Separating fact from fiction: An expert busts food myths
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