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5 More Myths About Nutrition That Are Not True: Coffee, Gluten, Lactose and More

We’ve already discussed some of the myths about food: salt, lactose, fat-free products. But there are many more of them that need to be broken. So here it is, five more myths about nutrition you need to know about.

Myth 1: Coffee has a bad effect on the heart

How caffeine affects our heart is still being studied. However, according to the American Heart Association, moderate coffee consumption (1-2 cups a day) does not cause adverse effects.

But high doses of caffeine can really be dangerous for those who suffer from heart disease.

If a patient already has a cardiovascular problem, prolonged excessive coffee consumption can worsen the prognosis of complications and heart failure. Coffee increases the excitability of the nervous system, affects the contraction of the heart (speeds it up). Excessive coffee consumption leads to high blood pressure, tachycardia, and various arrhythmias, which in turn leads to pain in the heart, shortness of breath, anxiety.

Therefore, during the progression of the disease, cardiologists advise refraining from coffee.

honey dipper on honey comb

Myth 2: Honey becomes a poison when heated

This is a myth. But where did it come from?

There is a theory that under the action of high temperatures there is a process of caramelization of honey. The result is 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, an organic compound obtained by dehydrating some sugars. 5-hydroxymethylfurfural was considered potentially carcinogenic to humans and has been the subject of extensive research. However, genotoxicity has not yet been confirmed in vivo. There is no evidence of carcinogenic and genotoxic effects on humans.

This substance is not exclusive to honey. Fry the toast and make yourself a toast with 5-hydroxymethylfurfural.

The formation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural depends on the concentration of honey and temperature. In an aqueous solution, which is tea, due to dilution, this reaction will be significantly inhibited. The same with honey caramel.

If you eat these dishes in normal concentrations, the magical and mysterious products in honey will not hurt you.

And if your diet is just tea with honey and bacon caramelized with honey, then even 5-hydroxymethylfurfural will not have time to harm you, because an unbalanced and high-calorie diet will destroy your body much faster.

Did you eat cherries?

Because your teeth were just near the cyanide capsule in the stone of this fruit.

The mere presence of traces of toxic compounds does not indicate the toxicity of the product itself.

Myth 3: All dairy products are harmful

We grew up thinking that milk is probably the most useful product, but now we hear more and more “not useful at all” or “not useful to adults”.

So drink milk or not?

Depends on whether you can digest it.

In general, dairy products are a good source of calcium and adequate consumption by a person who has no specific contraindications – a completely healthy practice. Dairy products should not be consumed by those who have lactose intolerance, as well as in the period of exacerbation of pancreatic diseases (chronic pancreatitis) and inflammatory bowel disease.

Breast milk is our first food. The vast majority of people are born with enzymes that allow us to digest lactose or milk sugar, but with age the amount of these enzymes decreases.

One study claims that 75% of adults lose the ability to digest milk at some point in their lives. Also, this ability depends on genes and ethnicity. For example, there are data that only 2% of Danes suffer from milk intolerance, and in Zambia, this figure reaches 100%!

Evolutionary biologist Paul Sherman says lactose intolerance is more common in countries with hot climates, as well as where it was economically difficult to keep herds safely.

How to understand that you are lactose intolerant?

If you experience flatulence, bloating, or diarrhea after consuming dairy products, it may be lactose intolerance. Then you should see a doctor and take special tests.

If intolerance is confirmed, the milk will have to be excluded from the diet. Your doctor will help you adjust your diet properly and may prescribe calcium supplements.

The lactase deficiency can very different – primary and secondary, complete and partial, so the question of excluding dairy products from the diet should be discussed with your doctor. If, for example, lactase deficiency is mild, a person can consume a small amount of low-lactose dairy products.

Lactose is found not only in milk or yogurt, but also in sausages, cheeses, sauces, so it is important to pay attention to the composition of the product.

Myth 4: Gluten is harmful

To begin with, let’s understand what “gluten” is?

Gluten – is a protein. It is found in wheat, rye, barley, and all products made from these cereals – bread, cakes, rolls, beer, and more.

For a long time, people did not even know such a word, but in recent years, the harmful effects of gluten are very active.

Proponents of gluten-free diets believe that bread can damage our gut, cause autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, and have a bad effect on our brains.

Gluten can really be dangerous for 1% of people on the planet. This is the number of people who suffer from celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system of a person who consumes gluten produces antibodies, which in turn damages the intestinal wall.

Because of this, the patient loses magnesium and calcium reserves, suffers from severe cramps. Without treatment, celiac disease can lead to death. Therefore, the exclusion of gluten from the human diet is a vital measure.

This disease can be diagnosed only by blood tests for antibodies and biopsies.

There are also those who are intolerant to gluten or have an allergy to wheat. But this means that only wheat should be excluded from the diet. This type of allergy is diagnosed with skin tests. A qualified doctor will help you adjust the menu.

People who are gluten intolerant experience bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea after eating gluten-containing foods.

If you do not have problems with gluten, then do not torment yourself with a gluten-free diet.

Harvard Medical School says there is no evidence of its positive health effects or disease prevention. Even more, like any diet, a gluten-free diet can carry health risks.

First, gluten-free foods contain less fiber. Consumption of whole grains reduces the risk of heart disease.

Second, gluten acts as a prebiotic and feeds our beneficial bacteria. It contains the chemical compound arabinoxylan. This compound stimulates the activity of bifidobacteria, which are usually found in a healthy human intestine.

Changes in the number and activity of these bacteria are associated with various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including inflammation, colorectal cancer, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Myth 5: Drinking water during a meal is harmful

Does water slow down the digestion process?

No, in fact, it can even help, explain the experts from Mayo Clinic.

It is unknown where this myth came from, but the fact is that water does not stay in the stomach for a long time. It almost immediately enters the intestine and it does not dilute gastric juice. In addition, the food itself, for example, various fruits and vegetables, contains a lot of water.