Article by: Putra W.
Graphic by: Rhia M.
You’ve all seen it on the news before: “A new absurd diet will make you lose ___ pounds in just one week!” or “This nutritious food will increase your lifespan by ten years!” People of all ages strive to live a fit and healthy lifestyle, and it is understandable why one would leap in excitement when a new diet goes viral. They claim to lead to immediate results yet, more often than not, one is left disappointed with its ineffectiveness. This article will be debunking four popular diets and nutritious food claims that you may have heard of before, some of which are actually absurd and might do your body more harm than good.
1. Cutting carbohydrates from your diet will make you skinny
A lot of people rely on this as a quick method of weight loss, but it can actually have the completely opposite effect as people tend to compensate for the lack of energy, later on in the day. In fact, “very low carb diets can cause poor energy, low mood, insatiable appetite and poor gut function (including bowel movements) long-term” (Steen). Even if you do end up losing weight, it will mostly be water weight and not fat. People should instead focus on eating the appropriate amount of carbohydrates in their diets (Steen).
2. Microwaving food will destroy its nutritional contents
It’s a common misconception that cooking food in the microwave can be damaging for our health due to the emitted radiation. “The waves of energy used to heat food in the microwave are similar to other, more dangerous types” but, “they are much, much shorter, and only target certain molecules, such as water” (Rahim). A study from Harvard Medical School actually poses that cooking food in the microwave can be beneficial as “cooking times are shorter and less water is needed, allowing foods such as broccoli to maintain more of their nutritional value than if they’d been boiled” (Microwave cooking and nutrition).
3. Detoxes are good for you
Every year, there seems to be a new diet claiming that a liquid substance can completely detoxify your body. In actuality, “you’ll be relieved to hear that your body is already doing this, and doing it rather well. Your internal organs use chemical reactions to convert dangerous substances into safe ones that are naturally excreted” (Rahim). Switching to a complete liquid diet can actually be very harmful to your body as “juices lack the essential fibre of whole fruits and vegetables, and you could be denying yourself essential proteins and minerals” (Rahim).
4. Don’t eat after 8pm
The misconception is that you burn the calories from the foods you’ve eaten in the beginning of the day, while the calories that you intake at night remain in your system and turn to fat. Mary Flynn, a research dietitian at Miriam Hospital says, “Your body digests and uses calories the same way morning, noon, and night” (Solo).
There you have it Bearcats! Next time you encounter a new diet going viral on the news, do your research and ensure that it is one that will really prove beneficial to your health.
Harvard Health Publishing. “Microwave Cooking and Nutrition – Harvard Health.” Harvard Health Blog, Jan. 2015, http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/microwave-cooking-and-nutrition.
Rahim, Lucy. “The Five Second Rule – and 15 Other Food Myths Debunked .” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 15 Mar. 2017, www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/features/five-second-rule-15-food-myths-debunked/.
Solo, Sally. “Busting 10 Diet Myths.” Real Simple, Real Simple, http://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/weight-loss/busting-10-diet-myths#when-eat-how-often.
Steen, Juliette. “8 Diet And Exercise Myths Health Experts Wish Didn’t Exist.” HuffPost Australia, HuffPost Australia, 17 July 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/07/17/8-diet-and-exercise-myths-busted-by-health-experts_a_23032935/.