Popular misconceptions about food vs science

The belief that juices can do away with fat deposits in the body is wrong. Photo: iStock/MajaMitrovic

People have many misconceptions and unique beliefs when it comes to food habits or certain dishes. There was a time when many were reluctant to eat seafood thinking it was not hygienic enough. Our own coconut oil, too, had been made villain once. However, all these allegations were proven scientifically invalid in time. Still, there are some confusions and doubts about certain food items and combination of foods that are commonly consumed.

How necessary is water

Many often wonder whether water could be replaced with food items that have high water content or with other forms of drinks. Nutrition experts reject this by saying that fruits, vegetables, tea, juices or any other drink cannot give the effect of drinking plain water. Dehydration can only be prevented by drinking glasses of clean, plain water.

No to carbs

Many fad diets propose increasing protein intake by cutting down carbohydrates, to swiftly shed some kilos. However, this is not right as the body requires carbohydrates in certain amount for its proper functioning. Ketones (fat elements) would be formed in the blood if the body doesn't receive at least 130 grams carbohydrates daily. This also increases the level of uric acid.

Juice diets

The belief that juices can melt fat deposits in the body is wrong. No food item has the capability to melt fat. Grape juices or cabbage soup cannot reduce the fat in our body. Caffeinated drinks can only increase the rate of digestion.

Tea or coffee

Drinking tea and coffee actually decreases the water content in the body and increases the body heat. As these beverages are consumed hot, water may be lost from the body as sweat. These may even affect the proper functioning of kidneys and skin. Over-consumption of caffeine could disrupt your sleeping patterns as well. Those who suffer from ulcers and diabetes should cut down their tea and coffee intake. Caffeine could make you refreshed only if it is had in minimal portions.

Jackfruit for diabetes

There is a popular belief that jackfruit can lower the diabetes. It is true that jackfruit has the ability to control diabetes. However, diabetic patients should stay away from ripe and sweet jackfruit bulbs. They could have dishes like puzhukku made with raw jackfruit. Many studies suggest that raw jackfruit can regulate the blood sugar levels.

The glycemic load is quite high in ripe jackfruit which may shoot up the blood sugar. But the level of carbohydrates is less in raw jackfruit. It contains about 40% less carbohydrate than in grains. Similarly, the calorie rate too is 35-40% lesser than in grains. Besides, raw jackfruit is loaded with fibres which are excellent for diabetic patients. As the glycaemic index in it is low, diabetic patients can include raw jackfruit or tender jackfruit in their regular diet.

Fruits or fruit juices

It is always healthier to consume fruits than extracting its juices. The healthy fibres in the fruits are lost when they are turned into juice.

Lemon water or lemon soda

Lemon water is excellent to refresh you instantly. However, when soda is added, it becomes a carbonated drink. Though lemon soda would quench your thirst it is not really good to drink it regularly. You could add some fresh mint leaves or ginger to enhance flavour of lemon water.

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