If you’re a feeling a little confused by the wealth of information about the benefits of eating a balanced and healthy diet, we’re here to help.
Although there are many facts about which types of food can benefit your diet, there are also many myths and misconceptions out there about healthy eating and the effect certain foods can have on your overall health.
Below we have shed some light on 4 of our favourite facts and fallacies of a balanced diet:
- You can eat healthy whatever your budget
Many people tend to believe that you can only stick to a healthy and balanced diet if you have a large disposable income and buy expensive ingredients. The truth is that many people are able to feed themselves and their families a nutritious, balanced diet even on a very small budget.
There are always healthier alternatives to inexpensive junk foods.
For instance, if you cannot afford fresh fruit and vegetables you can choose canned goods and frozen fruits and vegetables. These tend to be considerably cheaper than fresh produce. Supplements are also an excellent way of getting more nutrition into your diet.
- A good diet can reduce the risk of disease
Your diet has a direct impact on your health from the moment you are born.
Even at a very young age, the food you eat can have a lasting effect on your overall health. Ensuring you are receiving the correct nutrition from the food you eat can reduce the risks of a range of diseases later on in life such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and osteoarthritis to name but a few.
- Not all protein is created equal
Although we can receive protein from a wide range of different foods, there are some protein-rich foods that are much better for you than others. Foods such as regular beef mince or processed meat such as hot dogs and burgers contain lots of fat and can contribute to high cholesterol levels. Instead, it is better to fulfill your body’s protein requirements from leaner, healthier sources of protein such as chicken, fish and nuts.
- Eating healthy food is a lifestyle choice and not a quick fix diet
Any professional dietitian or nutritionist would advise against attempting to follow a diet that would be difficult to follow for a lifetime. In order to gain the most benefits from a healthy diet, it is essential that you aim to change your eating habits permanently.
- All calories are created equal
Many people believe that healthy eating means focusing on their calorie intake, when in fact it’s more important to focus on which types of food your calories are coming from.
- Smaller meals eaten more frequently are better than 2-3 large meals
For years, many of us thought that the key to speeding up our metabolisms was to eat smaller meals more frequently. This is not the case. When this method was tested, it showed that consuming 5-6 smaller meals or 2-3 larger meals lead to the body metabolizing the food at about the same rate.
- Low carbohydrate diets are bad for your health
Although low carbohydrate diets are not suited to everyone, they have been shown to aid weight loss more than a low fat diet would.
- Eggs raise your cholesterol levels
For years many believed that the cholesterol found in egg yolks were responsible for heart disease. It has now been proven that eggs can raise the ‘good’ cholesterol in our blood which in fact decreases the risk of the disease.
If you are still feeling confused about the best way to start making healthier choices, it may be a good idea to speak to your doctor or dietitian. Sticking to a balanced and healthy diet can be a lot simpler that you think. Even the smallest changes can make a huge difference.