COMMON NUTRITION MYTHS IN INDIA

Awareness of health and fitness is increasing day-by-day. You will find most people reading nutrition blogs, articles, fitness tips, etc. Although it is a piece of good news, but it comes with a lot of nutrition myths as well. There are ample nutrition myths which are believed and followed since traditional times. Let’s debunk some of the common myths related to nutrition, prevailing in India. 

MYTH 1: Whey protein is harmful to health and it acts as a steroid. 

FACT - There are a lot of myths attached to the consumption of whey protein. Whey protein is one of the healthiest and complete sources of protein. It contains all essential amino acids, easily digestible and completely safe to use. Agreed, that the market is flooded with whey proteins filled with cheap additives and anabolic steroids, but that does not mean that whey protein is bad for us. A person should be very careful while opting for any supplement and if purchased from a trusted source, whey protein can work wonder in boosting our health.

MYTH 2 - Spinach is rich in iron.

FACT - This is one of the common myths attached to green leafy vegetables. Iron is present in many foods. Animal sources contain haem and plant sources contains a non-haem form of iron. As per values stated by ICMR, 100 g of spinach contains only 2.95 mg of iron. Hence it can not be regarded as a rich source of iron. 

MYTH 3 - Egg yolks are bad for health.

FACT - Egg yolks are often overlooked when it comes to the benefit of eating eggs. It is a common myth that eating egg yolks are bad for our cholesterol levels. As per the American Heart Association, 1-2 whole eggs can be eaten per day as a healthy option without getting any fear of your cholesterol levels. Egg yolks are rich in nutrients like omega 3 fats, vitamin A, iron, potassium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Studies say that saturated fats have a more significant role to play in our blood cholesterol levels instead of dietary ones.

MYTH 4 - Brown sugar is better than white sugar.

FACT - When it comes to sugar intake, you might find some “health-conscious” people boasting that they take brown sugar instead of white. But the fact is that both the forms are equal in calorie content. The presence of molasses and caramel flavour is the only factor that segregates brown from white sugar. 

MYTH 5 - Skipping meals helps lose weight.

FACT - This is a common practice followed by most dieters. If you are aiming to lose weight then meals should never be skipped. Eating a well-balanced diet and an active lifestyle is the only key to lose, maintain weight and stay healthy. When we skip meals, our metabolic rate slows down and also results in increased cravings for foods rich in sugar and fat. 

MYTH 6 - Dark chocolate can be eaten as much as we want.

FACT - Dark chocolate contains a cocoa powder that is packed with antioxidants and other benefiting compounds. Despite its amazing health benefits, it is a bad idea to binge eats dark chocolate. This is because dark chocolate still contains calories and fats hence it should be consumed in moderation to reap the benefits.

MYTH 7 - Ripe papaya should not be consumed during pregnancy.

FACT - This is one of the common traditional myth in India which most of us hear. Ripe papaya is full of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fibre, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, all of which are required by pregnant women. This is a myth that consuming papaya can cause miscarriage. The fact is that unripe papaya contains a substance called latex which has been shown to induce uterine contractions. A study conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) also showed significant improvement in the health of both mother and newborn child, when she consumed papaya during her pregnancy phase. Therefore, avoid unripe papaya and not ripe ones. 

MYTH 8 - High protein diets lead to hair fall.

FACT - This is again one of the common myth associated with high protein intake. Protein is an essential nutrient required for healthy hair as we need amino acids for the synthesis of keratin - the scalp protein. People who consume high protein diets often tend to overlook other nutrients like carbs, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals which might result in hair loss. Therefore, if a diet rich in proteins contain an adequate amount of all other nutrients as well then it won’t cause any hair fall.

MYTH 9 - Fish and milk should not be consumed together.

FACT - This is one of the widespread myth that consuming fish and milk will cause white spots on the body. This is a myth as there are a lot of delicious traditional and modern recipes in which fish is prepared using milk, curd, yoghurt, etc. One can enjoy both foods without any worry about skin disease.

MYTH 10 - Diabetics should avoid consuming rice.

FACT - Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that can be easily managed through diet. Diabetics also need carbohydrates for energy and their diets can also include foods like rice, banana, sugar-like normal diets, but they should be consumed in moderation and as per the daily needs. Excess of anything is bad for everyone, hence diabetics can also enjoy rice in their diet provided portion size is within their daily needs.

Hope this article helped in unveiling myths that revolve around us. Though the list is endless but hopes now you have clarity regarding some. 

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