, especially since eggs are a source of protein and if meat and fish are not very frequent in your daily diet then you should definitely give eggs more importance. Besides an egg has a very low amount of calories – on average about 60 kcal. It also has a ton of nutrients: vitamins C, B, D, and E, iron, phosphorus, iodine, and even zinc. And if you are so concerned about the cholesterol level in your blood, then you can control its balance independently by consuming a large amount of foods rich in starch such as rice, pasta, fruit and vegetables.
6. Pasta is the main enemy of a thin waist. Over the last several decades this myth has been depriving the ladies who were trying to stay slim like a pencil of one of the biggest delicacies – pasta. They wouldn’t even believe the graceful Sophia Loren who has been urging the ladies to go ahead and fearlessly devour the Italian delicacy. Today dietitians all over the world repeat what the actress has been saying and recommend including whole wheat pasta into our daily diets. Pasta does a great job filling you up and even a pretty big portion of it has a low amount of calories. On top of that 100 grams of good quality pasta contains 13 grams of protein and only 1 gram of fat. And of course there is a variety of nutrients in this overseas delicacy: B vitamins, which lower the fatigue, vitamin E, cellulose, which contributes to getting rid of toxins.
7. The fat contained in nuts leads to excess weight. Most of us are convinced that fat foods are of no benefit. Unfortunately, quite often we can find nuts, including almonds, on the black list. However dietitians assure us that almonds have more benefits than harmful effects. If you regularly consume unsalted nuts then by nourishing our bodies with vitamin E we can slow down the body’s aging. Besides almonds, similar to olive oil, contain monounsaturated fat as well as magnesium, which makes arteries healthy, and potassium, which lowers the blood pressure. American scientists have discovered that eating almonds decreases the risk of heart diseases. As far as the main reason of doubts – the stoutness almonds supposedly cause, strangely enough you can actually lose weight if you substitute other fat foods in your daily diet with almonds and maintain a low-calorie fruit or vegetable diet overall.
8. Sweeteners are way less harmful than sugar. The reality actually turned out to be different. If used for a long time some components of sweeteners have a negative effect on our health:
acesulfame provokes a crisis if you suffer from heart failure, and cyclamate – if you have any kidney problems. Besides almost all artificial sweeteners have a bile-expelling effect and therefore people who suffer from illnesses of biliary routes, for example cholecystitis, can experience a worsening of their condition. As far as natural sugar replacements (fructose, xylose, sorbitol) when it comes to their calorie content they are equal to the original. Fructose is considered the most innocent, since it has the least negative side effects compared to the rest of sweeteners.
9. Snacking right before a big meal is bad. Since early childhood we remember as our mom would scold at us for sneaking a bite shortly before an actual meal. However if it’s still a long time before dinner but you are already starving, you can allow yourself a couple of snacks that you do not have to cook, all you need are the proper products on hand. The first ideal method to take an edge off your hunger is to have some grapes or a couple slices of cheese. They contain calcium and useful acids. The second sure choice is ham with carrots and celery. You can stock up on bags of raisins or other dried fruit that should be followed by a glass of orange juice, which contains a lot of vitamin C that will help your body digest the iron that grape is so rich in.
10. Chocolate can only cause trouble. Those of us who love chocolate do not have it easy with all the stories about how unbelievably fast you gain weight after even one chocolate bar and how much acne you get on your face after just a couple of candies. In reality chocolate is very beneficial. First of all, cocoa beans contain a special substance that improves the function of heart and vessels. Thanks to this substance your blood pressure goes down, the blood’s coagulation improves, and any inflammation processes stop. Secondly, chocolate contains an anti-infective agent that suppresses the development of bacteria that cause dental cavities. Thirdly, the amino acid contained by chocolate contributes to serotonin’s production, which is also known as the hormone of happiness. The only thing that all the specialists emphasize is that we should give preference exclusively to dark bitter chocolate, which contains minimum 75% of cocoa.
11. Ice cream only leads to sore throat, extra pounds and bad teeth. Ice cream has always been taboo because of its consequences such as toothache, sore throat and so on. However, it is ice cream that is referred to by the doctors as the sweet psychologist. Ice cream takes us back to the serene childhood. And the natural tranquilizer called tryptophan found in cream calms down the nervous system. We shouldn’t be scared of a toothache: the unpleasant sensations, which are caused by eating ice cream, are just a reaction to its low temperature. And even the sore throat is only a myth from childhood – adults are actually advised to eat ice cream as a preventative means against sore throats.
12. Eating raw food is a great way to lose excess weight and improve your health. Eating raw food does have a lot of benefits: there are more vitamins that the body receives, our body cleanses itself faster, and the weight goes down. However, the flip side of eating raw foods is not so bright. In order to become a raw food eater you need to be absolutely healthy – if you have any deviations from perfect health such as allergies or colitis, eating raw food is strictly prohibited. The cellulose of raw fruit and vegetables negatively affects the mucous coat of esophagus (an organ, through which food passes to the stomach) and the acids they contain destroy the enamel of the teeth.
And although a certain portion of nutrients dies in the process of cooking, our body digests the vitamins that remain after thermal processing ten times better, for example carotene from carrots. Such vegetables as eggplants and beans contain poisonous elements, which become harmless only after being processed in high temperatures. Dietitians recommend practicing eating raw foods as a preventative technique – on average it should last no more than 1-2 weeks.
13. Beer leads to gaining weight. Choosing between wine and beer we often give preference to the first due to one simple reason – fear of beer belly. However, as strange as it is, beer is not that high in calories: 40-50 kcal for 100 ml is not the highest ratio out there (for example, soda pops have the same calories ratio). Plus good quality beer practically does not have any sugar or fructose, which negatively affect our body compared to soda pops that are abundant in it. Beer, if consumed in moderation, can actually be a beneficial product. If you limit yourself to one glass of beer a day, you can stimulate the gastrointestinal tract’s function (the system by which ingested food is acted upon by physical and chemical means to provide the body with nutrients it can absorb and to excrete waste products), slow down the body’s aging and lower the risk of cardio-vascular illnesses. And by the way, doctors in Middle Ages used to cure toothache with beer, you just had to rinse your mouth with a slightly heated up liquid.
Now that your myths about food have been destroyed by new science perhaps you can finally get the perfect diet, one that is unclouded by myths of the “superstars” or old untested ideas, but more importantly one that will help you get that sexy body that you have been working for so hard.