WHEN you make the move to eat healthier, your first step may be to throw out sugar, cut fats, cut carbs, and increase protein, fruits, and vegetables. You may even think that eliminating meat altogether is the right choice, or that skipping meals will take you to your weight loss goal faster. But there are some eating habits that are believed to be healthy, but they're actually not, and many of us don't realise this.
Nutritionist Keisha Black breaks some down below.
There's no need to cleanse or detox
Black said that's the function of the body's natural detox system â€” the skin, liver, and kidneys. Once these organs are functioning, there is no need for detoxing. In fact, the teas, cleanses, and washouts that you take will only result in you producing large amounts of watery stool that can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can lead to low blood pressure, kidney failure, dizziness, and even coma. Note that these cleanses also have the potential to wash out the good bacteria you need in your colon to assist the process of digestion.
Be careful going vegetarian or vegan
Just being a vegetarian does not automatically make you healthy. Your diet needs to be complete with a good source for healthy fats, carbs, and protein. The food selection in your diet is very important. The secret to going vegan or vegetarian and staying healthy is having a variety, and not just eliminating meat or dairy products. Your variety must include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. You will also need an adequate supply of protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is the vitamin of most concern to vegetarians who do not eat eggs or dairy products. They will need supplementation. It is very important to ensure that your vegetarian diet also has enough calories to maintain your activities and weight.
Be careful with 'elimination diets'
If your diet involves entirely eliminating food groups or eating periods (like not having breakfast, lunch, or dinner) it can't be healthy. No doubt you will be missing key nutrients, and may even make yourself sick by sticking to a programme that calls for you to eliminate foods or skip meals.
You may not need so much water
We know that the recommendation is eight glasses per day, but while it is important to drink a lot of water, different people will have different liquid intake needs based on gender, body type, activity level, etc. What you eat also plays a role in how much you need to drink. For example, if you're eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, you don't need so much water. The rule of thumb is that if you are thirsty, it's because you need to hydrate.
Be careful jumping on fad diets
Diets work for some people and not others, so it's important to consult with your doctor about what works for you, taking into account your own health. The idea that there is one diet for everyone is wrong. What is healthy for you could be very damaging to someone else, and vice versa.
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