A while back we asked you what myths you once learned, but you still feel not quite sure about. So in this article we’ll break down all the question marks surrounding 'bad' and 'good' foods.
‘You can only eat low-carb bread’
Low-carb bread contains at least 30% less carbs than normal bread. To ensure that the bread contains less carbohydrates, ingredients such as wheat protein, pea protein, soy flour and flax seed are used. First of all, the pros and cons for a low carb diet are a whole other subject. This statement only mentions low carb bread, so I’ll only discuss this.
Low-carb bread makes your blood glucose level rise less quickly. This is important when you have diabetes. But even if you don’t have diabetes, low-carb bread keeps your blood sugar level more stable, which causes less of an afternoon dip.
Low-carb bread contains more protein and fibers than whole wheat bread because of the replacements of cereals. It contains twice as many fibers, and about 6 grams more protein.
Low-carb doesn’t mean healthy. First of all, you need carbs for vital functions in the body, like moving and thinking. Eating too few carbohydrates can potentially cause fatigue.
Low-carb bread contains more saturated fats, which are the ‘unhealthy’ fats. If you have heart disease it is extra important to eat not too much saturated fats, but this is also important for healthy people.
Conclusion: Low-carb is not necessarily healthier than regular bread. But for some people it may be a better option, like when you have diabetes or when you eat too little fiber or protein.
‘Bananas and carrots are bad for your diet’
You can’t eat too many vegetables. Of course you can get too many calories from fruits and vegetables, for example when you eat 10 bananas per day. But fruits and veggies are never a bad idea. Fruit and vegetables contain lots of micronutrients, which you need for a lot of physical functions to stay healthy. Every fruit or vegetable contains different micronutrients, that’s why it’s important to ‘eat the rainbow’. Carrots contain a lot of vitamin A, which is important for growth, healthy eyes, the immune system and healthy skin, hair and nails. Bananas contain a great amount of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that, along with chloride and sodium, is involved in regulating fluid balance and blood pressure in the body.
Fruits and vegetables (so also bananas and carrots) also contain many fibers, which are important for gut health.
Conclusion: You can always eat more fruits and vegetables, as long as you stay in a calorie deficit (when you want to lose weight). It can even help you lose weight, because they contain lots of fibers, which make you feel full.
‘A vegan/vegetarian diet is better for your body’
This is a hard one to answer. There’s still a lot of discussion about this, and even scientists aren’t even sure what kind of diet is healthier. I have listed the pros and cons of these diets.
Besides the animals we grew up petting at the farm staying alive, a vegan/vegetarian diet also lowers the chance of being overweight. In a (more) plant based diet you’ll eat more fibers, which makes you eat less because of the full feeling. Besides that, research shows that meat eaters more often have a higher energy intake. Less obesity also results in vegetarians getting diagnosed with diabetes type 2 less often.
Vegetarians generally have lower blood pressure than non-vegetarians. A healthy body weight contributes to this, but also a diet lower in total fat, low in saturated fat and a higher intake of dietary fiber, fruit, vegetables and soy protein.
It’s possible for vegetarians and vegans to be deficient in certain nutrients, such as iron, B12, calcium (vegan). But this is also possible when you eat meat. It’s always important to eat a varied diet. Supplements can be taken if necessary.
Conclusion: I don’t think there’s a clear answer to this one (yet). But for most people it’s definitely a good idea to eat less meat for health reasons.