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Busting Common Health Myths!

21 April 2020
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Angels, there is SO much noise in the health industry these days! We’re constantly being told to try this diet, cut this food group out, avoid certain ingredients… So today I’m sharing the truth behind some of these claims – and remember, don’t believe everything you read on social media!

Eating a Vegan Diet is Healthier

Let’s straighten this out: a vegan or vegetarian diet is not necessarily healthier than one that includes animal products! There isn’t one best diet to follow or way to eat! It’s impossible to suggest one diet that suits everyone, as we all have different nutritional needs, and different taste buds! There is nothing wrong with including animal products in your diet, in fact a lot of animal products are rich in essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals such as iron and protein!

The best diet for you is the one that makes you feel incredible, one that energises you, keeps you satiated, and doesn’t restrict you from eating anything you love! This is the entire philosophy of JSHealth, in fact! So whether that’s vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or none of these, as long as it makes you feel your best, then that’s the healthiest option for you!

Carbs Are Bad for You

This is a COMPLETE myth! Carbs are an essential macronutrient, and in fact vegetables and fruit are both technically carbs – two of the healthiest types of foods you can eat! In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to meet your nutrient requirements without carbs!

Carbs are needed by your body for energy, and have so many other health benefits! They’re often full of B vitamins and rich in prebiotic fibres – making them great for your gut! Think things like unripe bananas, asparagus, barley and oats!

It’s definitely better to opt for whole grain sources of carbohydrates, but please angels, ensure you’re getting a range of carbohydrates into your diet each day! They are essential!

Low Fat is Healthier

Low-fat versions of food are often assumed to be healthier than their full-fat counterparts, however this is often not the case! Low-fat varieties are sometimes packed with sugar, artificial sweeteners, thickeners, and other unhealthy or artificial ingredients. These can also contribute towards excessive hunger and disease. Putting that aside, full fat versions help to keep us fuller for longer.

It’s actually much healthier to eat the unprocessed, whole food, full-fat varieties of dairy and other foods!

Oil is Unhealthy 

Angels, oil is one of my FAVOURITE foods! It can be so healthy if you choose the right type of oil! My favourite, extra virgin olive oil, is very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which support heart health, and polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. In fact, oil is the main component of the Mediterranean diet, owing to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative benefits and its powerhouse of nutrients.

Of course, everything in moderation! You don’t want to go too overboard, but there is DEFINITELY room for oil in a healthy diet!

Organic Produce is More Nutritious

Organic simply refers to the way produce was farmed and grown. It doesn’t have anything to do with the nutritional value of food! While it’s great to avoid pesticides where possible, non-organic produce contains the same nutrients and minerals as organic varieties, just with the possibility of pesticide residue on the outside. When purchasing non-organic, just ensure that you wash the produce thoroughly. At the end of the day, they’re fruit and vegetables! Both boast an abundance of antioxidants, fibre and other minerals, so don’t let non-organic versions deter you. 

For most foods with skins, such as bananas and avocado, this isn’t an issue whatsoever! If you’re going to spend money on organic produce, I’d recommend focussing on the ‘dirty dozen’ foods, which have thin or edible skins, and include strawberries, spinach and cherries. But remember, nutrition-wise, they’re just the same as non-organic!

Fresh Vegetables are Better than Frozen

News flash: there is almost no nutritional difference between fresh and frozen vegetables! Frozen vegetables are snap frozen as soon as they’re picked. This means they actually hold most of the nutrients until they’re ready to be used! Some may even argue this process preserves their nutrients better than buying fresh produce from the fruit shop, which has been sitting there for a couple of days leaching nutrients!

Regardless, it’s much more important to include vegetables in your diet, no matter what form they come in!

 

I hope this helped bust some of the myths in diet culture for you, angels!

For more nutrition advice, and constant access to our team of nutritionists, try the JSHealth App today! You’ll find more than 500 healthy, balanced recipes, nutrition advice, a nutrition clinic, workouts and more!

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