Nutrition Myths and Truths

To Believe or Not Believe

Myth #1: All fats are bad

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The Truth: Not all fats are equal. Our body needs fat to help with nutrient absorption and nerve transmission. When consumed in excess amounts, however, fats will contribute to weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. The key to balancing your fat intake is to replace bad fats (saturated and trans) with good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated).

Myth #2: Sugar causes diabetes
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The Truth: High sugar intake will not cause you to develop diabetes. Type II diabetes is primarily caused by a lack of physical activity, a nutrition plan high in calories, and obesity. However, if you already have diabetes, you do need to watch your sugar and carbohydrate intake with the help of your doctor or dietician.
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Myth #3: Brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs

The Truth: Eggshell color only depends on the breed of the hen, and has no correlation with nutritional value, cost, flavor, quality, or shell thickness.

Myth #4: Skipping meals can help you lose weight
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The Truth: Skipping meals will slow down your metabolism rate, since your body will think you are in starvation mode and will conserve energy. This means that it will take longer for you to lose weight. You then tend to overeat at the next meal to make up for the lack of blood sugar. Skipping a meal and then overeating at the next meal often means you end up with a higher caloric intake than if you just ate throughout the day. Breakfast is an exceptionally important meal, as it jumpstarts your metabolism for the day.
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Myth #5: Eating carbohydrates will cause you to gain weight

The Truth: Low-carbohydrate diets do not provide the adequate amount of carbohydrates for your body to maintain its daily activities. Your body will then try to compensate by burning stored carbohydrates (glycogen) for energy. Water is released when your body burns glycogen, so the drop in weight you may see at the beginning of a low-carbohydrate diet is mostly water weight.

Myth #6: Fruit and vegetable juices are a good source of fruits and vegetables
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The Truth: Fruit and vegetable juices do not provide the fiber that is found in whole fruits and vegetables. By grinding up the fruit or vegetable, you are losing essential vitamins and minerals. Phytochemicals found in whole fruits and vegetables give food their color and texture. They decrease the progression of cancer, so it is important to consume fruits and vegetables in their whole, fresh state because phytochemicals cannot be bottled up.

Myth #7: Eating late at night will make you gain weight
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The Truth: No matter what time of day you eat, calories are calories. If you are at the office late or have a late workout, it is perfectly acceptable to have a late meal, but do not overindulge, as it will keep you from sleeping since your stomach will still be digesting the food. What you eat is more important than when you eat, but try to eat throughout the day in order to sustain energy.

Myth #8: Frozen Fruits and Vegetables are not as healthy fresh produce.

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The Truth: Although fresh fruits and vegetables contain many nutrients, fresh produce is often picked before it is ripe, boxed, and transported over long distances and then left to sit on store shelves to ripen. The time lapse between picking fresh produce and purchasing them at a store can often cause them to lose some of their nutritional value as they are exposed to light and air. Both taste and texture may also be diminished. In contrast, frozen fruits and vegetables get picked when they are ripe and at their highest nutritional value and then immediately frozen. This means that frozen fruits and vegetables may contain more nutrients than fresh fruits and vegetables. If you shop at a local Farmer’s market or a grocery store that gets produce from local farmers, the nutritional quality of fresh produce can be maintained!

Myth #9: I need to drink 8 glasses of water a day to be healthy.
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The Truth: While you do need to stay hydrated, eight glasses of water is not necessary since you intake water from both liquid and foods. Other liquids also help keep you hydrated. According to the Institute of Medicine, 80% of people’s total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages. These beverages can be water, milk, fruit drink (but watch out for sugar content), and even coffee. The other 20% is taken in by food. Fruit is an excellent source of water. Watermelon is 90% water and is a great way to hydrate you. According to the Institute of Medicine, the majority of people meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide. It also recommends that adult women consume approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water and men an average of approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of total water. See Hydration Tips for the Whole Family for more information.

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