We all yearn to be healthy, but what does that mean? It seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new diet that proclaims that certain food groups are now evil and you need to avoid them if you want to lose weight and be healthy.
Understanding what being healthy actually means when it comes to your diet is important. If you focus on generalizations like calorie intake or food groups, you might not only fail to lose weight, but you might also be suffering from malnutrition!
Myth #1) Fat is Bad and should Be Avoided
While diet fads are constantly changing, people always seem to stay firm that fattening is bad. While this is true to a certain extent, it’s important to distinguish between healthy and non-healthy fats. Some foods may be fattening, but they’re actually very good for you.
For instance, take butter. Butter is definitely higher in fat than low-fat margarine, but many margarines are full of saturated fats and trans fats. Doctors currently recommend using margarine over butter, but only if the margarine you are using is free of saturated and trans fats. Otherwise, despite the high fat content, butter is better. Get organic butter whenever possible. Here are some other ideas.
Examples of Healthy Fat
- Peanut butter
- Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame)
- Fatty fishes (ie: salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines)
The bottom line is that not all fats are the same. Some are good for you and others are bad, so don’t assume that just because something has a lower fat content, it’s healthy.
Myth #2) Carbs are Bad and They Make You Fat
Not too many years ago, the Atkins diet made everyone afraid to eat bread. While that diet craze has mostly faded, there are many people out there who will still tell you to stay clear of anything with carbs. However, as with fats, carbs are not all the same.
- Carbs can be found in a wide variety of foods, including sugars, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and milk and grain products.
- While some carbs, known as simple carbs, aren’t healthy and don’t do anything but fatten you up, complex carbs and fibers are good for you.
The trick with carbs is to use common sense. Bread itself isn’t bad for you. Eating a lot of buttery croissants or white bread, however, is obviously much less healthy than eating whole wheat bread. Many milk products do contain simple carbs, but they also provide your body with needed nutrients like calcium and protein.
Myth #3) Cheap Vitamins and Supplements are Good
The truth is, vitamins and supplements are good—when used properly. You need to make sure that you are taking the vitamins and supplements that you need. Keep in mind that you may need different types and quantities of vitamins depending on your age, health, or gender.
When selecting the right vitamins and supplements for you, look for companies that sell natural products, without preservatives or artificial additives!
If you don’t have a good pharmacy nearby, you can find a bigger variety of natural vitamins and supplements online.
Remember, when it comes to food and nutrition, things aren’t usually all good or all bad. Don’t get fooled by low-fat labels and claims to be carb-free. Read the labels and stay away from preservatives, empty calories, and trans and saturated fats.