Rock-hard abs are made in the kitchen is a saying that most fitness enthusiasts swear by. So, if you are wondering why you can't see the results despite putting in hours in your workout and watching your diet, here's help.
Most of us fall prey to some rampant misconceptions of some important foods that our body needs to recover and get energy from workouts. So, here are some of the commonly misunderstood eatables that should not be cut off from your diet unless you are advised to do so by your doctor or nutritionist:
POTATOES are on the starchy side of the food spectrum and are popular as some unhealthy yet delicious cuisines such as french fries and chips. This popularity tends to them being overlooked as a healthy meal option. Contrary to the common perception, potatoes actually provide several vitamins and minerals. They also pack protein and fibre which keep you full. The key is to have it baked or boiled and not fried or processed. Aim to fill about a quarter of your plate with potatoes and stick to cooking methods like baking, boiling, or broiling, as opposed to frying.
BREAD is a carb—but contrary to popular belief, not all carbs are bad for us and don’t necessarily equal weight gain. Complex carbohydrates, like those found in 100 per cent whole-grain bread, not only provide satiating protein and fiber, but also important B vitamins that help fuel your workouts.
FRUIT JUICE have earned a reputation as being more sugar-filled than nutrient-dense—however, the tricky thing about juice is that some varieties are loaded with added sugar, while others are 100 per cent fruit juice and quite healthy. So, if you juice at home, try making fruit smoothies instead so you don't lose out on the fibre content.
MILK from cattle are a controversial subject. Traditional cow’s milk has been found to be an important source of nine essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein. Whole milk may promote fullness and serve as a better vehicle for fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A and D, compared to low-fat and fat-free. However, many people are prone to lactose intolerance especially as we get older, so the best way would be to include dairy alternatives such as cottage cheese and curd to get your fix of the nutrients.
BANANAS have divided fitness enthusiasts with their opinions. They are a good source of potassium, fibre and vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Bananas can also be used to sweeten and moisten baked goods in a healthier way. But the key is to consume them in a moderate amount and not overdo it.
AVOCADOS have a bad rep about being too fatty, but we now know that it’s the good kind of fat. In fact, studies have found that avocados (in addition to being crammed with vitamins and minerals) can lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol, as well as boasting anti-inflammatory properties and improving vascular health.
COCONUT OIL has been demonized for having high levels of saturated fat. While too much saturated fat is unhealthy, research has found that this oil has the ability to boost HDL cholesterol — the good cholesterol — and also contains antioxidants.
EGGS are touted to being loaded with fat that would send your cholesterol through the roof. New research has shown that eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition that may indeed cause a spike in your cholesterol levels, they are also loaded with nutrients that can actually lower the risk of heart disease. Still not convinced? Then, you can try out lentils instead that pack more protein-power than eggs.
PEANUTS are notorious for their high calorie and fat levels. However, contrary to the popular belief monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are GOOD for you, as they reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream and lower your risk of heart disease. However, don't take this as an excuse to go overboard with it!
NUTS are high in fat is a fact. BUT it’s the good kind of heart-healthy fat. Having said that, not all nuts are created equal, so do your research on their health benefits before you go snacking. The skin of almonds, for example, is loaded with flavonoids, which have been demonstrated to protect against heart disease.
(Inputs by Dietitian Garima Goyal)