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LGLWSM Newsletter 065 - Debunking Food Myths and Truths
February 01, 2013
With so much information (and misinformation) about which foods are healthy for you, it’s easy to get confused and give up the fight to better nutrition. However, what you eat plays a vital role in how you look and feel. Some foods, no matter how you slice them, are just plain bad for you however, in moderation, they won’t tilt the scales or even lower your immunity.
Here are five of the top food myths that will help you make better choices about how often you select various foods to indulge in.
Top Five Food Myths to Debunk!
1) Red wine is much more heart healthy than beer.
Red wine contains a substance called resveratrol, which has been touted and credited with protecting blood vessels from LDL (bad) cholesterol, which in turn helps prevent blood clots. However, the research that’s been done has only been on mice, not humans. Seems to me, the *health benefits of resveratrol have yet to be determined!
The real benefit of red wine instead comes from the alcohol content. Alcohol itself helps boost levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which helps sweep plaque from arteries and prevent stroke and heart disease. So whether or not you prefer stout beer or white wine is really incidental. You can take comfort in knowing that any alcoholic drink is good for you in moderation. However, after you’ve had a few drinks, switch over to water. More than two drinks a day does more harm than good.
*There maybe beauty benefits from resveratrol that I need to look into since it's being added to some of the beauty products of today! If I find something good, I'll be sure to let ya know!
2) A gluten free diet will help you lose weight!
Gluten is a protein that’s found in wheat, barley, and rye grains and can have adverse consequences for anyone who has celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. In excess, gluten can also make you gain weight like crazy, especially if you're a blood type O!
The problem is that most gluten-free breads lack many nutrients everyone needs to stay healthy. Whole grains are an especially good source of folate, (folic acid) a B vitamin. Folate helps satiate food cravings by boosting seratonin levels in the brain. When you don’t eat grains, you may feel unsatisfied after meals and end up snacking on other things that have more calories.
However, if you decide to try giving up grains for any amount of time, you can get sufficient amounts of folate from other food sources like broccoli, dried beans, avocado’s, along with seeds and nuts.
3) Organic produce contains more nutrients than conventional produce.
If you like the idea of protecting the environment and going green, buying organic produce is a great place to start. However, there is little nutritional advantage to eating organic over the traditional counterparts.
The real deterrent for many folks, are the amounts of pesticides and herbicides used to grow conventional produce today. Most levels are safe for most healthy people when ingested. However, if you’re worried about them, spend the extra money on produce that has a peel you consume, such as apples or grapes. Of course, the other way to handle it is just by removing any remnants by washing produce in mild soap and warm water before consumption.
If you’re worried about GMO’s, check out the real deal here:
4) Sugar is just as bad for you as high fructose corn syrup.
High fructose corn syrup has been blamed largely for the epidemic of obesity in the US and rightly so. Although your body processes both sugars *about the same, your body can still tell the difference.
Any food that’s been processed may have added HFCS, like breads, cereals, crackers, and snack foods. For that reason, read labels to help cut down on the amount of HFCS that you consume.
*HFCS contains fructose, (sugar contains sucrose) which is actually harder for your liver to process. Recent studies show that fructose also fails to trigger feelings of satiety after consumption, which may lead to more snacking later. For that reason, use raw sugar instead and moderate the amount you consume.
The other negative thing about HFCS is that it's cheaper to make than sugar so its added to many foods you’d never suspect. As a result, American’s are getting an overwhelming (and unnecessary) amount of fructose calories in their daily diets and will continue to pack on the pounds until the cycle is broken.
5) Fried food makes you gain weight.
In moderation, fried food can be just as healthy as roasting if it’s cooked correctly. In truth, a well drained fried chicken leg has only 20 calories more than a roasted chicken leg. Reason it’s not more?
When you deep fry foods, the intense heat causes moisture inside the food to evaporate, creating steam that blocks the absorption of oil, and thus extra calories. However, the oil needs to be at the right temperature to NOT soak up extra oils and become more fattening!
To ensure you're frying correctly, make sure the oil is between 325 – 350 degrees for larger pieces (like a chicken breast) and between 375 - 400 degrees for smaller foods, like okra or potato wedges. Before deep frying, use a candy or deep frying thermometer to assist you in getting the temperature right! Then drain foods on a paper towel or an inside out brown bag. (What I use at home when I fry. In fact, last weekend I made fried mushrooms for the first time in a very long time and let me tell ya, they were so scrumptious!)
So here’s the deal. When you read or hear something that raises your eyebrows, better check into it. It's alarming at how gullible people have become! Our world is rampant with misinformation!
The bottom line on nutrition is that nothing in excess is good for you. Live by that one simple rule and you’ll have a well balanced diet that protects you from illness and prevents you from gaining more weight!
(The other thing you must do is follow your gut and use good sound common sense! Don't allow yourself to be swept up in all the hype. Stick to what you do know and you'll be a lot happier and healthier!)
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