Many misconceptions exist within the field of nutrition (which I’m sure you are familiar with a few of them), but how do you separate the myths from the truth? Here are a few common food myths that can hopefully clear up some questions and educate you about the truth!
MYTH: Eating after 8 pm causes weight gain
TRUTH: Weight gain is dependent on how many calories are consumed and the amount of physical activity conducted during the day, NOT by the time of day that you eat. No matter what or when you eat your body will store extra calories as fat.
MYTH: Sugar causes Diabetes
TRUTH: This is probably one of the most common misconceptions about diabetes. If you have diabetes, you need to watch your sugar and carbohydrate intake to properly manage your blood sugar level. However, there is no research that has found sugar directly causes diabetes. The main risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes are a diet high in calories, being overweight, and an inactive lifestyle. This does not mean there is a green light to eat as much sugar as you want, as sugar contributes to overall calories, and a high caloric diet is a risk factor for diabetes.
MYTH: Energy drinks are less harmful than soda
TRUTH: Energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Full Throttle attempt to boost your energy with a cache of B vitamins, herbal extracts, and amino acids. But what your body’s going to remember most (especially around your waistline) is the sugar in these concoctions; a 16-ounce can delivers as much as 280 calories of pure sugar, which is about 80 calories more than you’d find in a 16-ounce cup of Pepsi. What’s more, a University of Maryland study found energy drinks to be 11 percent more corrosive to your teeth than regular soda.
MYTH: Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight
TRUTH: Studies show that people who skip breakfast and eat fewer times during the day tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast and eat four or five times a day. This may be because people who skip meals tend to feel hungrier later on, and eat more than they normally would. It may also be that eating many small meals throughout the day helps people control their appetites.
MYTH: Eating red meat is bad for your health and makes it harder to lose weight
TRUTH: Eating lean meat in small amounts can be part of a healthy weight-loss plan. Although they contain saturated fat and cholesterol, red meat also contains healthy nutrients such as protein, iron and zinc. Choose cuts of meats that are lower in fat and trim all visible fat.
To learn about other nutrition myths visit www.diabetes.org