Here are some more myths we’ve been taught to believe over the years. Experts weigh in on the truth that lies behind each of these tall stories.
All carbohydrates are bad for you and should be avoided. TRUTH: Carbohydrates have a moderate amount of calories (having half as many as fat). Simple carbohydrates (sugar) should be limited – complex carbohydrates: whole grain, starches, etc. are higher in nutrients. Problems occur when servings are too large!
You can eat more food if they are low-fat or fat-free. TRUTH: Low fat or fat-free does not mean calorie-free. Usually, when the fat is taken out, sugar and other carbohydrates are added in to keep the taste.
Dairy products are fattening and should be avoided. TRUTH: Dairy products contain a good quality protein to build muscles and help organs work properly, and calcium to strengthen bones. For weight control, it’s better to consume low-fat dairy products (skim or 1% milk and products, like cheese and yogurt).
Eating after 8 p.m. causes you to gain weight. TRUTH: It does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat as well as how much physical activity you do during the day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain weight.
What you eat is more important than how much you eat. TRUTH: the amount you have and how often you have it is more important. You should try to consume healthy food choices in the recommended portion sizes and save those foods and beverages that are high in fat, sugar, and calories for special occasions.
You need to exercise for at least 45 minutes at a time to get the full benefit. TRUTH: Adults should engage in moderate-intensity physical activities for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of the week. Research has shown that the activity does not need to be done all at one time- 30 minutes can be split into 2 – 15-minute intervals and provide the same benefits.
All vegetarians are healthy eaters. TRUTH: vegetarians on average eat fewer calories and less fat than non-vegetarians. However, they can make food choices that contribute to weight gain by eating large amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods as well as food with little nutritional value. The term vegetarian is not synonymous with health.
As long as you watch your food intake, you do not need to exercise. TRUTH: If you are trying to maintain or even lose weight, exercise can help you increase your lean tissue (muscle) while decreasing your fat stores. However, the benefit of regular physical activity goes well beyond maintaining a healthy weight.
Consuming highly nutritious foods, paying close attention to portion sizes (reading labels), consuming sweets and treats in moderation, and engaging in regular physical activity is the best plan to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And make sure you have all the facts before passing health info on to the next person!