The Five Misunderstandings in diet

Is "low fat" always a good thing? Is a vegetarian dish always healthy?

There are lots of myths and old wives' tales about food. Check out the following popular beliefs and challenge your assumptions.

False: If the label says "low fat" or 'reduced fat' then the product will always be a healthy choice.

To claim that a product is "reduced fat" the amount of fat must be at least 30% lower than standard products. But these types of foods tend to be high in fat and energy in the first place, so the "reduced fat" version can still have quite high amounts of both. Food which labeled with"low fat" or "reduced fat" aren't necessarily low in energy. The fat is replaced by other ingredients, so the product can end up with the same or a even higher energycaloriecontent.

Also, if you're tempted to use more of a reduced-fat product than you would of the full-fat version, you might end up having the same, or even more fat and energy.

False: If you want to be healthier it's best to choose a vegetarian dish.

Some vegetarian dishes contain a lot of fat, especially if they're cooked with lots of cheese, oil, pastry or creamy sauces or if they've been deep fried. So they aren't necessarily a healthy option.

In fact, red meat can be low in fat if it's lean and all the visible fat has been removed.  Other low-fat options are chicken without the skin, and fish, if they've been cooked without too much fat.

But it's always a good idea to have some vegetables with your meal because we should be eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables per day as part of a healthy balanced diet.

False: Drinking ice water helps to lose weight.

Drinking water is always good for weight loss but this concept is related to the idea that if you drink ice water, your body has to burn calories to warming it up.

Technically correct, but the amount of calories you burn are really tiny. It's only about 1 calorie per ounce of ice water to warm it up.

We would think it would take more calories to heat up the water, but it doesn't. So, drink ice water only if you like it.

False: Canned food is not good for health

In many respects this can be true for canned meat rather than canned fish. Long heat treatment makes even large fish bones soft and edible, thus providing an additional source for calcium intake, which is beneficial for our bones. Daily recommendation of calcium intake is approximately 1,500 mg, both for men or women, young or old.

False: It is unwise to swim within one hour after eating

This myth date half a century back when the American Red Cross has published an instruction on life-saving saying that swimming immediately after meal may cause stomach cramps and even death.

But later this theory was questioned. Many swimmers assert that they usually cover long distances during training sessions immediately after meal.