Diet myths debunked for 2018

If you are planning on starting the New Year with a resolution to shed those surplus pounds, you are not alone. Eating healthier and losing weight are two of the most popular New Year resolutions.

There is no quick fix to losing those extra pounds though, so if you’re thinking about going on a highly restrictive detox to kick-start your weight loss plan, think again – a faddy diet won’t be the slim-fast weight loss method you have been searching for.

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Instead, it has been is proven time after time that simply eating healthily and exercising will help you shed the pounds.

Dietitian Anna Daniels looks into your most common diet myths, so you too can follow a healthy and nutritional diet into 2018 and beyond.

Drinking diet juice will help shed the weight

Water is the best drink you can have for weight loss. Diet fizzy drinks have a place where they can replace full sugar fizzy drinks and this will save on calories, so for someone consuming sugary fizzy drinks they can be a good replacement. However, drinking fizzy juice or soda in excess isn’t a good idea, instead ensure you drink plenty of water, aiming for two litres of fluid per day.

Carbs are the enemy

Carbohydrates often get a bad reputation – and unfairly so. When they’re not eaten in excess, they form part of a healthy balanced diet. Some of the world’s healthiest diets are based around carbohydrate foods – such as the Mediterranean diet (al dente pasta, bread, potatoes) or the Japanese and Asian diet (rice). A review of low carbohydrate diets found that they were associated with a similar weight loss to energy-restrictive diets and low-fat diets.

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Gluten-free is healthier

There is no evidence that eating a gluten-free diet is better for you than a normal diet. Unless you have Coeliac disease, an autoimmune condition, caused by the reaction of the body’s immune system to gluten. This means gluten becomes incredibly damaging, causing malabsorption issues and symptoms of bloating and diarrhoea. Some people also find they have gluten sensitivity, which means they have symptoms associated with eating gluten similar to those of a Coeliac, without the damaging effects. However, if you have no symptoms and aren’t Coeliac, then there is no need to cut out gluten – and yes that means those ‘gluten free’ brownies do count!

Fat-free foods create fat- free bodies

It is a myth that eating fat-free food will leads to fat-free bodies. Sugar contains no fat and sweets can sometimes be marketed as fat-free. Yet a diet which contains too much sugar will inevitably lead to weight gain. Be very wary of foods which are marketed as fat-free – always read the label, as most often they have added sugars.

Eating dinner after 6pm causes weight gain

Eating after 6pm does not cause weight gain. Your metabolism continues to burn energy throughout the evening and also throughout the night. As long as you don’t eat in excess, eating later in the evening has no hindrance to weight loss. The only thing to consider is if you have acid-reflux or hiatus hernia, then eating close to bed would be likely to exacerbate symptoms as you lie down.

Buying organic is a waste of money

Larger supermarkets are now stocking organic so many organic products are becoming more readily available and more accessible. Some studies have outlined organic foods are found to be lower in pesticide residues and higher in antioxidants, yet other studies have found very little comparisons. Organic meat and dairy is thought to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids possibly linked to the diet of organically reared animals. For a healthy balanced diet, firstly make sure your diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, pulses, grains and lean protein. Then if you can afford to buy organic then do so, although the health benefits may not be dramatic as you may think.

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Grazing might not help you lose weight

Eating regularly throughout the day is good for stabilising your blood sugar levels and also ensuring that your metabolism works efficiently. However, grazing can sometimes become ‘mindless’. This is when you find yourself snacking on foods without really thinking about it – and this can be damaging to weight loss. If this happens then it can have a negative effect on your weight, as you may be consuming excess calories overall throughout the day.

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