Most of us probably think we know a lot about what healthy foods are, what to eat, what not to eat, etc. For example, watch your calorie intake, choose healthy carbonated drinks, eat less chocolate or take vitamin supplements, etc.
But is this a waste of effort? British genetic epidemiologist Professor Tim Spector (Prof Tim Spector) in the BBC program The Spark to debunk the seven myths people have about healthy food.
Myth #1: You need to watch your calorie intake to lose weight
Many people shopping in supermarkets tend to pay attention to the calories on the label of food, if the calories are too high best not to buy. But Tim believes that only consider calorie intake will form “a big disadvantage “.
For example, men and women burn calories at different rates, just like identical twins in eating the same food will be different. Tim said that a quarter of people who eat high-carbohydrate foods will experience a drop in blood sugar, leaving them instead more hungry a few hours later. While the other three-quarters do not.
Not only that, Tim explained that the calories are not the same, for example, 200 calories of fat and the same calories of carbohydrates may not have the same effect on your body.
Also, despite the same number of calories, there are significant differences between super-processed foods and unprocessed foods. Super-processed foods can make you hungrier after eating, which results in eating more later.
Myth #2: Diet drinks help you lose weight
Many people like to drink diet coke/drinks, thinking that as long as the word “diet The word “diet” makes it healthier. Some so-called diet drinks also boast “zero-cal ” or low-cal. But Tim says the chemicals used to achieve the zero-cal and low-cal effect come from paraffin wax and a variety of strange artificial compounds.
Tim explained that these strange ingredients can make our intestinal microbes produce certain chemicals that destroy metabolism. That means that all the benefits of these zero-calorie diet or weight loss drinks are cancelled out, and in the end it makes no difference in the end: whether you’re trying to lose weight or control your diabetes. So, it’s best to distance yourself from diet drinks.
Myth #3: All bacteria are bad
There is a growing awareness that the more diverse the gut microbes that live in our digestive system, the better.
When it comes to bacteria people tend to associate it with dirt or pollution. But in fact, there are some species of bacteria that are vital to our health.
There are trillions of microbiota living in our intestines – unique to us. That’s why twins don’t respond the same way to the same calorie foods.
Tim says that about half of the human body is made up of microbiota, which are essential not only for maintaining the body’s cells, but also for the bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites in our bodies. 99 percent of these microbes live in our intestines, but also in our noses, mouths and stomachs.
Tim claims these microbes are absolutely critical to the body’s immune system, and they even help fight viral infections like the new crown.
How can we diversify our microbiome? The easiest is to eat fermented foods like Korean kimchi (kimchi), German kraut (kraut), kefir (also known as kefir, kefir), and kombucha (kombucha).
Of these, kimchi and kraut are both made from fermented cabbage and cabbage, and kefir is a drink made from fermented milk.
Myth #4: We should take vitamin supplements
Tim says that almost half of the population takes vitamins regularly, but are they really beneficial?
Tim explains that some randomized trials have shown little evidence base for most of them. Still, studies show those who take vitamins regularly are healthier, Tim says, because their lifestyles are inherently healthy.
Even vitamin C , which is good for colds, takes large doses to work. But that’s not the same as saying we shouldn’t eat vitamin-rich foods, but it may not be beneficial to rely solely on vitamin supplement pills.
Myth #5: Eat fish for your brain
Many people, including children, take fish oil to supplement their brains and improve their intelligence. But Omega-3 (Omega-3) is really that amazing?
Tim believes that a diet that includes fish is not harmful to us, however, the human habit of eating fish is not good for the planet. Moreover, 70% of fish are currently farmed, which has a huge impact on the environment.
Myth 6: Alcohol and chocolate are bad for you
Tim said that sometimes the more you ban certain foods, the more people want to eat. So, he tries to avoid saying which food you can’t eat. On the contrary, Tim believes that wine and chocolate, two foods that people are often told are bad for our gut microbes, especially red wine and dark chocolate, are good for us.
This is because these foods contain high levels of polyphenols, which are the plant’s natural defense chemicals that feed the body’s gut microbes.
Myth #7: An apple a day doesn’t make you sick
First of all, there is certainly nothing wrong with eating an apple a day. But Tim suggests eating 30 different plants a week if we want to diversify our microbiome. With 30,000 edible plants in the world, there is a wide variety to choose from.
We all know we should eat enough fruit and vegetables for 5 servings a day, and some suggest it should actually be 7. But even if we could eat five servings, most people always repeat the same fruits and vegetables each week. Some people eat as few as five varieties of plants per week.
In fact, it may be less difficult to think that 30 types of fruits and vegetables per week do not have to be enough for 80 grams a serving of each. In addition to fruits and vegetables, you can include different nuts, seeds, salad leaves, spices, beans, and whole grains, to name a few.
Why are there so many myths?
One of the reasons people form so many misconceptions about food is because medical professionals know so little about nutrition. For example, Tim explained that most doctors know more about scurvy than obesity, but most of us have never seen scurvy.
Therefore, Tim suggested that education in this area should be enhanced, not only for medical professionals, but also for all people in schools, in order to know how to take care of themselves.
In addition, the media has a certain responsibility when reporting news in this area. Also, processed food manufacturers have more responsibility, they often sponsor nutrition research projects, there will inevitably be some “impure motives “.
Therefore, to make the next generation healthier, we need to change our understanding of food and not perpetuate the same nutritional guidelines. It is also important to understand the dangers of processed foods to the planet.