Blurry vision? Grab your contacts not a carrot. Read more…

Think you know your health myths down to a beat? Well guess again, our resident dietitian Maryam AlHamad busts some unknown myths. Part one of health myths 101 debunks some of the widely believed urban legends.

Myth #1: Eat more carrots for better eye sight.
Reality: Because carrots contain a high concentration of vitamin A, whose deficiency can cause blindness, people believe that eating more of this vegetable will improve their eye sight. However, extra servings of carrots on your plate won't give you eagle eyes. The reason behind this belief goes way back in time to World War II. A campaign carried out by the British government, who were using radars to detect bombing raids, gave this misinformation to lure the Germans into believing that the British pilots were being fed carrots to improve their vision and use their eyesight as the sole way of detecting the raids. Their campaign was obviously so successful that people still believe in it today. However, if you think about the bigger picture, you can see that if you start off with a vitamin A deficiency, then eating more carrots will, in some way, improve your vision. It's all relative after all isn’t it?

Myth #2: Foods like grapefruit or cabbage soup can burn fat and make you lose weight.
Reality: No foods can burn fat. Some foods may help boost your metabolism for a short period of time, but they do not make you lose weight. If you want to eat these foods as part of a well-rounded diet, please do. Grapefruits for example are rich sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects you from heart disease and breast cancer. So add these nutrient-rich foods into your diet and focus on the overall choices you make to make sure you stay on the healthier side of life.

Myth #3: Eating late at night causes weight gain.
Reality: This is probably one of the most popular health myths of our day, but guess what dear readers, calories can't tell time. Your body digests and uses calories the same way morning, noon, and night. They may sit around a little longer if you eat, then lie on the couch and watch the latest episode of one of the many TV shows you follow, but when you wake up and move around the next day, your body will still use up its stores. It does not matter what time of day you eat. It is the difference between the amount of calories you consume and burn throughout your day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight.

Myth #4: A lump in your breast means you have breast cancer.
Reality: You can relax. About 80 per cent of breast lumps are benign. Lumps can be the result of a cyst or calcification, an excess deposit of calcium in breast tissue, which occur in times of injury, hormonal changes or infection.  However, to make sure you are on the safe side if you do find a lump, it won't hurt to contact a health professional right away for a quick check up.

Myth #5: Lifting weights bulks you up and is not recommended for weight loss.
Reality: Weight lifting and strength training can help you maintain or lose your weight and when done correctly and in moderation will not bulk you up. You will be building more muscle, and muscle burns more calories than fat. It is in fact highly recommended to exercise at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week and weight train 2 to 3 days a week healthier better weight loss.

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