Diet myth-busters: It’s time to burst some weight-loss bubbles

We’re going to reveal the reality behind mainstream advice many of you have come across which may not have any scientific basis after all

Racha Adib
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Attention all dieters keen on losing weight: you might want to get your facts straight before attempting to drop those pounds. Why is that? Because many of the mainstream information you hear and read about may not be so true and may be getting in the way of your weight loss efforts.

Today, we’re going to reveal the reality behind mainstream advice many of you have come across which may not have any scientific basis after all. Without further ado, let’s get to busting some myths.


Myth: Bananas are the most fattening fruits

Truth: Because Bananas are sweeter than other fruits, they are often shunned by dieters. The reality is, however, that all fruits have the same calories by serving and they all contain the same amount of sugar. So what’s in a serving? One small banana is equivalent in calories and sugar to 1 small apple, 1 small orange, 1 kiwi, or an average slice of watermelon.


Not only are they equally calorific to all fruit servings, bananas can also help with weight control. They contain naturally occurring resistant starch that cannot be absorbed by your body. Multiple studies have shown that resistant starch can increase satiety and reduce food intake and according to one clinical trial, resistant starch may actually help burn fat. How’s that for a reality check?

Myth: Go wheat free, gluten free to get an ultimate weight loss plan

Truth: These diets have been prescribed for years, but not for what you think. A wheat free, gluten free diet is one that consists of eliminating the protein gluten found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. This diet is usually recommended to patients diagnosed with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that damages the lining of the small intestine when gluten is consumed. Today, it is frequently recommended to people who want to lose weight.

It’s true that people following a gluten free diet, end up losing weight but that’s because the diet limits a bunch of fattening foods such as chips, cookies, and most desserts. Nonetheless, if you haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac and want to lose weight, why complicate your life? Simply reduce your caloric intake and add in exercise.

Myth: Eat grapefruit to burn fat

Truth: The theory behind the grapefruit diet is that it speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn fat. Although there have been a few studies linking grapefruit consumption to weight loss, the promise of losing 10 pounds in 10 days is very far from the truth. In one study, subjects who ate fresh grapefruit lost an additional pound per month when compared to the placebo group, which probably goes back to the fullness effect of water in grapefruit.


However, we’re not saying that grapefruit isn’t a healthy addition to your diet – it contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber– but it definitely no quick fix.

Myth: The less fat your eat, the less fat you’ll have

Truth: It’s important to understand that you only put on weight when you eat more calories than you burn. Whether these calories are coming from intake of fat, carbs, or protein is irrelevant. Although counting fat grams can work for weight control, it’s not the only thing you should be counting.

In addition, going too low on fat could work against you. Eating too little fat may leave you feeling hungry and eating more. The key is swapping bad fat with good fat – for example choose low fat cheese and add in some olive oil to bread. Good fat can also benefit people with heart disease and diabetes.

Myth: Apple cider vinegar in the morning can flush fat away

Truth: In folktale, apple cider vinegar has been touted to help you burn fat when taken on an empty stomach. The only study to test this concept was done on 175 obese in Japan. 12 weeks later, those who used vinegar had lost slightly more weight than the controlled group with an average 1-2 pound weight loss over 3 months only.

If you’re looking to get an ulcer, then yes we do recommend taking this vinegar first thing in the morning. But if you’re looking to lose weight, then you’ll still need to follow portion control and exercise.

Myth: You can’t eat sweets when trying to lose weight


Truth: When following a diet, the last thing you want to feel is deprivation or you’ll likely to abandon it. According to the American Dietetic Association, “there are no such things as bad foods” so eat your sweets in moderation and choose wisely. Always read calories and aim for less than 200 calories of sweets per day. Great options are a light sponge cake, a scoop of low fat yogurt ice-cream, or 3 squares of dark chocolate.

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