Which popular diets have been scientifically refuted?

Eating and Weight Loss: Five Popular Misconceptions About Diet

Calories are calories and problem areas can be easily trained away? We do away with the most common nutritional myths

1: Protein and carbohydrates have to be eaten separately

The assumption goes back to the US doctor William H. Hay: In 1907, the founder of the food combining diets successfully combated his obesity and severe kidney disease by consuming plenty of raw and other natural foods and always making sure that foods were rich in carbohydrates do not eat with foods rich in protein.

The doctor was convinced that the human body could not digest the two nutrients at the same time: This leads to an "acidification" of the body, according to Hay, which in turn promotes obesity and typical lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. These assumptions have long since been scientifically refuted. Nevertheless, some food combining diets are quite suitable for weight loss - because their menu provides for an overall balanced and low-calorie diet.

2: All carbohydrates are fattening foods

For many people, carbohydrates have fallen into disrepute. But such a blanket judgment is not justified. The main problematic are those carbohydrates with a simple chemical structure that are found in white bread or soft drinks and in all products with industrial sugar, such as fruit yoghurts or many cereals: They lead to strongly fluctuating blood sugar levels, which often trigger feelings of hunger; in addition, the organism quickly builds up body fat.

The situation is different with the complex carbohydrates in fruit, vegetables and whole grain products, for example: the body first has to break down these compounds during digestion so that they pass more slowly and more evenly into the blood; the blood sugar level does not fluctuate as much, the feeling of satiety lasts much longer.

This content comes from the magazine GEO WISSEN Nutrition

3: Fasting detoxifies

The goal of losing weight can also be achieved by those who regularly refrain from eating by the day or by the hour. In addition, researchers have found plenty of evidence of positive effects of fasting on the body: It can help with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases, for example. The organism does not remove “waste products”, researchers do not use the term either.

If this refers to metabolic products that cannot be used, such as creatinine or urea, the body excretes them in the usual ways, even without fasting. However, recent research suggests that fasting can enhance natural cell renewal processes.

4: Calories are the same - no matter where they come from

If you want to lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories than you consume - that is the principle of every diet. But does it make a difference to your success whether the calories come from the cola or the wholemeal bread? After all, calories are the unit of measurement for energy, so they always have the same amount of energy.

In everyday life, however, 100 kilocalories from cola have a different effect than from wholemeal bread: They are absorbed faster, but make you feel less full. Liquids stay in the stomach for a shorter time and are digested more quickly, and sweet drinks also cause the blood sugar level to fluctuate considerably. Both of these factors mean that a cola drinker will soon feel hungry again - and despite the same amount of energy consumed, it will be much more difficult than others to adhere to their daily calorie limit.

5: Problem areas can easily be trained away

This is not going to work. On the one hand, exercise alone is almost never enough to lose weight, especially not in specific areas of the body. In addition, our genes determine where the body prefers to store fat - and which of these depots it is last to attack. Stubborn cushions on the stomach, thighs and buttocks can therefore usually not simply be trained away with no matter how special exercises. Sport can only help to tighten these areas by building up muscles.

More about nutrition at GEO.de.