Reality TV stars might go “no carbs before Marbs”, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way of losing weight
To help you shed right from wrong, we asked top nutritionist Lily Soutter to debunk five of the worst diet myths.
MYTH 1 – ‘You shouldn’t eat egg yolks’
Egg yolks are high in cholesterol, which is why there is a common misconception that they raise cholesterol. However, research has shown that a modest intake of eggs does not raise blood cholesterol (the bad kind).
It is more likely to be the saturated fat within your diet that impacts blood cholesterol levels. Be mindful of the way you cook eggs as well as what you pair them with.
If you fry your eggs in butter and combine them with fatty cuts of meat, then it will be the saturated fats within the meal which will have the biggest impact on cholesterol.
MYTH 2 – Gluten free is healthier
Avoid gluten if you have a medical condition such as Coeliac disease. But for the rest of us, gluten free products aren’t necessarily healthier.
Often, when gluten is removed from a food product, manufacturers tend to add extra salt, sugar and starches to make them more palatable.
What’s more, avoiding gluten-containing food groups can lead to nutritional deficiencies for some. Wheat-based carbs contain fibre, for example.
MYTH 3 – Detox teas help you lose weight
Teas for weight loss have been highly endorsed by celebrities and have become hugely popular. This range of herbal teas claim to boost metabolism, cleanse your digestive tract and reduce bloating.
But many of these companies rely on influencers to preach the message that their tea will leave you with a flat stomach just like theirs.
Not only is there no conclusive evidence to back up these claims, a common ingredient called senna is used within the teas and acts as a laxative. In reality, all senna does is increase bowel movements. This may leave you feeling slimmer in the short term, but there is absolutely no impact on fat loss.
By following a healthy balanced diet, and increasing exercise can put us into a calorie deficit which is key for weight loss.
MYTH 4 – You shouldn’t eat fruit
There’s a lot of confusion as to whether you need to hold back on fruit consumption due to the sugar content. You may have heard rumours such as ‘bananas make you fat’ or that ‘fruit is high in sugar therefore unhealthy’.
However this is simply one of the worst diet myths. Fruit sugar is locked into a fibrous matrix, which can slow the release of sugar into the blood stream. Fruit also provides key vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which support health.
MYTH 5 – Carbs make you fat
There is a common misconception that carbohydrates make you fat. In reality, overconsumption of any food group will lead to weight gain.
What’s more, if you combine your carb source with too much fat, for example fried chips or pasta with a heavy cream sauce, the overall calorie content of the dish increases. This is what can lead to weight gain.
Fibre has satiating properties and can therefore help to keep you fuller for longer. This may play a role with reducing calorie intake and maintaining a healthy body weight.