The internet is riddled with misinformation, and it can be difficult (if not impossible) to distinguish between fact and myth. Myths that were once passed down through word of mouth are now spreading like wildfire through social media, blogs, and even traditional media. There are numerous reasons for this, including a 24-hour news cycle, lengthy and difficult-to-read research studies, and journalists/bloggers/celebrities looking for their next viral hit. As a result, information is frequently published without verification (or is ignored).
The end result? Confusion, frustration, and, in some cases, harm for those who try the latest quick-fix or magical solution for their weight loss and health issues.
Myprotein India examined the evidence and discussed three nutrition myths that appear to be widespread in India and refuse to die.
Myth: Lemon water is a quick fix for fat loss
Except it is not.
While lemon and water are not inherently harmful, they are also not magical. There are no compounds in that unique combination of a regular fruit and water that causes a biochemical reaction that begins to melt our adipose tissue.
So don’t expect any miracle fat loss outcomes from lemon water!
While you will lose weight (not fat) if lemon water is the only thing (or one of the few things) you drink for a few days, this is due to a severe calorie restriction as well as water loss. You’ll regain these pounds as soon as you resume your normal eating habits.
The truth: Lemons are just fruit, and fruit is healthy. Lemon juice won’t contribute substantially to your micro-nutrient intake, but it also doesn’t contain very many calories. Lemon juice contains small amounts of beneficial micro-nutrients and phytochemicals, but it’s unclear if, among all fruits, lemons are uniquely valuable.
Most importantly, lemon water has no unique, proven fat-loss benefit. So don’t expect any miraculous weight loss results from lemon water. A healthy diet and an active lifestyle are the keys to long-term fat loss.
Myth: Chickpea (Channa) is a rich source of protein
A quick Google search (“chickpea cooked calories”) reveals that 100g of this legume contains 9g of protein and 27g of carbohydrates, or 3x the amount of carbs to protein.
So, while it contains a reasonable amount of protein, it does not qualify as a rich source of protein because it contains a lot more carbohydrates.
Chickpeas can certainly be used to supplement protein intake or to replace carbohydrate sources with lower protein content such as rice. It can also be used to supplement protein intake for vegetarians with limited options.
Truth: Chickpea is not a primary source of protein as every 1g of chickpea protein comes with 3g of carbohydrates. Do not rely on it (or similar legumes) as your primary source of protein. A diet rich in these legumes is a high-carbohydrate diet, not a high-protein one.
Myth: Taking whey is like taking steroids
Supplements can be intimidating to many people who are new to fitness. We’ve all heard the mainstream media talk about steroids and other illegal performance enhancers, and it’s easy to lump all supplements into the same category. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to whey protein.
Whey is a component of milk; if we ‘cut’ milk in half, we get whey and cheese. Whey has been proven to be a completely safe and high-quality protein source. It is highly processed (the process is required to extract the whey from the milk), and care must be taken to ensure that your whey protein is derived from high-quality sources.
Did you know milk protein (and soy protein) is one of the main ingredients in baby formula powders?
Whey protein appears to significantly increase muscle protein synthesis. It also has no negative effects on the liver or kidneys. The exception is if there is already pre-existing damage to those organs, in which case it may exacerbate the problem. So, if you have kidney or liver problems, this may not be a good idea, and you should consult your doctor before starting to use whey.
It is a great source of protein to supplement our diet for those who do not have such issues, and not just for those who lift weights or actively exercise. Vegetarians, for example, will benefit greatly from including whey in their diet.
The truth: Whey is a natural part of milk and shown to be both safe and effective when used by healthy individuals.
Misinformation is widespread, difficult to identify, and, sadly, spreads much faster than facts. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Because we all want to be healthier, it’s easy to believe health myths.
Believing something, wishing it were true, or feeling it should be true does not make it so. So be inquisitive, sceptical, and questioning.
(IANSlife can be contacted at IANSlife@ians.in)