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Clearing the common health myths

Most of us keep hearing many different theories about the common health issues like cholestrol, weight loss etc that concern us, but after a point we stop listening to the theories because they are often contradicting. Finally, some of these health myths are broken.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 20, 2011 20:33 IST
Dr Shikha Sharma

Here are a few health myths that need to be broken.



All nuts and oily seeds have cholesterol


No plant food contains cholesterol because cholesterol is manufactured only by animals. So all nuts and oil seeds are cholesterol-free.



Low-fat margarine is healthy because it has no cholesterol

Several brands of margarine carry transfats that are much worse for the body. Transfats can raise cholesterol levels in the body and spoil liver functions. So it is better to eat natural butter – in small quantities.



NutsAll oils contain cholesterol

Any oil made from plants is always naturally cholesterol-free.



If we eat cholesterol, it will raise our blood cholesterol

Any rise in the body’s cholesterol level depends on how the liver is able to process it.



Milk is a complete food

Mother’s milk is a complete food for a baby till it is six months old. After that, the child needs additional foods, though mother’s milk can be continued as long as the mother is comfortable. Milk from other animals is another food altogether. Milk mostly available in the markets is buffalo milk, which is heavier than cow’s milk and more prone to causing phlegm build-up, mild intestinal intolerance, cholesterol deposits and weight gain. Commercial milk preparations are reconstituted with additional fat and protein from other sources. So, commercial milk is not a mandatory portion of a healthy diet.



MilkA vegetarian diet provides inadequate protein for growing children

Vegetarian diets at any age are very healthy. For children, they are complete in all respects. Even in later years, vegetarians have a better nutrition composition. Foods from plant sources have less of a predisposition to cause cardiovascular disorders, arthritis or cholesterol disorders. (Provided transfats and fried foods are eaten in moderation or completely avoided.)



You must eat concentrated protein for adequate protein intake

Proteins need not be concentrated in a food because you want more protein intake. The body extracts just the right amount of protein that it needs and is capable of absorbing. Eating a variety of foods is far better than drinking concentrates. People who are building their bodies can get adequate protein from sprouts of mung, channa and moth, as well as soyabeans, tofu, dry fruits and paneer. While eating proteins, eat fruit to allow for protein metabolism and liver health.



Taking multivitamins is essential after a certain age

Multivitamins only feed on our insecurity of not eating well in the first place.



There is a magic pill, potion or lotion for weight loss


There is no such thing.

From HT Brunch, August 21

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