When it comes to diet and nutrition, there are tons of misconceptions that can derail our health journey. In celebration of Nutrition Month this July, let’s take a look at some of the common diet myths and what we can do to keep us on track.
- “Use brown sugar, para mas healthy!”
Surprise! There’s not much of a difference between white and brown sugar. Brown sugar is basically white sugar with molasses added back in during processing. You might be asking, “But isn’t molasses good for the body?” Yes, but the main concern is the process it goes through. For sugar to be white and fine, it goes through many processes which include bleaching. Some of the chemicals used for bleaching sugar include styrene, divinylacetylene benzol, benzol peroxide, among other chemicals. These chemicals are mainly for industrial use. So, even if there are added molasses, the traces of chemicals found in the processed, refined white sugar is still not healthy.
What to do instead: Use coco sugar, muscovado, and unfiltered honey if you want an additional sweetener. However, keep in mind that it is best to limit added sugar from your diet for optimal health.
- Cutting off carbs completely for weight loss
Carbohydrates have a distinct purpose in bodily functions. Removing it entirely may yield negative results. Short-term, cutting carbs might help weight loss but at a certain point, the body will look for carbs to function and this includes proper weight loss. Carbohydrates are needed by the body to properly metabolize fat.
What to do instead: Choose unprocessed, whole-grain carbs over refined carbs.
- Anything labeled “healthy” is good
We often see seemingly healthy packaged food in the grocery labeled as “organic,” “gluten-free,” and “low fat.” The question is, are they really healthy? One thing to carefully watch out for is the amount of added sugar that can be seen from the food label or nutrition facts. Remember, 4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar.
What to do instead: Make it a habit to check the label so you can make informed decisions. Pick food items that are closer to their natural state. For example, go for coconut water from an actual coconut (buko juice) rather than a box, or buy whole fruits rather than dried fruits.