The Myth of a Universal Healthy Diet
We’d all like to be fit and healthy and have an amazing lifestyle and a great diet. This doesn’t sound too difficult, right? But for some reason it really is. Especially when it comes to a healthy diet, it’s often difficult to distinguish what’s truly healthy and what’s not.
Listening to celebrities brag about this diet and that one, a detox tea that’ll solve all your problems, a gluten-free diet that’ll have you beach ready in no time – is this all true or is it just another fad that’s more likely to ruin your health rather than improve it? This is a question that can be difficult to answer because there’s no such thing as a universal healthy diet.
There are excellent guidelines out there that can help you improve your health, but a healthy diet depends on the individual. What works for you might not work for another, and vice versa.
However, there are some dangerous myths out there about what constitutes a healthy diet, so let’s take a closer look at them and debunk them.
The Less You Eat The Better
One of the most popular myths people tend to believe with all their hearts is that the less you eat the more weight you’ll lose. Well, there’s some truth to it, but the end result is not really that great, and you might end up gaining more weight than what you’ve lost once you get back to your normal diet.
No one can commit to purposefully staying hungry for the entirety of their life, and sooner or later everyone gets back to their normal eating habits, regaining the weight they’ve lost, and adding a few extra pounds as well.
Occasional, short-term fasting is popular around the world, mostly for religious reasons, and while this might not have a significant effect on you if you’re completely healthy, starving yourself out is no way to lose weight.
Just Focus on Calories and Losing Weight
Counting calories can give you a better insight into your own eating habits, and this can be an excellent guide for you to create your own eating schedule to stay fit and healthy. However, while counting calories and limiting your calorie intake will help you lose weight, there’s more to a healthy diet than just portion control.
As a matter of fact, limiting the number of calories you consume without looking at the macro and micronutrients can cause a number of deficiencies in your diet and lead to health problems down the road.
Reducing the number of calories to a sustainable level is beneficial, but to really improve your diet, you should also think of nutrients and colors. A naturally colorful plate with leafy greens, bell peppers, carrots, beets, etc. will give you a variety of nutrients and help you stay healthy.
Avoid Fats to Avoid Getting Fat
Low-fat diets are all the rage today, and while reducing the fat intake can be good to an extent, completely cutting out fat is a big no-no. What’s important to know is that we have the good and the bad fats.
Trans fats are what you should absolutely avoid eating. They’re a byproduct of turning healthy oils into solids and have no known health benefits and many bad consequences.
On the other hand, we have saturated fats that many shy away from with the belief that they’re exceptionally bad. You can commonly find them in red meat, whole milk, cheese, coconut oil, etc. Consumed in moderation, saturated fats can promote satiety and prevent overeating, and help the body absorb and digest nutrients.
Unsaturated fats come mainly from nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fish, and they’re considered to be healthy fats. In general, fats are a great source of energy, help you absorb vitamins and minerals, and help build cell membranes.
You Don’t Have to Exercise if You Diet, and Vice Versa
Both exercise and a good diet play a very important role in keeping you healthy. Many people tend to believe that if they exercise, they can eat whatever they want.
Usually, the problem is that people tend to overestimate the number of calories they burn off during their exercise and underestimate the number of calories they consume. What you should keep in mind is that no amount of exercise will actually cancel out a consistently poor diet.
The other problem is when people believe that if they eat well, they don’t need to exercise. Exercising has countless physical and mental benefits, improving overall wellbeing and helping with anxiety and depression. As an added bonus, it helps encourage healthy weight loss.
Tea Detox is the Way to Go
One of the most popular diet fads today is tea detox. You’ve probably encountered online ads by celebrities encouraging you to try out a special tea, substitute at least one meal a day with it, and see the magical effects in just a few days.
This leads back to the first myth discussed, eating less, in this case, opting for a detox tea instead of a healthy meal, and this is in no way beneficial to anyone’s health. These teas can help you lose some water weight, and losing water is not a safe way to lose excessive weight.
Detox teas can have serious side effects, and it’s much better to add healthy drinks like green tea into your daily diet than substitute an entire meal with them.
The Bottom Line
Following the latest diet fads is not a solution for weight loss or a healthier lifestyle. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to healthy diets, and it’s always in your best interest to consult doctors and nutritionists to find out what might work best for you. Our bodies are unique and they respond differently to different diets.
It’s always better to opt for smaller dietary changes and gradually improve your lifestyle, as this is much more likely to have lasting effects on you and your wellbeing. The best diet is a sustainable one filled with a variety of different minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients.