8 Common Food Myths Debunked

There are hundreds of common myths and misconceptions about food which may influence your diet choices. However, some foods commonly believed to be unhealthy are actually just fine and some popular “healthy” foods are actually harmful. Here are eight common food myths debunked:

1. Low-fat Foods are Always Healthier.

Some types of fat are unhealthy, but others are an important part of a healthy diet. When foods are made low fat, the fat content is usually replaced with sugar or sodium to improve the taste. This definitely does not make it healthier, but many people associate fat with weight gain and heart attacks. Therefore, they choose “low-fat” foods even though the foods have an unhealthy amount of sugar or sodium.

2. You Need to Eat Dairy for Healthy Bones.

People tend to confuse dairy with calcium, so it’s a common myth you need dairy for strong bones. It’s true that dairy has lots of calcium, but plenty of other foods do as well. You can eat greens, broccoli, oranges, beans, and nuts to get enough calcium to keep your bones healthy.

3. Eggs Raise Your Cholesterol Levels.

Your cholesterol levels are mostly influenced by saturated and trans fats, and eggs contain very little of both. Eggs contain lots of important nutrients, so cutting them out of your diet to lower your cholesterol levels can actually be harmful. It won’t affect your cholesterol and it will prevent you from getting all the health benefits eggs have.

4. All Food Additives are Bad for You.

Some people believe all food additives are made of harmful, toxic chemicals. While some aren’t very healthy, most are completely fine. The panic over food additives mostly stems from a lack of understanding. For example, many people believe the additive carrageenan is toxic because it’s been proven to cause inflammation in lab animals. However, studies show human bodies don’t absorb or metabolize it, so it flows through the body without causing any harm.

5. Restricting Salt Prevents Heart Attacks.

Lowering your salt intake can reduce your blood pressure, but there’s no scientific evidence supporting the idea that restricting salt reduces your risk of a heart attack or stroke. If your doctor tells you to cut back on salt, you should listen. However, it’s a myth everyone needs to lower their salt intake to be safe and healthy.

6. High Fructose Corn Syrup is Worse than Sugar.

Many foods are labeled “No HFCS” as if this makes them healthier and many people buy these items because they’re so afraid of high fructose corn syrup. It actually is very similar to sucrose, or table sugar, in many ways. The composition of high fructose corn syrup is almost identical to that of table sugar and both have the same number of calories. They both have similar effects on insulin and glucose levels. Neither are particularly healthy, but one isn’t worse than the other.

7. All Organic Food is Healthy.

Organic food is free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other additives found in most non-organic foods. Choosing organic produce can reduce your chemical exposure, but junk food labeled “organic” is still junk food. You can buy organic chips, cookies, or crackers, but they’ll still have as much sugar and empty calories as their non-organic counterparts.

8. Coffee Makes You Dehydrated.

Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it does dehydrate you. However, coffee has a very mild dehydrating effect and all of the water it contains will make up for any fluid you lose. Coffee also contains lots of antioxidants, so you don’t have to worry about drinking a cup or two every morning.

How Close Are You To Your Workmates?

When I hear the word ‘relationships’ I most often think of those in life we are closest to; family, friends and romantic partners.  However in this article, I want to reflect on a kind of relationship that we don’t often hear too much about – and that’s the relationships we form with the people we work with in paid (or voluntary) employment.

Work relationships can be multi-faceted and complex.  We can form close bonds and friendships, spending time with colleagues outside of work hours and becoming quite close in our personal lives.  If we’re lucky, I think, we can find that our work and personal lives blur especially in a job we enjoy with people we like, going to work can feel like a pleasure rather than a chore and meetings can be a bit like a social occasion.

Or, we can be in the polar opposite situation. We might find we don’t really share the same values or interests as our workmates, and so keep our relationships simply professional.  Or worse, we can actively dislike someone we have to work with, and have to navigate this tricky dynamic day-in and day-out.  This can be incredibly difficult and stressful, particularly when you have to work closely on the same projects, or with the same clients.

When I add it up, I’ve worked in 20 or so different employment roles over the past 15 years, including full-time, part-time, contracting and volunteer roles.  This number is high partly because of all the part-time jobs I’ve had over the 10 years I studied at university, partly because I’m an independent contractor at times, and partly because in truth, I love variety in my work and having a number of projects on the go at any one time.

Having a lot of different jobs has meant that I’ve had to form working relationships with quite a large number of people.  Some have been wonderfully close and supportive people who I still maintain contact with now one of which has even become my partner of seven years.  Others sadly have been incredibly unpleasant, passive-aggressive, dysfunctional relationships that have caused a great deal of stress and sorrow.  Luckily, I can say with honesty that I don’t have any of those types of relationships in any of my current roles – although many people unfortunately do.

So what have I learned, through managing all of these different work relationships?  If anything, I think it would be that in any relationship, be it work or otherwise, the only person whose behaviour I realistically have any power to change is my own.  While I completely believe in healthy conversations and working things out wherever possible, I’ve had to accept at times that for whatever reason, I simply do not get along with a particular person.  In these cases I’ve learned that the best I can do is moderate my own behaviour and not let another person affect my personal and professional integrity.

Also, I think it’s important not to sweat the small stuff too much at work.  You can’t expect to get along with everyone, and even when you do, everyone has a bad day sometimes.  When you do have that question mark, it’s also okay to ask, “Hey, what’s up?  I might be totally wrong, but did I do something to annoy you?” Or, “Are you okay?  You seem not quite yourself today?”  If someone chooses to say, “I’m fine!” when obviously they are not, then at least you’ve done what you can to resolve any potential issue.

These small things might seem relatively obvious and straightforward, but I’ve found that simple does work.  Our work colleagues are often the people we spend the most time with, and how functional or healthy these relationships are can have a huge effect on our general stress levels and overall wellbeing.  For that reason alone I think it’s important to cultivate healthy relationships in the workplace as much as possible and, where we can’t, maybe even ask ourselves if it might be time to move on.

9 Ways to Gain the Health Benefits of Grapes

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Grapes come in so many sizes and shapes and not to forget, the colors! It is known as “The Queen of Fruits”. Did you know that a grape is a berry of the deciduous vines?

Grapes can be eaten raw and fresh or could be used for making wine, jam, jelly, raisins, vinegar and grape seed oil. This fruit mainly belongs to various species of Vitis genus. Genus Vitis is a type of the family Vitaceae, which is like woody vines with simple leaves and flowers. This includes a large variety of grapes as well.

Grapes grow in clusters of fifteen to three hundred. It could be in shades of crimson or red, dark purple or black, dark blue, yellow, green, pink, orange.

Grapes have health benefits ranging from the head to the toe of a human.

Health benefits include increasing the health of the heart, preventing cancer, better digestion, low in sugar, increases longevity and skin health, decreasing the risk of obesity and helping in weight loss, treating asthma and migraine, increasing bone health, eliminating constipation and fatigue, promotes health of hair, treats, kidney disorders, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as cognitive benefits. The list can go on and on. So here are the eight benefits of grapes given below.

Has Cardiovascular Benefits And Heals Kidney Disorders

The never-ending inflammation of the cardiovascular system should be a concern for several kinds of disease. Excessive fat intake, also known as “the French Paradox”, could lead to cholesterol problems. But grapes can solve this problem.

Grapes helps in better blood pressure regulation. It could increase your BP if it’s low or decreases it if the BP is high. This fruit reduces cholesterol levels and oxidation. Grapes also increase the levels of glutathione in the blood.

This colorful fruit reduces the acidity of uric acid. Since grapes contain high water content, they create the urge of urination. This eliminates this acid which results in the reduced stress on kidneys.

Prevents Cancer And Strengthens Bones

Grapes contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that

slow down and prevent various kinds of cancer. Cancers that occur in lungs, mouth, pharynx, gullet, pancreas, prostate gland and tumors in the colon can be treated to an extent by consuming red wine.

Micronutrients like copper, manganese, and iron are present in this little fruit. These minerals help to strengthen and form the bones. Aging can lead to problems like osteoporosis can be avoided by the intake of grapes.

Helps In Digestion And Provides Relief From Constipation

If you want to get rid of any stomach infection or constipation, start eating grapes. Grapes are classified as laxative foods because they are rich in sugar, cellulose, and organic acid.

They relieve the heat, constipation, end the issues to dyspepsia and the irritation you experience by toning the intestinal muscles and stomach.

Low In Glycemic Index (Sugar) And Reduces Diabetes

Grapes contain a low glycemic index (GI) level. Low GI levels between forty-three to fifty-three is a good indicator for consumption for the diabetic patients. Resveratrol present in grapes protects you from diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy.

Black grape intakes balance the blood sugar levels helps in insulin regulation and increases the insulin sensitivity. Diabetes could, later on, cause eye degeneration. To prevent the same, grapes should be consumed. They are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin that help maintain good eye health.

Increases Longevity And Skin Health

Phytonutrients are present in grape skins and grape seeds and flesh. This helps in increasing longevity and decreasing calories. The more we decrease the calorie intake, the more we remain nourished. Staying nourished will keep us healthy and will provide longevity to life.

Did you know that applying grape juice or pulp of grapes reduces and cures uneven skin tones? The polyphenols present in the grape helps to improve the skin tone. In fact, green grapes lighten the scars caused by acne.

Grape seed extracts work as exfoliating agents and make the skin softer than before.Mashed grapes are the best remedy for sunburns. They act as a sunscreen and reduce the redness on the skin. Grapes help in the reducing your dark spots and wrinkles.

Grapes are rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Vitamin C helps in the rejuvenation of the skin whereas Vitamin E secures the moisture in the skin. Grapes also increase the elasticity of the skin. Plus it improves blood circulation that helps in a better skin texture as well as a healthy and glowing skin effect.

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

The hormone, melatonin, is present in grapes. Melatonin acts as an antioxidant. Short-term intake of grapes behaves like a short-term antioxidant benefit. Grapes increase blood levels of glutathione and help protect the cell membranes from radical damage. It also reduces the oxidation of fat.

Grapes lower the risk of unwanted and excessive inflammation. Eating grapes daily would reduce inflammatory issues and keep you healthy for a long time.

This fruit also alleviates symptoms of allergies including running nose, hives, and watery eyes.

Improves Brain Functions And Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease

Consuming grape juice provides benefits to the brain. Grapes enhance the brain’s health and delay the degenerative neural diseases.

Anemia or fatigue can be pushed away by intaking grapes. As grapes maintain the iron and mineral levels balanced, your mind and body will be boosted with instant energy. Grapes also boost the immunity.

Grapes protect the brain and improve the memory and concentration levels. Reservatrol or polyphenols present in grapes is beneficial for declining and treating the Alzheimer’s disease.

Provides Benefits To Hair And Treats Dandruff

The black grape seed oil contains antioxidants and vitamin E. This helps in reversing excessive hair loss, increasing blood circulation in the scalp, stopping split ends from coming back and decreases the amount of prematurely gray hair.

Grapes also help you to get rid of dandruff within a few weeks. Applying grape seed oil regularly will generally reduce dandruff. Grapeseed oil also helps in regaining the lost shine and health of your hair.

Cures Asthma And Migraine

Riboflavin is present in ripe grape juices or grape seed.This is most beneficial for people suffering from migraine.

Grapes have high hydrating power which increases the moisture present in lungs and reduces asthmatic issues. It also keeps you hydrated.

The benefits don’t stop here and neither do the different names of grapes take a break. Grapes are popularly known as ‘Angoor’ in Hindi, ‘Drakshi’ in Kannada, ‘Dhraksh’ and ‘Draksha’ in Gujarati and Marathi respectively. Even thought the Queen of Fruits has several names, it is definitely beneficial to eat it daily. Go grab your bunch of grapes now!

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