Are nutrition myths dangerous?
They can be.
Should you take Nutrition advice from your next-door neighbor and BFF?
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Not, if you are serious about your health, a friend told me they were bamboozled by false health information on TV & social media. Another talked about several blogs having raving reviews for a honey brand with the same language!
One reader asked me, why I didn’t like soybean when so many health bloggers loved it!
Health blogging is competitive but profitable. But if you are worried about the quality of info you consume, be careful. Just like you need to watch what you eat, you should carefully curate what you read. As a doctor, I am legally licensed to give health information.
Why are self-proclaimed Health and nutrition gurus without license dangerous?
This worked for me, is not a good answer. Neither is…
- I have taken a crash course /bridge course/dreamt about it
- I can Google as well as you
- I am quoting famous medical websites
Without getting into the nitty-gritty, I will tell you three things
- Google cracked its whip on Health sites recently YLYM (Your life, your money)update was serious
- You can’t blame misprint for your health
- You need info from the right source.
But should you stop Googling? No, just curate with care. The search engines make information freely available, giving you an overview. To separate the grain from the chaff, you need professional help.
What to look for in an online health resource?
A good authority site will display the credentials of the author. Check sites like Lybrate and LinkedIn on for qualifications of the doctor who wrote the post if you are interested Lybrate listing needs medical registration details uploaded before listing. Most sites, like the Mayo Clinic, have the name and credentials of doctors displayed.
Check resources mentioned in the blog post. They need to be from authority sources. The quality and source of information will help you determine the authority of the expert.
If they appear biased and with contradictory information, and no credentials, you need to be careful.
6 Nutrition Myths -Busted!
Myth 1: When you want to lose weight, Expensive health food is the only way!
Diet food versus. Ghar ka khana (Home cooked food)
This is the fight between so-called health food and healthy food. India is a beautiful country. We have different food cultures from North to South, East to West. What’s interesting is that all the regions, Ghar ka khana is more or less healthy. Keeping the calorie in mind, eating fresh, controlling portion size, actually work if you don’t have medical obesity.
Those packets of diet namkeen, lose-extra-pounds-cornflakes, and diet soda are not suitable for you. Diet namkeen or baked namkeens, has only a little difference is in calorie count from fried once. Check the food label at the back of the pack and compare. If it doesn’t have nutrition and calorie info in a standard format, it’s not a good idea to snack on it!
Myth 2: Skip the carbs
Skipping carbohydrates forever is not sustainable, nor is it a good idea. For working adults, children, and adolescent carbs are needed. Especially if you want your brain to work well. Sugar has a mysterious way. Too much is bad, and too little is a problem.
- Its the only food that the brain loves.
- It’s the only energy substrate that neurons can break down.
It’s possible to form glucose from protein and fat but needs hours of complex metabolic process. In the morning before going to school or college of work, you need that carb. Get the right carbs with complex structure. Fruits and veggies have complex fibers which help in slow breakdown and release Of sugars in your bloodstream. Fruit juices are just not equal to fruits. The more processed your food is, the worse it is for your body.
Golden nugget: Good complex carbs are needed.
Myth 3: Salt restriction is needed only if you have a Blood pressure problem
Excessive sodium can be a problem for all of us. But how do you know whether your food is too salty?
The saltiness in your food is because of table salt or common salt chemically known as sodium chloride. When you add salt while cooking, they break down sodium enter your cells.It Increases sodium load. But food is still not salty, The nature of the compound changes and sodium and chloride act no longer act like table salt. But what if you add the salt at the end of the cooking process?
- It lightly coats the food.
- Doesn’t break down
- No hyper load of sodium
How much salt is okay? It’s recommended taking about one teaspoon (5 gram)of salt every day. But it will be great, if you restrict salt intake to 3 gram per day, for better cardiovascular health.
Most processed food is HFSS (High-fat salt sugars) and is a well-known devil in pretty packaging. Think fast food, packaged snacks. The saltier food you eat is, the more sugar you crave. Are you willing to risk your health, following celebrity endorsement of unhealthy health food?
4 The Soybean Myth: The good .bad & Ugly
The good of soya bean is it has high-class protein and plant estrogen. It also has PUFA
It also is full of antinutrients, which block the good effect of others. Without fermentation, it’s not good for you. The Chinese use a lot of soy products.but they are fermented. Also, it’s bad for your thyroid gland. The soy you eat is a waste product after the soya oil is extracted. It’s not fit for human consumption until it undergoes chemical processing and additives. You already have enough soy protein in your diet through the hidden sources, why would you add more?.
Soybean is a favorite animal fodder and cheap protein source for humans! It’s also a multi-billion-dollar industry. The studies give controversial and contradictory results. While the Chinese and Japanese consume about 8 gram of fermented soya per day through their diet, the west has a higher consumption. The ugly of soybean include thyroid dysfunction and obesity, which can affect even the way you think.
What about Soya milk?
It can make you gain weight without increasing any other calorie source. It’s easy to chug down calories when its in liquid form
Choose your protein with care. Plant or animal source, it needs to be unprocessed for the good effects.
#5 Myth: About Probiotics in health drinks work
Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut, oral cavity and elsewhere, which have surprising benefits. Improving gut health is most well known, but they also affect mental health, oro-dental health, and more. This part is no myth. The problem starts with the source of probiotics.
Is fresh better or packaged? Is it better to take a supplement or from Probiotic health drinks?
Probiotics are live bacteria and need good preservation and handling. They also need to be present in. The best sources are packed well, to maintain the viability of the organism. Have probiotics which are multistrain as different strains have different actions and usefulness. Sometimes even commercial yogurt have acceptable levels of viable organism 107/g, and others have lower levels. There are few guidelines for probiotics in India. But products with added sugars, flavors and chemical agents with probiotic bacteria, will have limited health benefits in the long run. If you want to include, probiotics have fresh homemade curd, set 12 hours before. This is the purest source of live bacteria. But quantity and quality are difficult to standardize.
For most healthy adults, this works.
Read the rest of my article here on the Education post