Every single day we are inundated with a huge array of information about our health and well-being.

So, it’s not surprising that there are a ton of nutrition myths and fairytales out there that can truly impact your health and well-being.

The myths are endless but today we debunk four of the most common nutrition misconceptions.

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1. Nuts are fattening

Many people love to sit down with a bowl of nuts for a snack.

But aren’t they fattening?

While it is true that nuts do contain fat, research shows that they are very nutritious and contain mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which we know are good for our hearts and cholesterol levels.

They are also a good source of protein, fibre, Vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.

They also contain protein, which can help control our appetite by keeping us fuller for longer.

There is also evidence showing that an increase in nut consumption may reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and assist in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Don’t forget to choose the raw, unsalted varieties. Per 1/2 cup measure.

TYPE OF NUT FIBRE (Grams) FAT (Grams) KILOJOULES (kJ)
Almond 7,5 46,5 2065
Cashew 4,5 37 1795
Macadamia 4,5 55,5 2210
Peanut 6,5 36,5 1800
Walnut 3,5 38 1570

Current recommendations encourage us to eat a handful (30 grams) of nuts each day for good health.

2. Raw or brown sugar is better for you than white sugar

No sirree! It is often thought that raw or brown sugar is the ‘wholemeal’ variety of sugar.

However all sugar is 100% carbohydrate and provides kilojoules or calories but little else.

Apart from flavour, there is no advantage in replacing raw and brown sugar or honey for white sugar.

One teaspoon of sugar contains 80 kilojoules, which is equal to two jellybeans. Consider that when you are next about to spoon sugar into your coffee.

nutrition misconceptions_23. If you eat carbohydrate after 5pm you will turn into a blimp

Not a chance! I often get asked if it is okay to eat carbohydrates after 5pm by clients who are trying to lose weight and I usually ask a question in return.

Does your body know what time it is?

There is nothing magical about this time, it has been chosen randomly and is not based on fact.

There is not one single scientific study that lends support to the theory that carbohydrates need to be cut out after 5pm.

In addition, no recognized health authority endorses this theory either.

While it doesn’t make sense to eliminate carbohydrate foods at the evening meal, if you usually have large portions at dinner, then reducing the amount you eat could be advisable.

Diabetics are one group of people who should definitely not cut out carbohydrates after 5pm; this could cause their blood sugar levels to drop too low – resulting in a diabetic coma if not treated.

If you want to lose body fat, try these suggestions instead:

• Reduce the total amount of food that you eat – it will have a greater impact than cutting out carbohydrates.

Eating more vegetables can also help reduce the amount of other foods on your plate.

• Eating earlier in the evening gives your body a chance to use up some of that meal’s food energy before bedtime.

• Try an after-dinner walk to burn off a few extra calories and stimulate your metabolism.

Remember that carbohydrates are often not the sole source of weight gain.

Extras like cream sauces, cheese and other added fats (e.g. butter on bread) are often the real culprits.

4. White spots on fingernails are a result of calcium deficiency

White spots or streaks on nails are properly known as leukonychia and are usually caused by injury to the nail bed or plate. Nails can take eight months to grow out and the spots will disappear accordingly.

As your nail grows, the spots will appear to move up the nail over time. There are some real symptoms of calcium deficiency but white spots are not one of them.

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