Healthy eating stirs up a lot of images. Beach bods, juices, vegetables galore, and how you would much rather be eating at a buffet. However, scientists have yet to develop a way to make fried and sugar-packed foods healthy, so we have to make some sacrifices. Those sacrifices come in the form of less delicious, more expensive options. Or do they? You see, there’s a few myths when it comes to eating healthier. You may have even helped perpetuate them, subconsciously afraid of making the next step to a better you. The fact is, we’re all afraid at some level, but the more knowledge we have, the better we can move forward.
It Costs Too Much
The cost of healthy eating is always at the top of the list. Many believe you have to spend a small fortune every month, and that’s simply not the case. Of course, it’s very easy to do so, especially if you go the organic route, which we’ll get into here later. On average, I spend around $40 per week on groceries. This includes a good amount of vegetables, some fruit, and lean meat. You just have to keep your eye open for good deals, and not overthink it. Sometimes, simplicity is key such as having a few main staple dishes. It’s easier to prepare that way, and complication can lead to frustration and a bigger hit on the wallet.
Fresh, Not Frozen
According to some, frozen vegetables or fruit aren’t as healthy as buying fresh. However, that’s simply not the case. Where the claim does hold up is when other ingredients such as oils or sugars are added, which is why it’s important to read the nutrition label before purchasing. Nutritionist Shilpa Mittal points out that frozen fruits or vegetables can actually be more nutritious: “Fruits and vegetables – these two food groups are just as good purchased frozen as they are fresh. In some cases, they may actually be better, because if you keep vegetables and fruits in your fridge for a long time, they lose some of their nutritional value. Whereas, buying them frozen and then defrosting when you want the fruit/vegetable can actually retain more nutrients.”
Fat, Carbs Are Bad
There’s an ongoing war on fat, and no, we’re not talking about the overweight kind. For decades now, companies have been pushing consumers towards more “Low-fat” or “Fat-free” options, which are often less healthy. According to a Harvard study, 45 percent of American adult’s calories in the 1960s came from fat, compared to 33 percent today. However, adults who are obese has increased 21 percent. Fat consumption was not linked to weight or disease, and total calories from the kind of fat people consume is what matters most. “One problem with a generic lower fat diet is that it prompts most people to stop eating fats that are good for the heart along with those that are bad for it. Another problem is that when people cut back on fat, they often switch to foods full of easily digested carbohydrates—white bread, white rice, potatoes, sugary drinks, and the like—or to fat-free products that replace healthful fats with sugar and refined carbohydrates. The body digests these carbohydrates very quickly, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. Over time, eating lots of “fast carbs” can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes as much as—or more than—eating too much saturated fat. That’s why it’s important to replace foods high in bad fats with foods high in good fats—not with refined carbohydrates.” This gets us into carbohydrates, and notice Harvard mentions “refined.” Complex carbohydrates are of the healthier variety, and contain such foods as beans, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Ditch The Egg Yolk
Egg yolks have came under fire in much of the same way eating fat has, mainly because one large egg can contain over 60 percent of your daily value of cholesterol. Once again, that myth is busted. From the Mayo Clinic: “The risk of heart disease may be more closely tied to the foods that accompany the eggs in a traditional American breakfast — such as the sodium in the bacon, sausages and ham, and the saturated fat or oils with trans fats used to fry the eggs and the hash browns.” However, like Harvard found in its research, people who are diabetic can have an increased risk of heart disease with higher egg consumption.
You can’t visit a grocery store nowadays without seeing the word “Organic” all over the produce aisle. Organic foods come with a higher price tag, and they also supposedly come with higher nutrition. According to Stanford, there’s “little evidence” organic food is more nutritious. However, they did find that going organic can reduce exposure to pesticides. This doesn’t mean you should avoid buying organic whatsoever. However, you shouldn’t feel like you absolutely have to in order to eat healthier.
Don’t Eat At Night
There’s long been a myth that you shouldn’t eat at night because of how your body reacts to those calories. The reality is, there is no cut off time for when you should eat. Many people’s schedules simply don’t allow them to eat dinner at an earlier time, and many of us are up late. Where the issue comes up is getting the urge to snack at night. Just stay away from the junk food or better yet, get it out of your house, and you should be fine.
It’s Not As Tasty
Yes, deep fried and sugary treats taste amazing, but there’s thousands of great recipes floating around the Internet for you to try that involve neither of the two. At the end of the day, this is just another myth that’s far beyond the truth.
www.dnaindia.com/health/report-frozen-foods-healthy-or-unhealthy-1876748 www.webmd.com/diet/low-fat-diet www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/cholesterol/faq-20058468 med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2012/09/little-evidence-of-health-benefits-from-organic-foods-study-finds.html