Diet and Nutrition - Urban Legends
1. I’m young and healthy. There is no need to worry about my diet and nutrition right now. This can’t be further from the truth. NOW is the time to focus on healthy eating and lifestyle habits while you’re young. It’s always important to properly nourish your body. Poor diets and nutritional habits in your youth can lead to a lifetime of consequences and health issues. There’s no greater time than now.
2. Brown sugar is better for you than white sugar. This is not true. Brown sugar is simply white sugar with molasses added to it. There is no significant benefit to using brown sugar over white sugar in meals or with cooking. Pure cane sugar in its raw form has the most nutritional value, containing multiple vitamins and minerals. It is important to note that all forms of sugar can lead to a rise in blood glucose and should be used with caution.
3. Certain foods are good for fat burning. This is a common misconception. A lot fruits and vegetables have been labeled fat-burning and are the basis of several “fad diets”. These foods don’t cause weight loss by burning calories, the weight loss occurs by simply reducing the total calorie intake. If you burn off more calories than you take in each day, you will lose weight-regardless of the type of food eaten. There are no “calorie burning” foods.
4. “Natural” and herbal weight loss medicines are safe. No medicine or treatment is without side effects. It is important to consult with your physician before beginning any new treatment or weight loss regimen. Be sure to discuss all medications both prescribed and over-the-counter with your healthcare provider to ensure there are no contraindications or potential for risk.
5. No fat, or fat-free means there are no calories. This is untrue. A food that is labeled as fat-free, can still have calories. Be sure to check the nutritional labels for the foods you are eating. Here you will find a list of all of the nutrients contained in that food item. Read your labels!
This column was originally printed in the January 2 - January 15, 2011 edition.