To believe or not to believe? Behind every food claim made: Do carbohydrates make you fat? Low-fat foods are always better for you, there is always a kernel of truth. In this article, we shall explore some of these statements made, and teach you to separate the fiction from the facts.

1. Organic food is more nutritious

With environmental concerns topping the , the demand of organic food has been ever increasing. As organic food is said to be relatively free from most pesticides and herbicides, it is then logical to think that they are healthier as well. However, most researchers have found that there are no significant nutritional difference between conventional and organic crops and livestock. In fact, organic farmers do use pesticides. The only difference is that they’re “natural” instead of “synthetic.” This can serve as useful information that people can based their decisions on regarding their level of concern about pesticides, their budget and other considerations.

2. Don’t eat after 8pm

People who are conscious about their weight often avoid eating late in the evening because of the fear of those late-night calories sitting in your body, turning into fats. In fact, calories can’t tell time. Be it morning, noon or night, your body digests and consumes calories the same way. Rather, its those extra calories that you should be wary of when you consume these meals. Studies have shown that people are more likely to overeat and misjudge the calories consumed when they eat late due to fatigue. Thus, always be watchful of your daily calorie intake. Women are advised to consume about 2000 calories daily, while men are to consume about 2800 calories.

3. Decaf = No caffeine

Sticking to decaf is not going to eliminate caffeine from your coffee. In the US, a coffee can be labelled decaffeinated if it has lowered its caffeine level by at least 97.5%. According to Bruce Goldberger, a professor and director of UF’s William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, “If someone drinks 5 to 10 cups of decaffeinated coffee, the dose of caffeine could easily reach the level present in a cup or two of caffeinated coffee.’ People who are advised to cut their caffeine intake due to certain health problems such as anxiety disorders and kidney disease, should especially take note of this to adjust their diet accordingly.

4. The 5 – seconds rule

“5 seconds 5 seconds!!”- the idea that food is not contaminated if it is picked up within 5 seconds. Unfortunately, things are not as clear-cut as it is and the decision to pick or not to pick is a subjective call. This depends on several factors – what was dropped, where it was dropped and your level of hunger. For example, a moist food dropped on a wood/tiled floor is more likely to pick up a higher percentage of bacteria than a dry food on a carpeted floor. The truth is that bacteria is transferred immediately upon contact, but whether it is to the point of food contamination is another question. Therefore whenever in doubt, the safest is to just adopt the 0 second rule.

5. 8 glasses of water

The saying ‘at least 8 glasses of water every day’ has been indoctrinated in the minds of children for the longest time that we as adults sometimes still do live by this daily. The overestimation of such an amount dismissed the fact that everything we eat and drink has actually water in it as well. For example, water forms 75-96% in some fruits and vegetables, and 50-70% in meat. The general rule of thumb regarding the ideal amount of water is to just drink whenever you feel thirsty, as simple as that. Listen to your own body rather than follow the standardised health advice out there.

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