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Food & diet

All the myths about diet

October 1, 2018

The Higher Institute of Health has even opened a section of the official website to deny them, but the “fake news” on nutrition are many and particularly rooted in popular imagination. Together with Professor Daniela Lucini, Head of Medicine at Humanitas, we see what the main ones are and why they are not true.


“Cane sugar hurts less”


White sugar and cane sugar are exactly the same as they are made from the same molecule, sucrose. That is why they are food-equivalent products. It is therefore not true that cane sugar hurts less than white sugar. Instead, the principle that simple sugar is a food to be used with great moderation always remains valid.


“Pineapple makes you lose weight and pasta makes you fat”


The first myth to be debunked concerns the fact that there are no foods that can make you lose weight. Each food has a higher or lower caloric value and must be included in the diet in the right proportions. Pineapple, for example, is an excellent fruit and can be consumed without fear: the important thing is not to believe that eating it can contribute to weight loss. On the other hand, a balanced diet includes carbohydrates, or complex sugars, which should never be lacking. Pasta is therefore a valid food to be consumed according to the right quantities and criteria, bearing in mind the principle of moderation.

“Iron is mainly found in spinach”.


This is a true statement only partially. Spinach contains iron, but this is not as easily assimilated as the one you can get from red meat.


 “Children can eat whatever they want.”


Childhood obesity is not something that goes with development, but a serious problem to be looked after. That is why it is wrong to believe that children can eat whatever they want in the desired quantities. Children’s nutrition must also be regulated and balanced according to the principles of the Mediterranean diet. An obese child has a very high risk of becoming an obese adult and this risk increases with age.

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