New Delhi, May 1: Portions don't matter, eating fat makes you fat -- shun such myths if you're going on a diet, say experts.
Anita Mirchandani, a registered dietician, and chef Ganesh Krishnamoorthy, Co-Founder, Epigamia and Drums Food International, seek to bust some myths around dieting.
* Portions don't matter: In fact, portions matter the most. It is important to understand what the true portions are for adults and for children. Overeating is one of the main contributors to the obesity epidemic.
* Avoid pasta: You don't have to avoid anything unless you have an allergy or intolerance. Pasta in moderation is completely acceptable. If you want to avoid gluten or increase nutrition quality, try whole grain varieties or spelt pasta.
* Coffee will help you lose weight: Yes, coffee does tend to suppress appetite. However, the quantity you need to do so would exceed the suggested daily limit, which then becomes unhealthy. In addition, too much caffeine could have a negative impact on the body in the form of dehydration and anxiety. Try not to exceed two caffeinated cups per day.
* Vitamins are a must: Not true. You don't really need a multivitamin unless you're pregnant, nursing or over 50. If you focus on a wholesome diet that integrates healthy fats such as Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds as well as whole grains, vegetables and fruits, you will achieve a varied vitamin and mineral intake.
* Eating fat makes you fat: Yes, it does, but only if you eat the wrong kind and in excessive portions. Good fats such as those found in avocados, Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds are beneficial to the body in many ways. Focus on eating healthy fat sources and avoid large amounts of saturated fats such as fatty cuts of meats, butter and fried foods.
* If you exercise, you can eat as much as you want: This myth is one of the reasons you may not experience weight loss. Calories are calories. You should be conscious of portions. Just because something (like an apple) is healthy, it doesn't mean you may eat five of them.
* Only salad diet is healthy: Of course, salads are very healthy since they add a lot of fiber to the diet and this helps in easy digestion. Ingredients in the salad can make a lot of difference to the health scale: cheese, lean meats, nuts with lots of leafy green and vegetables can provide a good balance of nutrients. Replace heavy dressings like mayo, thousand island etc. with healthy low fat Greek yogurt to get that extra bit of health.