Sep­a­rat­ing fact from fic­tion: An ex­pert busts food myths

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle -

Food trends of­ten bring with them a lot of con­fu­sion about what we should and shouldn't eat for a healthy, bal­anced diet.

Nu­tri­tional epi­demi­ol­o­gist Karin Michels, pro­fes­sor and chair of the epi­demi­ol­ogy de­part­ment in the UCLA Field­ing School of Pub­lic Health, USA, gives her views on the lat­est diet crazes, and whether we should cut out carbs, add fat, and even have that morn­ing cup of cof­fee. Myth: Cut the carbs

Low-carb di­ets have seen a surge in pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent years. How­ever in­stead of cut­ting carbs out of your diet,

re­place re­fined car­bo­hy­drates and sug­ars with whole grain carbs such as quinoa, oats, rice and pasta. Myth: A low-fat diet is best

Fat has long been seen as the en­emy to a healthy diet, with many be­liev­ing that a low-fat diet is good for the heart. How­ever Michels dis­agrees. In­stead, she says that most people need to change the type of fat in the diet. They should avoid sat­u­rated and trans fats. Un­sat­u­rated fats found in olive and canola oils and fish, nuts and av­o­ca­dos raise the body's HDL, “good” choles­terol. Sat­u­rated fats from an­i­mal and dairy prod­ucts and the ar­ti­fi­cial trans fats found in mar­garines and cook­ies will raise the LDL (bad) choles­terol.

In line with re­cent re­ports, she also cau­tions against co­conut oil, which al­though was once as­sumed to be healthy, is full of sat­u­rated fat.

Myth: Cof­fee is un­healthy

A cup of joe used to have a bad rep­u­ta­tion when it came to health. How­ever, Michels agrees with re­cent re­search, say­ing cof­fee can help lower the risk of many dis­eases, in­clud­ing di­a­betes, and cancer.

CHOOS­ING HEALTH­IER FOODS EV­ERY NOW AND THEN MIGHT SIG­NIF­I­CANTLY BOOST ONE’S CHANCES OF LIV­ING LONGER, SUG­GESTS A NEW STUDY

PHOTO:ISTOCK

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