Eating Habits You Think Are Healthy But Could Be Harmful – 01/04/2022

Everyone knows and it’s true: eating vegetables, reducing sugar intake and exercising regularly are healthy habits. In fact, they are among the practices recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) to increase the quality — and the expectation — of life. On the other hand, not every habit that seems to be healthy, really is, especially when it comes to food.

Some feel that completely eliminating fat and carbohydrates from the diet or replacing a trivial plate of rice, beans and meat with any salad, for example, is better. But not quite. Next, see practices that at first glance are good, but may be doing more harm than good.

1. Goodbye, carbohydrate

While excessive consumption of carbohydrates is harmful to health, not consuming these nutrients—our main source of energy—can be just as dangerous. This is shown by a study led by the NIH (National Institute of Health), in the USA, which revealed that both too high and too low carbohydrate rates were associated with increased mortality.

This is because, when the consumption of this macronutrient is greatly restricted, there is a risk of reducing, for example, the amount of fiber in the diet. Found in whole-grain breads and pastas, nuts, vegetables and fruits, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

Sley Tanigawa, president of the Brazilian College of Lifestyle Medicine, says that it is better to pay attention to the origin of the carbohydrate that we are bringing to the plate, than necessarily to the nutrient itself. “One thing is the carbohydrate in non-wholemeal bread, pasta and cookies. Another thing is the carbohydrate that comes from wholegrain pasta, fruits and vegetables, which are complex carbohydrates and, therefore, come with vitamins and fiber”, explains the doctor. .

2. No fat

Saturated fat, found in foods such as meat products, dairy products, cakes and cookies, can really be a villain: in excess, it puts us in the risk zone for heart attack and stroke. Therefore, the WHO recommends that its intake represents less than 10% of the calories ingested in the day. But avoiding any and all fatty foods is not necessarily a healthy habit. That’s because, unlike saturated fat, unsaturated fat is beneficial to health.

“In adequate amounts, good fat is important because it acts in the transport and absorption of vitamins for our organism, such as A, D, E and K, which help to prevent hemorrhages and osteoporosis”, exemplifies Sônia Trecco, head nutritionist of the Service. of Outpatient Care, Division of Nutrition and Dietetics, Instituto Central do HC-FMUSP (Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo).

Found in foods like avocados, peanuts, walnuts, olive oil and salmon or sardines, unsaturated fat also helps lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and ward off cardiovascular disease. But don’t overdo it. On average, our daily fat intake should not exceed 30% of total caloric intake.

Despite its vegetable origin, coconut oil has a high content of saturated fat.

Image: Getty Images

3. Use coconut oil as a substitute for other oils

Despite its fame, coconut oil is not always well regarded by doctors and nutritionists. It’s just that, despite its vegetable origin, it has a high content of saturated fat. A study published in 2017 by the American Heart Association showed that 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated. This percentage is higher than that of butter (63%), beef fat (50%) and lard (39%).

experts heard by Live well do not recommend using coconut oil as a substitute for olive oil, for example. Other “good fat” oils, such as avocado, chia, sunflower and canola derivatives, are also healthier options, although all should be used sparingly.

4. Swap rice, beans and meat for salad

In this case, it depends on the salad: if it is full of greasy sauces or even soaked in olive oil, the replacement will not be a healthier meal just because it has vegetables. The balance can be negative, with higher consumption of calories and fat — it would have been better to have had a plate of rice, beans and meat.

Not every salad can replace a meal. The ideal is to use at least one food from the three groups of vegetables. In group A, rich in vitamins A and B and low in calories, there are options such as onions, cucumbers and leaves, such as lettuce and arugula.

Those in group B have a moderate amount of carbohydrates, including beets, carrots and green beans. With the highest carbohydrate load, group C includes potatoes, cassava, corn and pasta.

It’s also important to add some protein, found in tuna, sardines, chicken and eggs. Remember: avoid potato chips and calorie sauces.

5. Prefer diet and light foods

Anyone who thinks that a light or diet food is, by itself, healthy is wrong. It is necessary to pay attention to the label of the products: many of them contain high amounts of sodium and chemical additives, which can harm blood pressure and unbalance the functioning of the body. The same alert applies to vegan, but industrialized, hamburgers.

“Furthermore, it is not just because the food is sugar-free that it necessarily has fewer calories. There can be that psychological effect of thinking that just because chocolate is diet, for example, we can eat at ease. you end up exchanging six for half a dozen or even making the situation worse”, warns professor Elizabeth do Nascimento, from the Nutrition Department at UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco).

6. Take a protein shake after any exercise

Consuming a protein shake after a workout can contribute to muscle growth, but the practice is not beneficial for everyone. Drinking the drink after a half-hour walk or a 50-minute pilates class, for example, is not necessary and can even cause kidney overload depending on the amount of protein ingested.

Ideally, every nutritional supplement should be prescribed by a specialist, who will consider factors such as age, energy expenditure and exercise intensity.

7. Replace breakfast with detox juice

Many people have the habit of replacing breakfast with a detox juice. That’s because, due to ingredients like kale, the drink is usually high in fiber. Result: greater feeling of satiety. But doing this every day may not be as healthy as it sounds.

“It’s okay to take a detox juice occasionally. I just don’t recommend using it as a daily substitute for a food that is a source of protein or calcium, like yogurt or a glass of skim milk, for example”, ponders Trecco. That is, you don’t have to cut out the green juice in the morning, just don’t forget to ingest other nutrients necessary to last until lunch.

Green tea - Getty Images/iStockphoto - Getty Images/iStockphoto

Consuming too much green tea can put a strain on the liver

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

8. Have several cups of green tea throughout the day…

Many studies have already proven that green tea can reduce the risk of heart disease and help with weight loss. But consuming the drink in excess — more than four cups a day — can put a strain on the liver and other organs, as well as increasing the risk of gastritis and gastric ulcers.

9. …or several glasses of wine

The popular saying “everything in excess is bad” also applies to wine consumption. Although the presence of substances known as polyphenols makes the drink an ally for cardiovascular health, it must be remembered that wine is an alcoholic beverage. Therefore, exceeding the recommendation of “a glass of wine a day” can be dangerous for the liver and even cause the opposite effect to the desired one, damaging the heart.

10. Take over-the-counter multivitamins

Multivitamin supplements are important for nutrient replacement in some elderly people or people who, due to some pathology or postoperative condition, are unable to meet their caloric needs. But this is not the case for most people. In addition, taking nutritional supplements improperly can lead to long-term problems such as nausea, diarrhea and kidney stones.

“Brazil is a country that has a very rich diet, with vegetables, fruits and vegetables of a great diversity, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. So, a person who has a healthy and balanced diet does not need that. patients: instead of buying a multivitamin at the pharmacy, go to the grocery store and spend it on vegetables and fruits”, suggests Trecco.

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