Celebrity fitness expert Natasha Kanade busts some of the most common diet and nutrition myths

Natasha Kanade

The term 'perfect diet' has been the most common phrase which we have heard regularly. While everyone wants to follow a healthy diet to stay fit, many are not aware of some facts and myths surrounding it. With Google being an open book, people follow a particular diet after doing research over the web. However, there are a lot of questions and myths when we talk about the 'perfect diet'. Natasha Kanade, a Mumbai-based certified celebrity nutritionist has time and again emphasized the need for a healthy diet, and how it can do wonders on a day-to-day basis.

The fitness expert in the last few years has given people a new lifestyle with her exclusive and customized fitness and nutrition plan. Her health and fitness centre 'Transform With Natasha' is an ultimate platform for all the ones who want to transform themselves. Busting all the diet and nutrition myths, Natasha Kanade draws a fine line between nutrition facts and fiction.

Below are the most common diet myths shared by the nutrition expert:

1) Avoid fats completely and to opt for fat-free products to lose weight

Most low fat, fat-free products are high on additives and preservatives and are deprived of nutrients crucial for the body. Fats have important functions in the body including absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. The reason fats are to be consumed in a lesser amount is because it provides double the calories than proteins and carbs. The quality of fats should be considered. High consumption of saturated and trans fats are harmful to health. Good quality fats such as olive oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil, mustard seed oil, nuts, flaxseeds, fishes, eggs are beneficial for the body. They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

2) Being skinny or slim is being healthy or to be healthy it is important to be slim

Every individual has a different body type. The response to food, exercise, surroundings differs due to genetics, race, lifestyle and many external factors. It is not important to be skinny or slim; rather it is important to consume a balanced diet and maintain an active lifestyle. A sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle can increase the body fat percentage and body weight which can have a negative impact on your health. At the same time, one can be skinny

and still have health issues. Hence the primary goal should be to focus on good health and not just being slim.

3) Non-nutritive sweeteners are healthy

Consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners has increased. Knowing that it does not have many calories or does not increase blood sugar, people have increased their consumption of desserts and sugar-free beverages. Intake of non-nutritive sweeteners can also lead to negative health outcomes. Recent research indicates that artificial sweeteners may actually be counter-intuitive, especially if you're looking to manage or prevent diabetes. Hence it should be used occasionally and not the ultimate substitution for sugar.

4) Healthy food is not tasty and palatable

Generally, most people think that eating healthy involves eating bland food. However, healthy food can be tasty too. Food prepared at home with healthy cooking methods can have a far better influence on the body. Eating healthy does not mean restricting oneself from many desirable food items. A healthy diet comprises a variety of nutrients that includes all food groups such as nuts, legumes, grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products which are healthy and palatable at the same time.

5) Brown rice will help lose weight

Brown rice is a whole grain that is not processed thus it is healthier compared to the white rice. Brown rice has 7 times more fibre, it provides satiety and helps to feel full and hence people usually end up eating a small portion. It may help you in reducing weight but it will not help entirely if consumed in a large portion with unhealthy foods and sedentary lifestyle. Brown rice and white rice have a difference in GI (Glycemic Index), and not necessarily means it can be consumed in large portion size.

6) Green tea is the magic pill to weight loss

Green tea is a beverage known for its antioxidant properties that prevent cell damage. It is rich in polyphenols which help to reduce inflammations in the body. It also helps to flush out toxins from the body. Due to its beneficial properties, it aids in improving health. Along with eating healthy and exercising, it will aid in improving health and it is not a magic pill to weight loss.

7) Starving leads to weight loss

A balanced diet is required to fulfil the essential functions of cell repair, the central nervous system, provides energy to cells and many more important functions in the body. When one depends on starving to lose weight it will ultimately lead to nutrient deficiencies. The body requires all the macro and micro-nutrients for muscle building, which is an essential part if you are looking to tone your body and for it to be able to burn fat and improve metabolism. Hence, it is important to eat right and not starve to achieve the desired body.

8) Egg yolk is bad for health and increases weight

Egg yolks contain fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K which are needed to maintain good health. It also contains omega 3, folate and vitamin B12 which is crucial for the body. Since it is high in cholesterol compared to the white part of the egg, people avoid eating the yolk. However, it is important to include egg yolk as a part of the egg for added health benefits as all the essential nutrients are found in the egg yolk. For people with high cholesterol levels in the body, it is advisable to consult your health expert regarding the quantity.

It is important to separate weight-loss myths from facts as it can help you in making healthy choices.