There has always been a lot of focus and emphasis on a ‘balanced diet‘, which is inclusive of proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats, and carbohydrates in sufficient quantities. Many people believe if they switch to a healthy and balanced diet, they will be healthier, prevent unnecessary weight gain, and be free of diseases. But, no diet is fool-proof and even a balanced meal will not be able to help you meet your desired health and weight goals if you make mistakes along the way.
According to Nicky Sagar, a nutritionist, if one blindly follows a diet, it may not have a positive impact on the body. “It is of utmost importance that we know the correct know-how for following a balanced diet,” the expert says, busting some myths about a well-balanced diet that one must never believe.
Myth 1: Fruits are sources of sugar
“While following a balanced diet in order to shed some kilos, many people ditch fruits. They feel fruits are loaded with sugar, which will lead to weight gain. Fruits contain natural fructose that provides a sweet taste to them and these are natural sugars that are important for the body. Also, fruits contain minerals, vitamins, and fibre, which are extremely beneficial. Consuming various fruits can help in reducing and maintaining weight,” says Sagar.
Myth 2: Say ‘no’ to carbs
Most people avoid carbs, thinking they are associated with weight gain and are unhealthy food. “In reality, carbohydrates are extremely important for our body to function properly. They provide energy and make us more productive. Also, they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables that are naturally sourced and unprocessed are great for the body. Avoid highly-processed foods like pastries, breads, etc. A complete no-carb diet is harmful to one’s health,” the nutritionist says.
Myth 3: Breakfast should never be skipped
“You do not have to stuff yourself with food just because you have woken up. Having lunch is also totally fine for the body. Besides, many people follow intermittent fasting where they skip breakfast. Some studies have also shown skipping breakfast improves blood sugar levels. It is not mandatory to have breakfast every day.”
Myth 4: Going for low-fat foods
Foods that are labelled low-fat are often detrimental for health. According to the expert, they are “highly processed foods that contain added amounts of salt, sugar and other harmful ingredients”. “If you are on a balanced diet and you get provoked by such labels, stay away from them. These foods lead to weight gain, alter blood sugar levels and cause other long-term ill effects.”
Myth 5: No more calories
A popular myth is that consuming calorie-inducing foods lead to weight gain. “But, eating food with no or too few calories can lead to various health issues — from fatigue to risking impact on the heart. Also, calories boost energy and keep the stomach fuller. If you choose to have no calories, you will feel hungry and end up eating more food than needed.”