By Shalini Singhal  on: 09 February 2013
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Will bananas and potatoes make you fat? Should you replace white sugar with honey or brown sugar if you are on a weight loss diet? If you think that the answer to both the questions is 'true,' you ought to read this .There are several myths your friends will tell you, but are they scientifically true?


Here's the truth about 10 common food myths related to weight loss



FACT     Ripe banana is full of nutrients providing sustained and substantial energy and takes care of food cravings. It is a rich source of potassium yet low in sodium. It is a perfect food to help relieve water retention. It also helps restore normal bowel movements without restoring to laxatives.




 FACT   Potatoes have a very high satiety index (323%) and provide you   with   a feeling of fullness much more than many of the foods( For e.g., White bread 100%,White rice 138%,Whole grain bread 154%,and Brown Pasta 188%,Oats- 209% ).High in complex carbohydrates, potatoes fill you up long before they make you fat. It is only when you add fat to them in the form of butter,oil, ghee, cheese, cream that they become fattening. Healthy potatoes can become unhealthy by the manner in which they are cooked or processed. Boiled/ Baked potatoes are better than saut?ed ones ( in oil ) , saut?ed better than fried and potato chips the worst ( devoid of water, full of oil and salt).




FACT    A low fat or no-fat food is often lower in calories than the same portion of a full-fat product. But many processed low fat or non-fat foods have just as many calories as the full fat version of the same food or even more calories. They may contain added sugar, flour or starch thickeners to improve the texture after fat is removed. These ingredients add calories. Read the Nutrition Facts Label on the back of foods to find out the calories each serving is providing. Also be cautious about the serving size mentioned as it might be less than what you generally consume.



FACT   In fact it is the other way round. You need to consume more water (and less salt) if you have water retention or Oedema. Water reduces build up of Sodium in the body and reduces water retention. It is when your body does not get enough water that it starts retaining fluids.

Water retention is caused due to the following factors:

(a)Salt Intake ( Restrict consumption of sodium in your diet.)

(b)Hormonal Imbalance

(c) Pre Menstrual Retention- This can be minimised by drinking plenty of water, restricting salt intake and maintaining an active lifestyle




FACT   Juices are concentrated source of energy and have added sugars most of the time. Even if you are consuming fresh fruit juice without added sugar still you are eliminating the beneficial fibre, consuming more calories and having less satiety. It is easy to have 2 glasses of fresh orange juice but difficult to consume 5-6 oranges at one time.




FACT   Honey consists of 75% sugar (Glucose & Fructose), 25% water and provides 3.2 Kcal /gm of honey. It contributes to your calorie intake and raises blood sugar.

In addition, there is a common misconception that Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar. The molasses have not been removed entirely from brown sugar while in white sugar they have been removed. It is true that molasses contains nutrients such as iron and magnesium, but they are present in amounts too small to provide health benefits. Calorie wise, a teaspoon of white sugar contains 16 calories, whereas one teaspoon of brown sugar has 17 calories.

Jaggery is an unrefined whole cane sugar. It is a concentrated product of cane juice or date juice without separation of the molasses. It contains up to 50% sucrose, up to 20% invert sugars, up to 20% moisture, and the remainder made up of other insoluble matter. Calorie wise each gram of jaggery provides around 3.5 to 3.8 kcal/gm.



FACT   This is not true. Traditional Spices provide the necessary taste and flavour to the food and are rich in micronutrients, antioxidants and fibre. There is no reason why a person on weight loss should avoid spices unless they are not tolerated and have been creating some gastro intestinal tract problems. The only restrictive feature of a healthy diet is its low salt, low sugar and low fat content.





FACT   Adding water would dilute all other nutrients in milk. Skimming is the best way to reduce fat from milk. All other nutrients Protein, Calcium, Riboflavin are retained in skimmed milk, only fat is eliminated.




FACT  Even low calorie foods have calories which add up and must be burnt off regardless of what food you eat. It is always good to develop a habit of self regulation- Eat when hungry and Stop when sufficiently full.






FACT   Majority of people believe that all Salads and Soups irrespective of their ingredients are Healthy and are good if you are on a weight loss regime. But many salads and soups are laden with high salt or fat content.It is all too common to see dieters ordering salads or other healthy choices from fast food joints %but what they usually dont realize is that the salads can be as bad as the regular food.

What makes many of these salads so high in calories, fat and sodium are the toppings on salads, like high-fat salad dressings (cream, oils ,mayonnaise, vinaigrettes, tortilla shells,etc) and the Ingredients in Soups which again include lot of butter, cream, etc. Stick to a salad without FAT rich dressings or add-ons for a healthier option. Hung skim milk curd, lemon juice, low sodium vinegar, balsamic vinegar,hummus, etc. can be good salad dressings. Prepare and order soups without added cream/butter and less salt. Fresh or dried herbs like thyme, oregano, parsley, mint, peppers can give an excellent flavour to your soups.







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Shalini Singhal

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Chief Nutritionist in Delhi NCR, India 

Dr. Shalini Singhal (Dietician & Nutritionist in Dwarka, Delhi NCR, India) is a Doctorate and PG Gold Medalist in Nutrition, an eminent healthcare professional with over 20 years experience in Nutrition Solutions Industry. Dr. Shalini Singhal brings in expertise from the world's best,scientifically proven and WHO endorsed wellness programs from USA, Pritikin Longevity Centre and also from other reknowned slimming & fitness companies like VLCC Health Care Ltd. She has headed Pritikin India and VLCC Nutri Diet Clinic and other Wellness Projects and spearheaded R&D initiatives in the field for several years. She has extensive experience of handling people who desire to lose weight and who have other associated problems. Her endeavors are focussed towards providing the most advanced and scientifically proven diet therapy for weight & disease management.Dr. Shalini Singhal (Dietician & Nutritionist  in Dwarka, Delhi NCR, India) has been an Educator and Trainer for dieticians and nutritionists pan India. She has written and published several original and review articles in various national and international journals on health, diet & nutrition. She has been participating in various conferences and is the Panelist of Nutrition & Wellness Club of various public schools in New Delhi NCR, India. Dr. Shalini Singhal has been promoting lifestyle modification programs for health and wellness at various events in schools in Dwarka & Gurgaon, colleges, clubs and corporate houses.
Shalini Singhal
Dr. Shalini Singhal
Chief Nutritionist in Delhi NCR Register Now!
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