Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nutrition Myths Debunked

Check out this post in the new blog

Vinegar helps by melting fat from the body. Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar. cold water can induce weight loss.

Do these statements sound familiar?

Every day you hear form your mom or friends, or read in websites, newspapers and magazines, about specific food items for weight loss, for shaping the body, and for flattening the belly, but which are true? Which are a myth?

Let’s clarify some popular myths:

Myth: Drink vinegar on an empty stomach first thing in the morning to melt fat

Fact: Vinegar is a versatile liquid made by the process of fermentation of ethanol by acidic bacteria, there are many types of it. It can be made from fruits like apple, grapes or grains like rice or dried fruits like raisins.
Because vinegar has high acidity it may cause burns inside the body, and irritate the throat, and if you take it in large amounts for long period of time you will end up with holes in your stomach and intestines.

There is no scientific evidence that vinegar aids in melting fat from the body, but because is it low in sodium and fat, it will be perfect for salad dressings.
My advice is to add a splash of natural vinegar over salads, add it to fresh made salsa, or use it in marinades for meats.

Myth: (Brown Sugar, Pure Maple Syrup, or Honey) are healthier alternatives for white sugar

FactSugar is Sugar!

Even when the names and colors are different. First lets talk about brown sugar 

Most of us think that brown sugar is a raw version, but its just white sugar with added molasses (by- product of sugar refining process). Light brown sugar or dark brown differs in the amount of added molasses, depending on molasses content brown sugar has some nutrients like phosphors and calcium but it’s very tiny so it’s negligible.

Honey and maple syrup yields more calories in comparison to white sugar but on the other hand they are sweeter so you need to put less in your recipe, white sugar has low glycemic load in comparison to honey and maple syrup.

Honey and maple syrup (raw and pure) have antibacterial and antioxidants effects in comparison to white sugar.

Maple syrup has good amounts of minerals like (manganese, calcium, iron, zinc), but its high in calories, so you should consider consuming other food items for the minerals.

Researching for health benefits of natural sweeteners is still in process and the results are not conclusive, whether they are good for immune system or have other health benefits.

My advice is don’t spend a lot of money on other versions of sugar unless you like the taste and for healthier lifestyle use sugar in moderation  

Myth: Pregnant woman need to drink up to 4 cups of milk!

Fact: The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of calcium for Pregnant womanis1000mg/day, it’s the same for non-pregnant woman (except in the case of pregnancy during adolescence). The reason why some doctors and midwives may advices more milk is because a lot of women don’t match their needs of calcium, but no need to panic and consume this huge amount of milk, you can drink 1 cup of milk , or have an 8 ounce of plain yoghurt or an 1 ounce of cheddar cheeses and don’t forget the leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli which also have decent amounts of calcium, just be sure that you match your need.

Myth: Bread makes you fat!

Fact: Bread is part of the carbohydrate food group. Carbs contains simple sugar (glucose, fructose, lactose) or/and starch (big chain of glucose molecules). We need glucose daily as a main source of energy (Brain use 50% of energy as form of glucose), if we don’t consume carbs and there is no adequate intake of glucose, the body will start to release glycogen( which is made and stored in the liver) as source of energy. If the glycogen is depleted, the body will release protein from muscles as source of energy and then you lose the lean mass not fat as many people think.

So basically we need sugars, but the problem is that high sugar content of food will cause a spike of insulin, so consuming simple sugars regularly for long periods of time may lead to diabetes. The solution is to choose Complex carbs like whole grains because they need a long time to digest and be adsorbed by the human body. Therefore, it will not cause a spike in insulin. It’s true that bread or carbs are high in calories, but they are high in minerals and vitamins and fiber.

My advice is Choose wisely, go for whole grain products over refined ones (the refined carbs contain less nutrients because of the refining and bleaching processes, even though many manufacturers add the nutrients back). Also legumes, fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber.  

 If you want to know more about these myths or any other popular statements in nutrition you think maybe it’s a myth contact me and I’ll be glad to clarify it for you.  

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