How many times have you heard that it’s essential to eat breakfast within one hour of waking up lately? Or, what about the one that says you can’t eat a late dinner? Turns out, that you may be listening to diet myths that science has found are no truer than the one that says you can’t have dairy products when you’re trying to stay slim.
Here are some of the common ones, and what science says:
- You should never skip breakfast. According to recent research, it’s not a bright idea to skip breakfast because it can harm your health and slow down your metabolism. However, the NPD group did a survey that found that almost 90 percent of Americans eat breakfast every day, but almost 50 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. When you eat earlier, you’re creating a bigger “eating window,” which might open you up to consuming more calories overall.
- Snacking helps you burn calories. Well, sort of, but that depends on what you’re eating. Although the “grazing” method of dieting has long been encouraged, it’s actually not necessary to snack if you don’t feel like it. You can eat two large meals in a day, or you can break it up into five small meals. It’s up to you and your schedule. Just make sure the meals are healthy, and you stay within your calorie limit.
- Low Carb diets are best. Well, since your body needs good carbohydrates to fuel itself, if you eliminate them, you might be wreaking havoc on your blood sugar levels and stores of energy. Instead, consider the types of carbs you’re consuming. Foods like sweet potatoes and whole grains instead of white processed flours can help you to feel fuller and satisfied for longer than if you avoid carbohydrates all together.
- You shouldn’t exercise on an empty stomach. It seems that there is much research that says exercising on an empty stomach is a no-no, but according to the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise, that “empty stomach” has a pretty big window, so if you’ve gotten enough sleep, you’re well hydrated and you’ve eaten in the last 3 to 8 hours, you’re probably okay to work out and still see good performance.
- Avoid all saturated fats. The simple truth is that cholesterol is a beneficial thing for the body, as long as it’s the right kind, and sometimes those levels go up to fight free radicals in the blood. So, enjoying a little bit of saturated fat is likely not a problem as long as you’re enjoying an overall active, healthy lifestyle.
There are so many diet myths out there that have people eating processed “low fat” and “low calorie” foods, when they may be doing more harm than good. If you’re healthy, active and have a well balanced, mostly healthy diet, chances are you don’t need a “Diet myth” to help you look and feel fantastic.