Five myths about your Diet

October 6, 2012

We all have participated in many discussions about nutrition and dieting and of course health. Sometimes these discussions or their outcomes become default statements in our lives.  And word of mouth creates “impressions” that do not allow you to enjoy your food, make you think that everything you do on dinner table is wrong and will affect your diet.

Does eating potatoes make you fat? Is it true that you should not eat carbohydrates with proteins because the combination is fattening? Should you avoid tomatoes because they have a lot of sugar?  We have asked a Clinical Dietitian Nutritionist to explain or dissolve all these myths by giving some evidence for or against the myths. In other words act as a myth baster. Here are the answers

1. It is wrong to eat carbohydrates and proteins together.
Even though most of the times the nutritional terminology is confusing, you’ve surely heard that you should not combine in your meals: spaghetti with meat or chicken and bread etc. etc. It is assumed that if we do these “bad” combinations of carbohydrates such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables, with proteins such as meat, chicken, fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, egg – it is fattening.
WRONG. As the dietitian says the two food groups have the capability to reduce the feeling of hunger and make you feel full. Simply put, with such combinations you get full quickly enough and you do not overdo it.

2. You must drink 8 glasses of water a day.
You get into a state of hysteria and you start counting. You get bottles of water and you are pressed to drink water, 8 glasses of water. It’s good to hydrate your body, but you do not have to drink the water under the pressure of the ‘’8 glasses per day consumption’’. Many times you can replenish the fluids needed by the body from other sources! These include: fruit and vegetable juices, coffees, teas, herbal teas and soft drinks without sugar with the exception of the alcoholic drinks which cause dehydration. Alcoholic drinks should be avoided or consumed to the minimum; one glass of red wine is included in the famous and well known Mediterranean diet.

3. It is advisable to avoid tomatoes. The tomatoes have sugar.
You may have heard this from someone: Avoid tomatoes and do not include them in your diet because they have sugar! But this is also just another myth. The tomato contains carbohydrates (fiber) and little more calories (6-8) than the so-called green vegetables (cucumber, lettuce, etc.) and of course it is not fattening! So do not be afraid to use tomatoes in your salad. The Greek Salad which is part of the Mediterranean diet is made up of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese and it is one of the most popular salads in all diets.

4. Avoid potatoes because they are fattening.
Potato is definitely a misunderstood kind of food and in general just the hearing of the name “Potato’’ makes you think of hundreds of calories. Is this correct?  No. Potatoes are a very useful food with low calories, provided that they eaten boiled or roasted. To the contrary if and when they are eaten fried or even worse in the form of standard crisps then we have a very high calorie intake from the oil they contain, the oil in which they have been fried.

5. The dark bread has fewer calories than white bread.
I am sure that there are times when you think that if you consume a whole grain product, you will not get a single calorie. This feeling drives you to eat an extra slice of whole grain bread or some more cereal. Yet in terms of calories the “battle” of white and dark bread ends up in a tie”. Bread has considerable amount of energy whether it is white or dark. Of course in terms of nutritional value the dark whole grain bread is superior to the white bread as our Clinical Dietitian and Nutritionist explains.


What is the conclusion? Do not take things for granted just because someone has told you so. Your diet should be treated with the right respect and commitment and always remember that fitness and diet leads to a healthy body and mind.

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