Nutrition is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there. It is hard to know what to believe and where to find reliable information. Let's debunk a few common nutrition myths.
Eating at night will make you gain weight
Nighttime eating has commonly been associated with weight gain. The main idea behind this myth is that your body isn't using energy and so your meal or snack(s) will get stored as fat. However, your body doesn't just shut down at night.
You may be using less energy at rest, but your heart is still pumping, your body continues to regulate its temperature, your lungs are still breathing and your brain is still functioning. That seems like a lot of energy to me.
Many people are concerned about their evening eating habits. Not eating enough during the day and binging at night is a common pattern I've seen among patients. In many of these scenarios, the problem isn't overeating; the problem is undereating throughout the day. The solution here isn't putting a time or cap on when you need to be done eating by.
The key is learning to fuel your body adequately and appropriately throughout the day so that you can make sound decisions at night when it comes to food choices. So, if you are truly hungry in the evening grab a snack. I recommend pairing a carbohydrate source with protein and/or fat such as an apple with peanut butter or whole-grain crackers with cheese.
Carbohydrates are bad and make you gain weight
You've probably heard that to lose weight you must cut out carbohydrates as they aren't good for you. Carbohydrates are your body's preferred energy source; they are important and essential to fuel your body and brain so you can have energy.
Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are all great examples of healthy complex carbohydrates you should include in your diet. They contain essential nutrients, fiber and sustained energy throughout the day.
Simple carbohydrates break down more quickly in the digestive system, which means they may not keep you full compared to complex carbohydrates and sometimes contain fewer nutrients.
Examples of simple carbohydrates to be limited include:
- Sugary beverages
- White bread
- Processed foods
Simple carbohydrates should be eaten in moderation but there is no harm in enjoying a treat occasionally.
You need to detox your body with a juice cleanse
You have likely heard that juicing is a good way to detox your body. But is drinking only freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice for several days really that great of an idea? Probably not.
First off, when you choose juice over whole fruits and vegetables you are missing out on an important nutrient that helps your body digest food more slowly and effectively: fiber.
Secondly, your body can detox just fine on its own using your liver and kidneys. The human body is amazing so let your body do the work and not some detox diet or product you found on the internet.
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