Busting Popular Myths on Dietary Choices
#1 Myth: Fasting helps to detoxify the body
Truth: The body has inbuilt detoxification systems (respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary and lymphatic system) that work best under conditions of regularity.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet with adequate amounts of water and fiber will enable your body to detoxify naturally.
Aim to consume 20 – 30 g of dietary fiber every day. A type of fiber called insoluble fiber has a high water holding capacity resulting in soft, bulky stools that are easily eliminated. It encourages speedy elimination of stools, thereby reducing the time available for intestinal bacteria to act on it and produce harmful substances. Also, it ensures that the toxins present in foods are not given enough time to cause any damage to the gastrointestinal tract.
Insoluble fiber is found in the outer layers of grains (bran) and in the skin and seeds of fruits and vegetables. So reach out for whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Virtually, 60 – 70% of our body is composed of water. Water is crucial for many processes in the body, one such process is the elimination of wastes and toxins mainly via the kidneys. So reach out for water to quench your thirst rather than carbonated drinks, sweetened beverages, energy or sports drinks. The drinks also contribute to additional intake of calories in the form of sugar.
#2 Myth: Healthy food is relatively expensive
Truth: Investing in healthy food yields long-term returns. Although fresh food often costs more than ready-to-eat, ready-to-cook or processed foods or even the tempting items in the fast food restaurants, in the long run, it will likely cost you more in medical bills to maintain an unhealthy lifestyle! A simple tip to stick to your budget would be to buy fruits and vegetable in-season, this is when they cost the least.
#3 Myth: Energy bars aid in weight loss
Truth: Energy bars are candy bars in disguise! These bars are generally high in fat and sugar content. The energy bars were typically designed for athletes to consume extra calories as a part of their workout regime. However, most of us lead sedentary lifestyles and unless the extra calories are expended through some form of exercise, the additional calories will lead to weight gain.