Food & Nutrition

Diets and misconceptions

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Many people look at dieting tips online by watching YouTube videos or going on other social media platforms to find information on how to go on a diet.

Usually, the most common reason for this is to either lose weight or to be healthy and cut out all ‘bad’ foods. The truth is, not everyone knows what a diet actually means.

A good diet is looking at the healthy eating portion plate, which you might have learned about in primary school or early secondary school, and being able to say that you have the right amount of each portion. For example, having the right amount of fruit and vegetables, or having the right amount of sugary foods during the day.

Going on a diet should not mean cutting foods out. You need a bit of everything on your plate. Rather than cutting down, a good diet is being able to portion your foods to the right amount for the day.

Below is an example of the portions you should be having for each food category. It can be difficult to do this every day, but even if your diet consists of similar portions for any of these categories, then you are headed in the right direction!

Following on from this, many people also believe that skipping breakfast can help with weight loss. However, this is far from the truth. It is true when they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

This meal is the start of your rest of the day. It fuels you, whereas the rest of the meals are what keep you going. By skipping breakfast, you are more likely to have a bad start to the day and may not be able to stay productive.

A study on skipping breakfast was published on “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 2010. The study analysed food intake from 2,184 people aged 9-15 years. Twenty years later, the researcher asked for the same information again to compare the data.

As a result, people who skipped breakfast during childhood and adulthood tended to have larger waist circumference, higher fasting insulin level and higher total cholesterol level.

Considering this information, keeping good proportions for food and exercising regularly is the most reliable approach to weight loss, if that is your goal. Otherwise, having a good diet means eating a bit of everything, not cutting out something and only eating one thing.

However, it is important to keep in mind that you should do what you feel is best for your body, as everyone is different, and some methods or techniques work better for one person but not the other.

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