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  • NUTRITION TRUTHS REVEALED

    The other week I talked about how media has saturated our minds. How you cannot go to social media, read a magazine/newspaper, turn on the T.V, etc. without hearing about some new diet craze, the best way to lose weight, the latest fitness fad, etc. With information coming at you in every direction how are you to know what is true and false? After all, studies are conducted all the time and research is coming out every day to help educate us but boy do they know how to confuse people!!

    A lot of the information out there makes you think “this way” of eating/working out is the only way. Understand that your healthy lifestyle is all about YOU. Everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s body is different. One way of eating may work for your friend but not necessarily for you. Your co-workers workout regimen may be for his/her goals but not yours.

    At the end of the day if you do anything that is not enjoyable, inconvenient, dreadful….you will not continue to do it. You must do what is enjoyable to you. You must eat foods that you enjoy. Find exercises that you enjoy. There is something out there for everyone. You just have to look for it. It may be a trial and error process but don't give up. You WILL find the lifestyle that works for you.

    We all know how challenging the nutrition part of living a healthy lifestyle can be. It can make or break how we feel on a daily basis. Nutrition is also crucial to achieving your personal fitness/health goals. In an effort to relieve some of your stress I’ll break down some of the most common nutrition misconceptions.

    DEBUNKING 6 NUTRITION MYTHS

    MYTH #1. CARBOHYDRATES WILL MAKE YOU FAT.

    TRUTH: Carb are not the enemy BUT the overconsumption of them is. In fact, the overconsumption of anything will lead to weight gain. Heck you could gain weight by consuming too much fruit. There’s no question that loading up on sugary and refined-carbohydrate-rich foods such as white bread, pasta and doughnuts, can raise your risk of developing health problems like heart disease, diabetes and possibly lead to weight gain. But if you cut out the “good-carb” such as whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables you will miss out on your body’s main source of fuel as well as vital nutrients and fiber.

    Bottom Line:

    You will only gain weight if you consume more calories than you burn. When eating carbs, make sure you choose the “good” carbs to ensure you are getting the best nutrients.

    MYTH #2: EATING HEALTHY IS EXPENSIVE.

    The TRUTH: Depending on how much money you spend eating fast food, getting take-out, going to restaurants and snacks, you probably come out saving money when you switch to eating healthy or worse case - break even. The first step to saving money and eating healthier would be to eat a few of your meals at home, make your lunch for work, etc. Eating healthy may seem more expensive if you are used to getting a fast food meal for $5. Some studies that have recently come out say one may spend $1.50 more a day to eat healthier. Here’s an idea: opt for water instead of a soda during one of your meals just ONE time and you have saved $1.50.

    Bottom Line: What’s important to remember is why so many people are sick - POOR DIET. When you look at the price of health care and hospital visits related to sickness and disease at least partially attributed to poor diet, even if you did find you are spending just a couple dollars more to eat healthy - seems like a good deal, right?! Ask yourself, “Is neglecting your health something you can afford?”

    MYTH #3: YOU NEED TO DRINK 8 GLASSES OF WATER A DAY.

    The TRUTH: Although our body does need water, there isn't’ anything magical about 8 glasses. Of course hydrating your body before/during endurance exercise is a different story. If you do not drink enough during exercise, you do risk dehydration. Exercising or not - if you find yourself thirsty, it’s your body’s way of saying you need to hydrate. Getting water in your body does not always have to come from water itself (although this is the best way to get the best bang for your buck) - all beverages and even food will help you get the fluids your body needs each day.

    Bottom line: Listen to your body and don’t stress over the “magic 8” glasses. We have enough stress to deal with ;-)

    MYTH #4. FOOD CRAVINGS MEAN YOU ARE DEFICIENT IN A NUTRIENT.

    I will admit, for a long time i actually thought this was true. Then after much research I learn it's a myth. These dang myths get you everytime!

    The TRUTH: We all have cravings. Mostly for something “bad” whether it’s salty, sugary, fatty, etc. When we want it - we want it now, right?! It turns out cravings for sugar and chocolate have nothing to do with nutrient deficiencies. We crave these foods because they trigger the release of mood boosting compounds in the brain. When we feel these “brain effects”, we want them again and again…..especially during times of stress. Meat and cheese have similar opiate effects as well.

    Bottom line: We want these foods for emotional reasons. When we are happy, bored, sad, mad, celebrating, etc. because they make us “feel better.” But remember this is just a moment of “feeling good” and it’s important to understand why you are reaching for food for emotional support in the form of food in first place.

    MYTH #5. FRESH IS BETTER THAN FROZEN.

    The TRUTH: Unless you are at your local farmer’s market - the foods you find in the produce section of a grocery store have often had a long journey from the moment they were packed in crates. During their long journey to our grocery stores, natural enzymes are released in fresh fruit and vegetables that cause them to lose nutrients. I AM NOT SAYING THESE ARE BAD FOR YOU. Just a reminder of the timeframe it took from being “picked” to be placed in our stores.

    Frozen produce are processed in what’s called “flash freeze” which keeps them in a relatively nutrient-rich state. In order to kill the bacteria off - they are put in hot water or steam so some water-soluble nutrients will broken down.

    Bottom Line: Get to your farmers market when possible for the best, most nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. If that is not an option, buy fresh or frozen - the important thing is you are eating fruits/vegetables so buy to your liking.

    MYTH #6. COFFEE IS BAD FOR YOU.

    The TRUTH: Coffee lovers stress no more - it has numerous health benefits. Coffee has been considered unhealthy, mainly because of the caffeine and it has even been said it causes cancer and heart disease. This came from research done in the 70’s and 80’s and they didn’t adjust for smoking habits and other unhealthy behaviors. MUCH more research has been done since and some examples of the “greatness” that can come from your cup of Joe are: improved memory, mood, energy levels, lower rates of type-2 diabetes, depression, gallstones, colon and endometrial cancers and protection against Parkinson’s disease. The caffeine has also been shown to enhance athletic performance. Let’s not forget about the amazing source of antioxidants coffee provides!!

    Bottom Line: Unless coffee makes you feel jittery, anxious, etc. - drink up!

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