‘Cut out carbs, superfoods are king and breakfast is the most important meal of the day,’ these myths are discussed in the media daily, but is there any truth behind them? 

Bread is the enemy

Bread is the enemy

Dr. Sarah Schenker says: The notion that some foods are more super than others is a nonsense! It’s like claiming some letter of the alphabet are more important than others, when in fact we need them all to communicate effectively, just as we need a range of foods be it a humble carrot or a trendy berry to nourish our bodies and keep them healthy.

Here are Sarah’s top 10 food myths: 

1) Bread (or more specifically gluten) is bad for you.

Sarah says: “These concerns, which are often propagated by the internet and social media, have led to some wild claims that are unsupported by conventional medical evidence. The impact has been dramatic on public health, due to the effect on our intake of nutrients conventionally consumed in wheat products. Unless someone actually suffers from a gluten intolerance/medical condition then eating gluten in moderation has no negative impact on the body. 

2) You should cut all carbs to lose weight.

Dr. Schenker explains: Cutting carbs will result is fast dramatic weight loss as the body loses it’s glycogen stores but this is not fat loss and is also unsustainable. , Carbohydrate is the body’s main source of energy for physical activity and is also needed by the brain. Extremely low carb diets can lead to headaches and fatigue and once you stop you are likely to regain the weight you lost. Always include wholegrain foods in your diet, they are an important source of vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre. 

3) Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

“It is hard to disagree when “don’t skip breakfast” is part of official government advice on how to eat well and stay healthy,” says Dr. Sarah Schenker. “There is no doubt that, during the first half of the last century, breakfast would have been an important meal for those who engaged in manual labour, however, during the latter decades, with more people working in office-based jobs the need for a large heavy breakfast is less necessary since we are burning fewer calories.”

4) The magic of superfoods

Dr. Sarah explains: “From the outset, there is no agreed scientific or legal definition of what a superfood might be. Furthermore, there is no definitive scientific proof that feasting on superfoods will make you live longer or become more beautiful, or protect you against disease. The truth is that the foods defined as super are generally healthy in nature. Their consumption fits naturally into a healthy, balanced diet.”

5) All calories are not created equal 

Sarah Schenker says: “Differences in the energy lost during metabolism and fermentation can influence the weight-loss effects of our diets. A greater amount of energy is used to fuel metabolism of protein, for example, while some of the energy in carbohydrate is lost through the production of gas. This may explain why weight loss is greater on a high-protein, high- fiber diet compared with a different diet of equal calories.” 

6) You can detox your body with juice 

“In today's’ environment it is not surprising that individuals are drawn into trying a new regime, and when so many people and products tell us that detoxing is good for us, we presume it must be so. Unfortunately, detox juices have no valid health claim. There is no quick and easy remedy for weight loss, and no scientific evidence to support the notion that fruit and vegetable juices actually increase detoxing, a process our bodies do ordinarily anyway” commented Dr. Schenker. 

7) Milk is bad for you 

Dr. Sarah Schenker reveals: “Milk and dairy products provide a range of essential nutrients important for good health, including calcium, protein, iodine and vitamin B12. The protein in milk will keep you feeling satisfied and fuller for longer, which is just what a snack should do. Milk can match pretty much any of the meal-replacement shakes and post-workout drinks available and does it naturally – nothing added, nothing modified.”

8) You can target weight loss 

Dr. Sarah says: “The claim that a diet or a certain combination of foods can target fat loss from the desired area is sheer nonsense. It is impossible to predict exactly where the weight will be lost, and patterns of weight loss vary greatly from one person to the next. Your genes influence fat distribution in the body, where you store it most and from where you will lose it.”

9) Eat Fat, Get Fat

Sarah explains: “The success or failure of any diet depends on how well people adhere to it – and this, in turn, depends on more than just the amount of fat consumed. Different individuals will, therefore, find success through different approaches, especially in the long term. Some fat-containing foods, such as nuts, have been shown to help with appetite control by in influencing satiety; this is very important in long-term weight loss as many dieters blame their lack of success on feelings of hunger when following certain regimes.”

10) Caffeine dehydrates you 

Dr. Sarah Schenker reveals: “A common perception is that caffeinated drinks dehydrate. This popular urban myth is so widely accepted that in 2016 the UK’s Department of Health produced a leaflet for GP surgeries advising people on how to look after themselves in warm weather. However, far from tea and coffee being dehydrating, the opposite is in fact true. Tea or coffee can act as a low-calorie option for hydration.”

Nutritionist and dietician Dr. Sarah Schenker reveals the facts behind the biggest health and body myths of our times, with a scientific explanation as to why they are, quite simply, incorrect in her new book ‘Myth-busting your body’. For information about the book click here: http://amzn.to/2zIAfh5