The health and fitness world is absolutely full of theories, 'facts' and revelations about what you should and shouldn't be eating. It's a whirlwind of information from various sources that tend to follow certain fads, or even develop from old wives' tales without much credibility backing it all up. So what should you believe? Well, here are five dietary 'requirements' you can 100% discard.
Carbohydrates have long been seen as the enemy by those looking to lose weight. During the Atkins phase, carbs were considered borderline SINFUL in the dietary world. Well, prepare to rejoice and devour one more slice of bread.
As with all things, it's all about everything in moderation. If your diet is full of carbohydrates, especially foods that are high in sugar too, you can expect to develop issues such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease as well as weight issues. This does include white bread, many-a-person's vice, however there are 'good' carbs in whole grains and beans. What's for certain is if you're aiming for a low-carb or carb-free diet you should prepare to spend the majority of your days hungry and dissatisfied.
Eating before you sleep DOES make food more difficult to digest; however in terms of the calorie count, this doesn't affect you in the slightest. The amount is still the same whether you feast at 7am or midnight. If you wish to lose some weight, what is most important is the amount you are eating in general. Next time you fancy a cheeky snack before bed, don't worry about its effect on your waistline.
Sugar gets a bad rep, but those additives in our soft drinks even more so. One in particular is High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) however there is no confirmation that this substance is any worse for you than sugar. In fact, HFCS is an imitation of normal sugar that results in a similar outcome – if you binge, it will be unhealthy for you. Yes, a vast amount of HFCS isn't good for you, but neither is a vast amount of sugar. The calories are the same as is its composition and both have very similar outcomes on your insulin and glucose levels – they hit the roof! A small quantity, as with sugar, will not do you much damage, but be wary of overdoing it.
Eggs have been a staple part of many diet plans, especially those looking to bulk up, but why do so many people still think they are 'bad for you'? The fridge staple does contain a high amount of dietary cholesterol - present in the yolk – and cholesterol contributes to heart attacks and additional fat in the blood leading to blocked arteries. However, for most people, the amount of saturated fat they eat is more closely related to their cholesterol levels than the dietary cholesterol they are consuming.
Whether it's dairy or wheat, we are lucky enough to have a range of accessible alternatives, so substituting these staples is the easiest it's ever been. However, if we decide to replace them with options that significantly add to our calorie count, then it's our diet that needs the review. In fact, continuing your diet sans dairy (for example) could help with weight loss more than replacing it would.
In reality, the best way to keep fit and healthy is to moderate all those factors we already know are bad for us – so drink less alcohol, don't smoke and eat a varied and balanced diet, as these are all essentials when it comes to running at 100%. However, it is always interesting to play with the fabric of any formula and myths are the perfect way to keep our minds interested, rather than looking at the simple facts. Don't be fooled by any of the above – it really is everything in moderation.