Healthy eating is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
It can help decrease the risk of many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and some types of cancer.
However, there are some myths about healthy eating that can mislead people. Here are 7 most common myths you should know
Myth 1: You need to cut the carbs in your meals
Low-carb diets have become quite popular recently, but not all carbs are equal. Refined carbs and sugars are not good to your health, but carbs from whole grain are beneficial.
For example, quinoa, oats, rice, and pasta are good sources of carbs as long as they’re made of whole grains.
Remember whole grain is different from multigrain, which usually means more than one type of refined flour.
And there is no good reason to avoid gluten unless you have celiac disease.
Myth 2: Your best diet is a low-fat diet
Many people believe that reducing fat intake in meals is good for the heart. But this is true only when the fats are saturated fats.
Saturated fats usually from fatty meat and you should limit your intake.
Other fats, like unsaturated fats from fatty fish, nuts, beans and vegetable oils (not coconut oil), may help protect your heart.
The average American diet includes about a third of calories from fat, and it should stay that way.
Myth 3: Paleo diet is good for our health
The Paleo diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet.
It advocates that we should follow the path of our hunter-gatherer ancestors in eating lots of energy-dense red meats while excluding grains.
This diet may work for our ancestors because they ran around all the time, but for modern people, it could cause health problems, such as rapid weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
The best approach is a balanced diet that limits or avoids red and processed meats.
Myth 4: Red meat is a good source of iron
It is true that red meat is rich in iron. But the iron in meats is different from the iron in vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
Research shows that the red-meat iron can actually promote heart disease, but the plant iron found in beans and green leafy vegetables is much healthier.
If you want to avoid iron deficiency, choose plant sources.
Myth 5: We can get all essential nutrients from a well-balanced diet
For all people, a balanced diet is very important. But vitamin supplements are important, too.
One supplement we should take is vitamin D. People living in cold areas are easy to experience vitamin D deficiency.
And when we use sunscreen to protect ourselves against skin cancer, we’re also blocking the best source of vitamin D production in the body.
The easiest way is to take vitamin D supplements.
Myth 6: You need to avoid alcohol
The health benefit and harm of moderate drinking are still unclear so far.
Some studies show that low/moderate drinking is good for the brain and the heart, while other researchers show that even low drinking could increase cancer risk.
For most people, experts recommend limiting alcohol consumption to one beverage a day.
Myth 7: You should load up on calcium
Calcium is an important nutrient for the body. It can strengthen the bones.
But too much calcium may raise the risk of coronary artery disease. In fact, two subgroups of people, children, and postmenopausal women, need the calcium most. In the later, calcium help protect against osteoporosis.
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