June 5, 2010

Nutritional Beliefs, True Or False?

There are some old nutritional beliefs that we've all heard of which may not be true after all!

One is that you should drink at least eight glasses of water a day.  I've never wanted to follow this one anyway.  So I'm glad new studies show that unless you live in a very hot climate or do vigorous activities, you just need to drink when you're thirsty.  You don't have to count to eight!

A second one is that foods labeled "reduced fat," "nonfat", or "low-fat" have less calories than the regular versions of those foods.  This is not necessarily true.  Often the lower-fat versions have added sugar or a starch thickener, both of which add extra calories.  Also, often people think they can eat more because the lower-fat version has fewer calories, which defeats the purpose of going lower-fat!

A third nutritional belief that may not be true is that eating instant oatmeal is not as healthy as eating the slow-cooked kind.  However, both the instant and slow-cooked use whole-grain oats. The instant is just finer, but still has a lot of soluble fiber that can help reduce cholesterol.

Fourth, some parents don't want their children to drink chocolate milk because they think it has too much sugar in it.  Chocolate milk does have added sugar, but less than juice, punch, or soda. So if you are substituting these other drinks for flavored milk, your children are actually getting more sugar.  They are also getting less calcium.  So stick with the chocolate milk for less sugar and more calcium!

Fifth, another belief is that you can skip meals to lose weight.  Well, I've tried this one many times!  It's easy for me to skip breakfast because early mornings are so rushed, and I also don't crave breakfast foods like I do some other foods.  However, skipping meals usually results in just overeating at other times. 

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