#1: Fat-free OR low-fat milk and dairy options are better and healthier than their whole-milk counterparts. Myth OR Fact?
MYTH: Fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E and K) only get absorbed in the presence of fat. Removing fat from these products thus lowers your body’s ability to absorb said vitamins. Moreover, fat helps provide not only taste, but also satiety and a lasting feeling of fullness. Would you rather drink a large amount of watered-down milk or a small amount of the real deal?
#2: Rice and potatoes are fattening and I should avoid them at all costs, especially at dinner. Myth OR Fact?
MYTH: A balanced meal needs to consist of all three macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats). In fact, nutrition school teaches us that 45-60% of our meal should come from a carbohydrate source. Rice and potatoes are not ‘fattening’ and a blanket ban is unfair to say the least. However, if you overeat (eat above and beyond the needs of your body), it would mean that the food you eat (it could be potatoes, rice or even broccoli) will get converted to fat and stored.
#3: Excess protein intake can be damaging for my kidneys. Myth OR Fact?
FACT: Before you start blaming any specific protein sources, re-read the statement. Excess protein could be damaging to the kidneys—not protein from a specific source! Here’s the rationale: NH3+– CHR – COO- What you see above is the chemical structure of protein. Imagine that your body has met it’s protein requirements and used up the protein it needs for whatever functions were designated for the protein to perform (repair, recovery, hormone synthesis etc.). Now there is excess protein in the body. What is the body going to do? Protein can’t get stored in the body. It has to get converted into another form to be stored. Look again at the nitrogen group (NH3+). There is no way for the body to store or use this nitrogen and thus, when there is excess protein in the body, it needs to eliminate the nitrogen group. This group then gets converted into urea in the liver and the kidneys take the responsibility of excreting the majority of this urea. This process of eliminating the nitrogen group is inconvenient and is what puts load on the kidneys. We reiterate again that the problem is excess protein—not protein from a specific food source.
#4: 1-2 tsp of ghee to my daily diet is good for my skin, bones and joints. Myth OR Fact?
FACT: Firstly, ghee is prepared from the fats of whole milk. So all the fat-soluble vitamins and minerals along with the healthy fat content is retained. Fat-soluble vitamins are essential for the healthy growth and development of not only our bones, but also our brain! Imagine that. Moreover, ghee contains carotenoids and antioxidants which promote skin cell growth, good vision and immune health, as well as a reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease. So many benefits for a food item which tastes so yummy to start with. It’s a real win-win.
#5: Walking is the best exercise for me. Myth OR Fact?
MYTH: This is like saying daal rice is the best food for me. Daal rice is great but you can’t be eating it all day everyday. You need to vary the nutrient profile and incorporate different foods as well from time to time. You see where we are going with this? Walking/jogging/running is one form of exercise known as cardiovascular exercise or exercise meant to increase the strength of your heart muscle and give you endurance. There are also strength-based exercises and flexibility-based exercises and a good workout routine needs to have all these forms as part of it.
#6: The body has an unlimited capacity to store fat. Myth OR Fact?
FACT: Oh how we all wish this were a myth. Although I probably wouldn’t have a business to run if that were in fact the case. Yes, the body has an unlimited capacity to store fat. This means that excess carbohydrates get converted to fat and stored, excess proteins get converted to fat and stored and excess fat gets converted to fat and stored. Sigh.
#7: Bananas, strawberries, sitaphal and chickoo are high in sugar and thus very bad for me especially if I am pre-diabetic or diabetic. Myth OR Fact?
MYTH: There are 3 types of simple sugars-glucose, fructose (fruit sugar) and galactose. All fruits have fructose or fruit sugar. Fruit sugars are natural and nature is wonderful. Do you think nature would be the reason you have diabetes? Or is it those cakes, biscuits and low-fat preservative-infused khakras? Fruit sugars DO NOT spike your blood sugar. They merely give it a slow, steady rise and it is ludicrous to blame these fruits (bananas, strawberries, sitaphal and chickoo) for your excess sugar intake or your diabetes. Below is a diagram to better facilitate understanding:
P.S. Do you have any statements you’re wondering are myths or facts? Write them in the comment box or email us and we will be happy to add them onto our future series!