Thursday, March 24, 2011

10 Nutrional Myths

My husband and I were watching Germany's the Biggest Loser on Tuesday night, and immediately afterwards was a short program, where one of the trainers talked about the top 10 nutritional myths. I got them almost all right and thought it was something good to pass along and for all of us to think about. I will just list them here, and comment on a few that I think are especially important. My comments are in parenthesis.

1) Not eating breakfast will help you become thinner. False - your body needs the energy to get started in the morning.

2) Artificial sweeteners help you lost weight (ie. instead of sugar). False. (I found this explanation in English, basically the same as what they said in German) Normal use of artificial sweeteners is a false sense of security. There is scant evidence that these sugar substitutes actually help people lose weight. In fact, there is evidence that they may contribute to weight gain. These substances still stimulate the sweet receptors of the tongue and may even cause an insulin response since the tongue is the first step in the digestive process. So by activating sweet receptors and telling the brain “sugar is available,” even if it’s not, we increase our appetites. One study showed that artificial sweeteners disrupt the body’s built-in calorie measuring ability. (in German they said you tend to eat more calories in the end because the artificial stuff gives you a sweet craving without any full feeling. Personally I go for normal sugar instead of sweeteners because they are chemically made. But still say no sugar is better than "normal" sugar. :) Or use Stevia!)

3) Butter is better than margarine. True. Butter is a natural product, whereas margarine requires much "handling" and processes to get the end result as well as many additives to get flavor, spreadability, etc. And actually there is only about 1-2 grams of fat difference.

4) The person who excercies will lose weight. False. Just because you excercise doesn't mean you can eat anything. Bottom line - you must burn more calories than you take in.

5) Pork is more fatty than turkey. False. Not necessarily true if you choose lean cuts of pork.

6) "Light" products will help you lose weight. False. Light products are often not "natural" and have lots of other things added in to keep the taste. Example - low fat cream cheese has much less fat but more sugar to give a better taste and so almost equal calories. (Personally, I always buy the "real" stuff, and remember to eat a small portion because it is high in fat, or whatever. I can stand all the light stuff with a dozen add-ins!)

7) 5 meals a day help you stay thinner. True. It is better to keep yourself feeling full all the time by dividing up your calories.

8) Eating half a portion causes you to lose weight. False. You can't eat whatever, just as long as you eat only half or if you justify eating something else (they said a piece of cake for example). Watching portion size AND what you are eating is important.

9)Bread makes you fat. False. Interesting fact - they said the average German eats 68kg of bread each year! Whole wheat and bread with grain still in it contains important carbs and the fiber our bodies need. White bread will make you fat. :)

10) Eating late will make you fat. False. I found it interesting that the example they gave was Spain - because they eat such a late supper! Once again, it is more WHAT you eat, then WHEN you eat.
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