Twelve myths about nutrition, which debunks science: Breakfast, coffee, water, gluten, lactose, and our “lean-complete” figure (Ukrainska Pravda, Ukraine)

Today our experts:

  • gastroenterologist Evgeniya Belinskaya
  • biologist, author of books on healthy living “You can” Darya lake
  • biologist and botanist Alexey Kovalenko
  • epigenetic and gerontologist Alexander Kolyada
  • cardiologist Ilona Beglaryan
  • endocrinologist Maria Cherenko


Myth 1. Thin people are healthy, and fully — sick

Our health and the canons of beauty and fashion is not always interrelated things. Earlier beautiful was considered complete, a portly woman, and now the standard of beauty — thin model from a magazine cover. Sometimes even too skinny.

Sufficient or excess weight of a person is considered to be the body mass index (BMI): available kilograms is divided by the square of height (in meters square). For example, the body mass index for a person who weighs 65 kg at growth of 170 sm: 65/1,7 2 = 22,5. This is the norm. If BMI level less than 18.5, body weight of the person are insufficient for him. The range is from 18.5 to 24.9 — indicates that the body weight in norm. 25,0-29,9 — indicates the presence of overweight. More than 30 indicates obesity.

This is an approximate value, because it is important to consider, for example, age and gender. “Now we increasingly see in the photo of the girls whose BMI is literally on the verge of insufficient mass. And people take it as a benchmark, says nutritionist Tatiana Lakusta. — In fact, people can have a healthy weight, good physical health, but not to look like a svelte model.”

We all know that being overweight has a lot of risks: high probability of occurrence of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and so on. However, low body weight also has its threats. In particular, problems with fertility, brittle bones and a weak immune system. Same as obesity, low body weight is associated with an increased risk of death, followed by those who have average body weight.

Myth 2. To lose weight, you just eat less

Discussing the issues of body weight often think of genetics. And it really matters. As evidence epigenetic Alexander Kolyada leads the study that the weight of children who have been adopted, resembles the weight of their biological parents, although they eat as a foster family. “Genetics provides 70% of weight variation… Genes set to a specific range of body weight. And out of this corridor for a long period is very difficult,” says Carol.

It is worth to go back to the point about body mass index: some people, a slim figure could cost health. If you want to advise a person’s full physique eat less — don’t rush. First, a person may be quite normal body weight, and “full” you perceive it because of the peculiarities of modern standards. Secondly, this person can quite to eat healthy food and consume the normal amount of calories, and such statements we are only developing it systems and increase risks of eating disorders. It is not necessary to do so.

Myth 3. Breakfast — the main meal

Yes and no. According to the biologist Darius lake, Breakfast is really important for children and adolescents. They have not yet established gluconeogenesis (the metabolic pathway of formation of glucose from non-sugar compounds), and they quite often hungry no Breakfast, so unable to slow down, to lose focus or act up.

For other people it all depends on biorhythms and health. “If one refers to the so-called evening chronotype (owl), the appetite in the morning may not be, and in this case, it is not necessary to force yourself to eat — explains the biologist. — Especially in this case, people eat something sweet, light, and not what ideally I need for the Breakfast (a full meal, one-third of calories for the day)”.

Lake also adds that if a person manifests a morning chronotype, it will have a tangible appetite for Breakfast, so he will not have difficulties with digestion. Breakfast is also important not to let pregnant women and people who needs to eat on schedule, due to the presence of certain diseases (such as diabetes it is important to prevent Hypo — and hyperglycemia).

Myth 4. There are products that can speed up the metabolism

There are many publications that some foods can speed up our metabolism. For example, suggest eating citrus fruits and use spices. But this is a myth, says endocrinologist Mariya Cherenko. “Of course, healthy eating is important. It is good for the intestines, does not retain excess fluid, and in General affect weight loss. But to speed up the metabolism, you need to move more. It is important to have more muscle that even at rest, even if we’re not moving, it consumes energy. Weight is energy balance. Or are you eating less, or you move more,” explains the endocrinologist.

Mayo Clinic experts explain that the rate of metabolism is affected by a number of factors:

The complexion of our body. The more muscle a person has, the more calories it burns even at rest.

Paul. Men tend to lose more calories than women, again due to the fact that they have more muscle tissue.

Age. With age, muscle tissue becomes less, and therefore slows down the speed of our metabolism.

So, if you want to speed up your metabolism, then think about the gym membership.

Myth 5. Food can not be taken with water

Water slows down the digestive process? Actually no, it may even help, explain the experts of the Mayo clinic. “It is unknown where did this myth, but the fact is that the water does not stay long in the stomach.

It almost immediately enters the intestine and the gastric juice it is not diluted. Besides the food itself, for example, a variety of fruits and vegetables contains a lot of water,” said the gastroenterologist Evgeniya Belinskaya.

She also adds that to wash down food with water is useful for those who suffer from constipation, because it contributes to a softer passage of food by the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Myth 6. Be sure to drink lots of water

The recommendation that you should drink 2.5 liters of water appeared in 1945. Eight glasses of water a day! Well, who did not hear about it? Who has not tried to forcibly pour a dose? Often even doctors, for example, to specify that the soup, tea, juice, juice doesn’t count. But that is not true. All considered. All somehow forgot a very important part of recommendation, 1945: the most we need is already contained in the products.

Also on our need for liquids is influenced by many factors, from physical activity to health indicators. Water really is the best choice if you want to drink. It has no calories and best thirst quencher.

However, as demonstrated by one randomized study (in which patients are allocated to treatment groups at random (randomization procedure) and have the same opportunity to receive the study drug or the control — approx. transl.) and controlled clinical trial, if we’re talking purely about hydration, the tea, in this case, not too different from water.

Therefore, if you want to drink — a better drink water. But if the day you have drunk a lot of tea or compote — don’t make yourself another drink an additional 2.5 liters of water. Although the compote is always a sweet drink isn’t best choice to quench your thirst, but it is possible that your need for fluid, it has already satisfied. But next time better to choose water.

Myth 7. Sugar and salt are poison

“Everything is poison and everything is medicine, it’s dose”, said the famous physician of antiquity Paracelsus. If we talk about salt, as excess, and its exclusion from the diet may become a dangerous factor.

Salt is the main source of sodium, says the world health organization. As a significant amount of salt more than five grams a day, so small — less than 3.5 grams per day can increase risks of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Now who captures the world’s excessive consumption of salt up to 9-12 grams a day. The reason for this is that a lot of salt contained in processed foods such as sausages or wieners. The best way to control salt intake is to eat natural foods, cook meals at home and not to overshadow the taste of dosagevalium.

What about sugar? Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. It is found in fruits that we eat, and few would argue about their use. But the who strongly recommends reducing the number of so-called “free sugars”, namely monosaccharides (glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (sucrose, table sugar).

Such sugar in large quantity are added to snacks, sweets, juices from stores and the like. And they are a common cause, for example, obesity and dental caries. While data that would indicate that the sugars contained in fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk can adversely affect our health is not.

According to the who guidelines, sugar should be no more than 5% of our diet. For example, you consume in the day of two thousand calories, so hundred calories should come from sugar. This is about six teaspoons of sugar a day.

Myth 8. Eat low fat foods

A diet low in fat has been popular in the United States in the 1970-ies. The goal of the diet pursued very useful things: to encourage people to consume less of the harmful saturated fats and reduce the risks of certain diseases. But it all went wrong.

“The recommendations to consume food with low fat content led to the fact that food manufacturers realized that a lower fat content is less rich taste, and therefore low sales. As a result, they offset this high in sugar and refined oil. Sold these products as “healthy” — says the expert on nutrition at Stanford University’s Christopher Gardner.

It is also important to know that not all fats are bad, and we desperately need as unsaturated and polyunsaturated. Unsaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados and nuts and polyunsaturated — salmon, mackerel, sunflower seeds, and the like.

Myth 9. Coffee is bad for the heart

The question of how caffeine affects our heart, is under study. However, according to the American heart Association, moderate coffee consumption (1-2 cups per day) does not cause negative effects. But high doses of caffeine can become dangerous for those who suffer from heart disease.

If the patient already has cardiovascular problem, prolonged excessive intake of coffee can worsen the forecasts of development of complications and the occurrence of heart failure, the cardiologist agrees Ilona Beglaryan.

“Coffee causes increased excitability of the nervous system that affects contraction of the heart (accelerates it). Excessive coffee consumption leads to increased blood pressure, tachycardia and various arrhythmias, and this in turn contributes to pain in the heart, feeling short of breath, anxiety. Therefore, in the period of disease progression, cardiologists are advised to refrain from coffee,” said the cardiologist.

Myth 10. Honey may not be heated — it becomes toxic

It is a myth. But where did he come from? There is a theory that under high temperatures the process of caramelization of honey. The result is a 5-gidroksimetilfurfural — organic compound, which is obtained by dehydration of certain sugars. 5-gidroksimetilfurfural was considered potentially carcinogenic to humans and has been the subject of extensive studies.

“However, while genotoxicity in vivo has not been confirmed. No evidence of carcinogenic and genotoxic effects to humans” — soothes candidate of biological Sciences Alexey Kovalenko.

This substance is not exclusive to the med. Fry himself toast and will create itself a piece of toast with 5-gidroksimetilfurfural.

“The formation of 5-gidroksimetilfurfural depends on the concentration of honey and temperature. In aqueous solution, which is tea, because of the breeding of this reaction will be significantly inhibited. Same with the honey caramel. If you eat these meals at normal concentrations, it is magical and mysterious products in honey will not hurt you. But even if your diet is just tea with honey and bacon, caramelized honey, and then 5-gidroksimetilfurfural also will not have time to hurt you, because the unbalanced and high-calorie diet will destroy your body much faster,” the scientist explains.

Alexey Kovalenko calls to be calmer to the food, because the power of modern research methods can detect even traces of radioactivity in each product that you cut yourself for Breakfast.

“Even breathing is bad, because you can catch a radioactive isotope of hydrogen or carbon. Eat cherries? Then your teeth appeared just near the capsules with cyanide in the pit of the fruit. The mere presence of traces of toxic compounds is not indicative of toxicity of the product itself,” he adds.

Myth 11. All dairy products are harmful

We grew up thinking that milk is not the most useful product, but now often hear “not useful” or “useful adults”. So it is possible to drink milk or not? It all depends on if you can digest it.

In General, dairy products are a good source of calcium and adequate consumption of a person who has no specific contraindications, is a very healthy practice.

“Dairy products you should not consume those who have a lactose deficiency, and in acute diseases of the pancreas (chronic pancreatitis) and inflammatory bowel disease,” says gastroenterologist Evgeniya Belinskaya.

Breast milk is our first food. The vast majority of people are born with the enzymes that enable us to digest lactose, or milk sugar, but with age, the number of these enzymes are reduced. One study claims that 75% of adults lose the ability to digest milk at some stage in their lives.

Also, this ability depends on genes and ethnic group. For example, there is evidence that only 2% of Danes suffer from intolerance to milk, and in Zambia this figure reaches 100%! Evolutionary biologist Paul Sherman says that lactose intolerance is more common in countries with hot climates, and where it was economically difficult to securely hold the herd.

How to understand what is lactose intolerance? If after consuming dairy products, you feel flatulence, bloating, or diarrhea — it may be lactose intolerance. Then you should go to the doctor and to pass special tests.

If the intolerance is confirmed, the milk will have to be excluded from the diet. The doctor will help to adjust the diet and may prescribe dietary supplements with calcium.

Belinskaya adds that lactase insufficiency is very different — primary and secondary, complete and partial, therefore the issue of exclusion of dairy products from the diet should be discussed with your doctor.

“If, for example, lactose insufficiency is poorly expressed, the person can use a small amount of fermented milk products with low lactose content,” she explains. But it adds that the lactose is in the milk or yogurt, but also in sausages, cheeses, sauces, so it’s important to pay attention to the product.

Myth 12. Gluten harmful

To begin to understand what “gluten”? Gluten, or as they say gluten is a protein. It is contained in wheat, rye, barley and all foods that are made from these grains — bread, cakes, buns, beer, etc.

For a long time people did not even know such words, but in recent years about the dangers of gluten say very active. Proponents of gluten-free diets believe that bread can damage our intestines, cause autoimmune diseases such as type I diabetes and is bad for our brain.

Gluten can actually be dangerous for the 1% of people on the planet. This is the number of the population suffers from celiac disease-an autoimmune disease in which the immune system of the person consuming gluten, forms antibodies, which in turn damage the intestinal wall. Because of this, the patient loses the reserves of magnesium and calcium, suffering severe cramps.

Without treatment, celiac disease can lead to death. Therefore, the exclusion of gluten from the diet is a vital measure. To diagnose this disease is possible only through a blood test for antibodies and a biopsy.

There are also those who can not tolerate gluten or are allergic to wheat. But it does mean to exclude from the diet should only wheat. This type of Allergy diagnosed using skin tests. A qualified doctor will help to adjust the menu.

People who have gluten intolerance experience bloating, stomach pain and diarrhea after eating glutenallergie products.

Does gluten free diet explains Suprun. If you have no problems with gluten, then do not torture yourself gluten-free diet. Harvard medical school claims that there is no evidence of its positive effects on health or prevent disease.

It should be noted that, like any diet, a gluten-free diet can carry health risks. First, gluten-free food contains less fiber. And the consumption of whole grains reduces risks of heart diseases. Secondly, the gluten acts as a prebiotic and feeds our beneficial bacteria.

It contains a chemical compound arabinoxylan. This compound stimulates the activity of bifidobacteria, which are usually found in healthy human intestines.

Changes in the number and activity of these bacteria are associated with various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including inflammation, colorectal cancer and irritable bowel syndrome.