insideKENT Magazine Issue 79 - October 2018 | Page 140

HEALTH+WELLNESS HEALTHY OR HAZARDOUS: FOOD MYTHS BUSTED IN TODAY'S SOCIETY, WHERE WE RELY SO HEAVILY ON THE INTERNET AND FOLLOWING THE TOP DIET AND HEALTH TRENDS RECOMMENDED BY SOCIAL MEDIA AND CELEBRITIES, IT’S BECOMING MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT TO KNOW WHAT IS AND ISN’T TRUE ABOUT THE FOOD WE EAT. FORTUNATELY, DR PREETHI DANIEL, CLINICAL DIRECTOR AT LONDON DOCTORS CLINIC, IS HERE TO BREAK DOWN THE TRUTH ABOUT COMMON FOOD MYTHS. HAVING FRUIT IN SMOOTHIES MAKES THEM UNHEALTHIER THAN EATING THEM FRESH… Not strictly true. Blending fruit only changes their texture, preserving all the goodness. The longer the fruit sits though, the more vitamin C and carotenoids are lost. However, there is some theory behind the fact that you could be consuming more sugar and calories than when eating fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is more fibrous which may help in slowing down the breakdown of sugars. Furthermore, shop- made or bought smoothies tend to contain artificial sweeteners and calorie containing nut butters. It goes without saying that milkshakes and fruit juices are probably worse than blended smoothies. CUTTING OUT CARBS IS THE BEST WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT… A hot topic in the field of weight loss, this one is up for debate. The fact is not all carbs are bad for you and the focus should be on the amount and type of carbs you’re eating. Fibre-rich, less processed wholegrain carbs are very good for you. Carbs are our main source of energy and cutting them out completely will in theory make you use protein and fat for an energy source. However, it also puts you at higher risk of certain conditions such as ketosis. DRINKING COLD WATER AFTER EATING OILY FOOD IS BAD FOR YOU… It is thought that cold water congeals the fat in oily food or causes it to solidify and get stuck causing indigestion, however, this is not true. Your body is at a constant temperature inside and the enzymes responsible in digestion start acting on food straight away, right from your mouth. CHEWING GUM STAYS IN YOUR STOMACH FOR SEVEN YEARS… This one is not true! Anything we swallow gets digested within minutes to hours and excreted, including gum, albeit this one might take some 140 time or even pass untouched. So, all those years you lived in fear of swallowing gum were completely unnecessary. YOU HAVE TO WAIT AN HOUR AFTER EATING BEFORE YOU CAN SWIM… This is something up for debate. There is actually no evidence of drowning when swimming after a heavy meal. The oft- mentioned reasons of cramping or stitch are also unproven. While it is true to some degree that there is increased blood flow to the stomach and bowels after a meal to aid digestion, this does not mean there is less blood flow to the arms and legs. We have enough blood to keep all systems functioning at all times. THE ‘FIVE-SECOND RULE’… We have all dropped food on the floor and eaten it within five seconds and most of us are here to tell the tale. But, is it safe to do so? If food is visibly covered in dirt, avoid eating it at all costs, however, a momentary drop on your recently cleaned kitchen floor may be OK. Remember, germs are invisible, so we really have no idea what we are exposing ourselves to – shoes are covered in dog poo, urine from toilet floors and general germs, so when food drops on the floor, it’s exposed to a whole host of nasties – think twice before eating it.