Diet Myths Exposed: Part 1

The following diet myths come up over and over again at my nutrition center. My next two blog entries will help set the record straight. Hope you find this helpful!

  • If you eat late at night, the food turns straight into fat.

    Not true.If your overall calories are appropriate for weight loss, you certainly can eat something after dinner. Late night calories will ultimately get used the next day (and even while you sleep).

    However, for the sake of energy, it is always better to eat your calories during the day when your body needs the fuel. Plus, eating consistently throughout the day will stabilize blood sugar levels -- so you’ll feel energized and experience fewer cravings. If you are going to snack after dinner, I suggest choosing something 250 calories or less.

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than frozen.

    Not necessarily. Frozen can be a great produce option (just avoid varieties with added salt, sugar, and sauce). Frozen foods are picked in the peak of ripeness, then frozen. You can eat them as you need them -- and most of the nutrients are locked in. On the other hand, fresh fruit and vegetables are typically harvested before they ripen, and can have nutrient variability. Also, the longer fresh produce sits around in your fridge, the less nutrients it will contain.

    Bottom line: Buy both fresh and frozen and eat as much as you can.

  • Cravings are your body's way of telling you it needs something.

    This has never been proven. You normally crave what you like to eat (or smell or see someone else eating). Also, hormonal changes are sometimes responsible for food cravings. Ice cream and pickles anyone?

  • Any type of water is always better than soda.

    No. There are a few caloric waters with sexy marketing ploys. In fact, some brands have quite a bit of sugar. Always check labels.

  • Certain foods, like grapefruit, celery, or cabbage soup can burn fat and make you lose weight.

    These are anecdotal stories that have no scientific back up. It’s true these foods are low in calories, but they do NOT actually burn fat.

Learn the facts about more diet myths in: Diet Myths Exposed: Part 2.


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