We’re cutting the fat from the facts to help you make smarter health choices.
Every season brings a new Instagram diet fad. First, there was the weight loss gummies trend hailed by influencers, then came the juice cleanses, keto, intermittent fasting, and now dry fasting! With so much diet and wellness awareness, there’s also plenty of misinformation. Here are some weight loss beliefs that are more fiction than fact.
Myth: Vegan food is always healthy
Fact: Has The Gamechangers convinced you to switch to a vegan diet? While a vegan diet can be good for you, it’s crucial to know that not all vegan food is. After all, vegan junk food is still junk food. Also, many processed vegan substitutes for meat and dairy are packed with nasty additives like artificial sugar, vegetable oil, sodium and starch. Unfortunately, the same goes for vegan desserts, which can sometimes contain more saturated fats and calories than their regular versions! Some studies have shown that vegetarian diets may be beneficial as many vegetarians bulk up on veggies and plant-based proteins.
Myth: All low-calorie and fat-free foods are healthy
Fact: Food labels like fat-free, low-fat and low-cal can trick you into thinking that they’re healthy. For the most part, these foods are created by adding unhealthy and artificial ingredients to compensate for the lost flavour and texture. A closer look at the ingredients will reveal artificial sweeteners and thickeners lurking inside these so-called healthy options. It’s important to look at the breakdown of where the calories are coming from: carbohydrates, proteins or fats.
Myth: Avoid carbs completely
Fact: Several popular diets today make carbohydrates to be the enemy of weight loss. But depriving your body of carbs completely is an unsustainable approach. Complex carbs like whole grains, lentils, beans, peas contain vital nutrients and are rich in fibre. So, discarding them completely from your diet can leave you with deficiencies and indigestion.
Myth: Detox teas and juice cleanses are effective for weight loss
Fact: So, here’s the ‘tea’ about detox tea: they’re actually bad for you! Not only is there insufficient evidence to prove that detox teas aid weight loss but they also come with dangerous side effects! The diuretic and laxative nature of these teas make it appear that you are expelling more from your system. But you’re more likely to end up with diarrhoea, dehydration, an electrolyte and gut bacteria imbalance than any real fat or weight reduction. Similarly, a juice cleanse isn’t going to magically make you shed flab. This boils down to the fact that your body is perfectly capable of cleansing itself without any external detox systems.
Myth: Lemon water in the morning will make you slim
Fact: Lemon water is a great way to get a hydrating dose of vitamin C. While lemon and water both have plenty of health benefits on their own, lemon water is not a weight-loss tool. Drinking water does cause a temporary rise in metabolism and help you feel full. But the lemon water for weight loss theory remains an urban myth.
Bottomline: Choose a sustainable, long-term approach to weight-loss with a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and adequate sleep. Also, ignore diet fads and always inspect the ingredients on your food labels carefully (learn how to read labels here: https://www.veerahealth.com/health-insights/5f1071907553c40f67b52bac). For more nutrition and fitness advice, you can book an appointment with our expert nutritionists at Veera Health.
Reviewed by Dr. Shailly Prasad, MD/MBA, Resident Physician, Obstetrics & Gynecology.Disclaimer: Content on Veera is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, or as a substitute for medical advice given by a physician.
References: Bernstein AM, Sun Q, Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, Willett WC. Major dietary protein sources and risk of coronary heart disease in women. Circulation. 2010;122(9):876-883. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.915165 Bjarnadottir, A. (n.d.). Do Detox Diets and Cleanses Really Work? Retrieved June 28, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/detox-diets-101 Dubnov-Raz, G., Constantini, N. W., Yariv, H., Nice, S., & Shapira, N. (2011). Influence of water drinking on resting energy expenditure in overweight children. International journal of obesity (2005), 35(10), 1295–1300. https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2011.130 European Society of Cardiology. (2018, August 28). Low carbohydrate diets are unsafe and should be avoided, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 28, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180828085922.htm Lauren Wicks March 01, & Wicks, L. (2019, March 01). 10 Vegan Foods That AREN’T Healthy-And What to Eat Instead. Retrieved June 28, 2020, from https://www.cookinglight.com/news/best-worst-healthiest-vegan-food-prodcucts