2. The Vegetarian Blind Spot
Myth: I’m automatically healthier because I don’t eat meat.
With ever more research piling up that eating red or processed meat increases your risk of cancer, many Indians feel proud of their vegetarian lifestyles. But being a vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve unlocked a key to health.
In fact, Indians have a 50 to 400% higher rate of heart disease than other countries — while Indian vegetarians are just as likely to be struck by diabetes as non-vegetarians.
“I think it’s because many veggie dishes ‘compensate’ with a lot of fat and salt, and portion size is also an issue,” says Manjula Chandrakar, who started to create healthy non-meat recipes once she began cooking for her boyfriend.
“Now I opt for heart-healthy oils, and skip the sweet desserts we used to treat ourselves to after our ‘healthy’ meals.”
Quick tip: You can’t move on social media these days without friends pushing food fads, from kale to coconut oil. But do the latest hip diets and so-called superfoods actually work? Here, one newspaper stress-tests 2016’s trending food fashions.
3. Mother Knows Best
Myth: I should follow traditional dietary advice when pregnant.
In large traditional families, pregnant women can be inundated by well-meaning advice that actually hampers you or your baby’s health. Take the old adage that sipping pure ghee with milk at night will lead to an easier delivery.
In fact, says one obstetrician, “There is no medical basis to support this idea.” Instead, it’s more likely the high-fat ghee will go straight to your waist! So take traditional advice with a pinch of salt, and do your own research.
4. The Raw Truth
Myth: Raw veggies are more nutritious.
While there is some truth to the idea that raw veggies are more nutritious than cooked ones, because several vitamins are indeed lost in the process, cooking can in some cases make nutrient absorption easier. Tomatoes, for example, release more antioxidants when cooked, as do carrots, spinach, mushrooms, cabbage and peppers.
Good news for those who find a lovely vegetable stew can feel far more appetising than a cold salad. The key is to vary your recipes when cooking at home, and ideally eat a combination of raw as well as cooked veggies – and plenty of them!
There are many more false food beliefs that hold Indians back, so start taking a close look at your diet and unveil a truly healthy you.
Disclaimer: This publication/editorial/article is meant for awareness and educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any Products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.