9th March, 2012
There are common misconceptions about the food we eat which are not generally backed up by science or study. Five of these myths about food have been busted by recent studies.
First, there is the myth that raw food are always nutritious than cooked ones. But the fact is that some uncooked foods have their nutrients preserved.
However, the fact according to research is that heat destroys certain water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C but cooking boosts the levels of vitamins in other foods.
For example, ketchup and tomato sauce are better cooked in order to reduce their fat content to ensure proper absorption.
Another false belief is that skipping a meal slows one’s metabolism. But it has been established that by missing a meal out of three does not starve the body because by the next meal you are hungrier and perhaps eat more.
A study shows that after three days of total starvation, there is a temporary rise in metabolism rate. Only a prolonged starvation lowers it which explains why is difficult for every overweight person to slim down even when on a very low-calorie diet.
Another myth about food is that high-fructose corn syrup HFCS is worst than sugar. The idea is not only urban-based, but it is wrong. According to a health advocacy group, Centre for Science in the Public Interest, both table sugar and HFCS are almost identical and they have similar effects on the body.
Food myth number four that says fruit juice is healthy: while an apple fruit a day will keep the doctor away, the same cannot be said of apple juice or other fruit beverages. While many people consider fruit juice a healthier option than soda, data from Harvard Nurses’ Study have shown that women who drink one or more glasses of fruit juice daily are more likely to develop type two diabetes.
Conversely, the researchers found out that women who eat fruit or vegetables thrice a day had lower risk of diabetes. Eating fruit and vegetables not only provide healthy living, they are also filling and reduce the risk of weight gain and diabetes by extension.
Myth five is that you need high-protein diet to build muscle mass. The fact is, you need weight training plus extra calories. The myth had been in circulation since the 6th century B.C. through an ancient Greek strongman who claimed that the secret of his athletic prowess was eating 20 pounds of beef a day.
Although protein is a crucial nutrient for building body tissues, a very high-protein diet boosts the threat of heart disease, impaired kidney function, bone fractures and some cancers. Some researchers, Physicians for Responsible Medicine found out that in the typical western diet, most people eat at least double the amount of protein needed for good health.
The American Academy of Nutrition and Diabetes have therefore advised people who are training for resistance sports like weight lifting, to limit to no more than 0.55 to 0.77 gram soft protein per pound of body weight, for a healthy living.