It’s been a big year for ‘superfoods’, ‘organic’, ‘fermented’ and other health buzzwords, and 2016 looks is sure to be even bigger. The world is waking up to the importance of healthy eating, but for all the increased knowledge we have, there are still hundreds of nutrition facts that lie in the dark.
Here, we take a look at some of the most important nutrition facts that everyone should know about in 2016…
1. You don’t need to eat every two to three hours
There has been a lot of talk about the importance of eating frequent small meals when trying to lose weight, but studies have shown that eating every two to three hours actually has no effect on fat burning or body weight. Eating six 500-calorie meals has the exact same effect as eating three 1,000 calorie meals, and eating more frequently does nothing for increasing your metabolism rate.
2. Eggs are among the healthiest foods you can eat
Eggs have copped a lot of flack in recent years, being blamed for rising cholesterol rates. But studies show that cholesterol from eggs won’t raise blood cholesterol in the humans that eat them, and that eggs have no effect on heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals. Eggs are low in calories, high in protein, full of vitamins and minerals, contain choline (considered brain food), are rich in omega-3s, and help prevent diseases of the eye.
3. Trans fats are unfit for human consumption
In June this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that trans fats are not fit for human food. Trans fats can make food taste good and last longer, and are in many chips, bakery goods, cakes and some popcorns. They are essentially unsaturated fats that have been chemically altered to improve their physical characteristics, and once considered miraculous, they are today considered to be highly dangerous. One study showed that those who consume more than 5.7 grams of trans fats per day were two-thirds more likely to have a heart attack than those who ate less than 2.4 grams.
4. Some fats are good
Almost all fats have nine calories per gram, but not all fats are created equal. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, sourced from vegetable oil, avocado, nuts and cold-water fish, can be eaten for a healthy heart and will lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As long as your fat content doesn’t exceed more than 35% of your total calorie intake, good fats can work wonders for your overall health.
5. Not all sugars are bad either
Reputations don’t come much worse than sugar’s, but not all sugars are harmful. Fruit has sugar in the form of fructose and milk has sugar in the form of lactose, both of which are part of a healthy diet. The sugars you want to avoid are: sucrose, corn syrup, maltose and other added sweeteners.
6. Meat does not rot in your colon
One of the most ridiculous myths surrounding meat is that it rots in your colon. Meat gets broken down by stomach acid and enzymes, then absorbed, mostly as amino acids and fatty acids. The human digestive system is more than capable of handling meat – in fact, it uses meat’s full potential to supply the body with important proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins. A food that does rot in your colon is the indigestible plant matter known as fibre, but this creates a friendly bacteria that’s beneficial to your health.
7. 100% pure protein powder can be a good alternative for time-poor athletes
Official figures recommend consuming around 0.75-0.84g of protein per kilo of body weight each day, and those who exercise regularly require extra protein to assist with the body’s repair and recovery process. Pure protein powders provide an excellent and healthy source of protein for athletes, bodybuilders, sportspersons or anyone trying to improve their body composition – just make sure you look for a trusted and well-respected supplement provider like Myopure.
8. Carbohydrates are essential
Diets that consist of low-carbohydrate consumption, such as the Atkins Diet, are not the answer if you’re looking to lose weight. Carbs play a very important role in the body – they’re your main energy source! Low carbs leads to low energy, low concentration, dizziness and nausea, and going low-carb with high-protein has been linked to increased risk of heart disease and bowel cancer.
9. You shouldn’t rely on plant foods for your calcium intake
Dark green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli contain calcium, but the calcium has poor bioavailability. Containing phytic acid and oxalic acid, plant-based calcium is not easy to absorb, so it would take huge amounts of these foods to meet your required daily intake. If you must rely on plants for calcium, some science has suggested drinking calcium-fortified orange juice to help with absorption.
10. There is no such thing as the “perfect diet”
We are all unique and our subtle differences in genetics, body type, culture and environment can affect which type of diet is best. What works for one person might not work for the next, so instead of following in a friend’s footsteps and chasing their results, you should instead do a little self experimentation to find out what works with your individual needs.