There are a number of things we’ve all grown up believing, especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing - particularly about the foods we eat. For example, about a certain fruit that aids weight loss. A particular vegetable that would give you glowing skin. Or about specific food items that are only to be consumed on an empty stomach.

Maybe you even believe them to this day -- and most likely, none of these have caused you any significant harm. That being said, they have also not served the purpose we’ve been told they would. That’s right -- because these are myths. Sure, they’re widely held, and maybe even passed down generations.

But science, research, and cold, hard facts tell a different story, and we’re here to bust these misconceptions and half-truths.So, we crowd-sourced examples of such old wives’ tales that you’ve been hearing for years on end, and made a list of the most popular responses. Stay on for an eye-opening read!

Myth 1: Cold beverages slow metabolism

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy -- and cold (or warm) drinks have no effect on this process. The best way to boost metabolism is to stay active regularly and follow a balanced, nutritious food plan.

Myth 2: Warm lemon water on an empty stomach aids weight loss

Simply put, there is no scientific study that proves this claim. Warm lemon water on an empty stomach has no significant benefit as such. Sure, it is not harmful to one’s health, but if you are already hydrating well and eating a good amount of fruit and vegetables, there is no need to add this step to your morning routine.

Myth 3: Dairy aggravates Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Consumption of excess milk can increase androgen and insulin levels in the blood. However, if you have been diagnosed with PCOS, you need not eliminate dairy entirely, unless you are allergic/sensitive to lactose or milk proteins. Anything in excess is harmful, so ensure you limit your consumption. Consciously minimizing dairy intake will also help reduce insulin resistance.

Myth 4: Rotis are healthier than rice

Both grains, i.e. wheat and rice, have become arch nemesis of the weight loss industry. However, the truth is that if eaten whole, both grains provide the body with complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Only the processed versions of these grains, made with refined oils and sugars (e.g. packaged biscuits or fried nippat) can cause significant weight gain.

Myth 5: Green tea helps weight loss

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, and is also a calorie free beverage. It is definitely a healthier alternative to milk tea (which is higher in calories), but in itself, does not aid weight loss. In fact, if taken in excess, the caffeine in green tea can hinder absorption of other nutrients( eg Iron ) in food.

Myth 6: Honey is healthy

Honey, in its pure form, has some medicinal value. But if weight loss is the goal, then it contains almost the same amount of calories as sugar or jaggery. It simply boils down to simple carbohydrates which can cause a spike in the body’s sugar levels.

Myth 7: Mangoes cause acne

Inflammation caused by refined sugar and hormonal imbalances triggered by stress are the two major causes of acne. Mangoes, however, do not directly cause acne, especially the ones that are organic and ripened on the tree. The chemicals used to ripen the fruit early can disrupt endocrine balance, which in turn could result in acne.

Myth 8: Puffed rice doesn’t cause weight gain

Yes, it contains almost no fat -- but it does contain calories. Around 100g of puffed rice has 400 calories. The truth is that an excess amount of any food could cause weight gain. The source of puffed rice is white rice, which is heavy on simple carbohydrates -- an excess of which will cause weight gain. Moderation and a diverse, balanced diet are key.

Myth 9: Eliminating sugar boosts weight loss

Refined sugar has no nutrition -- it is devoid of micronutrients, fat, and protein. Moreover, it is highly inflammatory and will always leave you craving for more, leading to sugar addiction. However, eliminating refined sugar and highly processed food is one of the many steps towards weight loss.

Myth 10: Curds/buttermilk causes cold

No, colds are caused by viruses. That being said, people who are prone to respiratory issues such as asthma could avoid milk as it acts like an allergen and can aggravate the condition.

Now you have the whole truth and nothing but the truth -- so you can do what’s best for your body and mind!

Credits - Rekha Prabhu, Nutrition Expert

Jan 23, 2020
Healthy Eating

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