Best Diets: Some Myth-busting

I guess you could say that the best diets are those that work! But its horses for courses as they say, and a diet that will suit and work for one person may not be a major mojo for someone else. There’s no shortage of people and companies ready to impart their knowledge, expertise, experience, and… it has to be said prejudices- sometimes for free, sometimes for money.
So do you think that losing weight is a simple issue of burning more calories that you are consuming?Zoë Harcombe, nutritionist and author of Stop Counting Calories & Start Losing Weight (£9.99, amazon.co.uk) has a view. She says to get the best from your diet, you need to separate fact from fiction when it comes to nutrition so she was asked her to de-bunk some common diet myths to get you on track to eating right- or at least stop you wasting your time (and possibly money).
MYTH ONE: One shouldn’t eat Egg yolks (that’s the yellow middles) when dieting
Zoë busts the myth: From a micronutrient perspective, virtually all the vitamins and minerals of an egg are in the yolk. The whites have no vitamin A, D, E and K, and only a fraction of the B vitamins contained in the yolks. Egg yolks have almost 20 times the calcium of just the whites and nearly 30 times the iron. You’ll also feel more full from eating the whole egg and that should stop you feeling hungrier later in the day. Combine eggs for breakfast with some complex carbs like wholegrain toast to help to keep your blood sugar levels even. So eggs on toast gets a thumbs up!
MYTH TWO: Calorie-counting is a must to fight weight gain
Zoë busts the myth telling us that while Calorie-counting offers short-term weight loss gains, in the long term it’s not practical to count every single calorie consumed. In a review of 80 weight loss studies it was found that the pounds started piling back on approximately six months after dieting, regardless of the level at which study participants cut calories and increased physical activity. Calorie-counting can play havoc with your metabolism, and after you reach a plateau you’ll have no-where left to progress to and you can only end up back where you started.
You can lose weight by eating food consisting mostly of lean protein that is found in fish, chicken and pulses, “good”non-saturated fats (such as nuts and seeds), and the occasional complex carbs like brown rice. If you fill 50% of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy green salads, tomatoes and peppers you’ll be well on your journey to lose excess pounds.
MYTH THREE: Fruit juice counts as 1 of my 5 a day
Zoë says: Yes, Fruit is real food, but fruit juice is a processed food commonly devoid of nutrients and often with added sugar and/or colourings. After you drink it, you get a rush of glucose in your blood stream that makes the body release insulin to help return levels to normal. This also happens when you eat fruit, but the fibre in apples, pears and the like reduces the insulin response. Fruit juice is also full of the sugar fructose, which is bad news if you’re watching your weight, as it’s turned into fat in your liver. Vegetable juices are better; cucumber, carrot, lemon, yellow pepper, celery and beetroot are great to make an energising start to the day drink.
MYTH FOUR: Fat should be cut off steak
Zoë says: Fat is vital. Without it, we’d die! It provides essential fatty acids that we obtain from food. It carries the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, needed for every cell of the body from eyes to bones. Eating fat doesn’t cause the insulin spikes you get from carbs, so you’ll stay fuller for longer and probably eat less overall. But don’t overdo it. Red meat is an essential element of a balanced diet for non-vegetarians as it’s full of protein and iron. However once a week is enough- your main protein should come from pulses like chickpeas and beans, omega 3-rich oily fish such as herring, mackerel and pilchards and for its B vitamin content, chicken.