Big fat lies

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Big fat liesCutting out carbohydrates will help me lose weight

Actually, cutting down on kilojoules, regardless of where they come from, is the only way to slim down. Still, as it turns out, not all carbohydrates are created equally and some are definitely better for you than others. The good kind are those that haven’t been processed or altered from their natural state and tend to have a low glycaemic index. (This means that eating them won’t cause a dramatic spike in blood sugar, something that could lead to elevated appetite and, ultimately, the storage of excess fat.) Examples of good carbs are fruit, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds and wholegrain cereals and breads. The bad, blood sugar-spiking carbs that you want to avoid are those that been heavily processed. Think sweets, baked goods like pies and cakes, pasta and carbonated, sugary drinks. Eating too many of these will give you a short-lived surge of energy, after which you’ll quickly crave yet more bad carbs. A vicious, diet-sabotaging cycle that’s definitely better to break.

If it says reduced fat, it’s a healthier option

Not at all! If it says ‘low fat’, it’s a healthy pick. By law, products can’t be labelled as ‘low fat’ unless they contain 3g or less of fat per 100g of the product. (Just so you know, Woolworth’s Low Fat Ayrshire Milk contains just 1,5g of fat per 100ml). However, if a product used to contain a whopping 20g of fat per 100g and has now managed to alter its ingredients in such a way that they it only contains 18g of fat per 100g, it can correctly (and legally) get away with saying ‘now with reduced fat’, or something along those lines. But it’s still not by any means a low fat food or healthy choice.

Frozen vegetables are less nutritious than fresh ones

Vegetables that have just been plucked from the earth have more vitamins and minerals than those sitting in your freezer, however their nutrient levels drop dramatically during the long trip from the farm to your fridge. Thus, you might be surprised to learn that frozen veggies often have more to offer you by way of goodness because as they’re picked and iced up straight away this helps to preserve a lot more of their nutrients.

More myths: drink eight glasses of water a day >>

Written by

Leigh van den Berg is a freelance beauty writer and avid blogger ( She's addicted to all things glossy and glam and currently has eight MAC lipglosses rolling around in her handbag.

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