Sunday, March 9, 2008

Food Facts and Fallacies-Answers to Quiz

As seen on KMGH-TV7

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Thanks to all who took the quiz to learn more about the facts behind the food myths, and earn a chance to win a copy of “The American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide.” Below are the correct answers to the quiz.


1. FALSE. If you feel tired and run down, you probably should take more vitamins and minerals, especially those labeled “natural.” There is no substitution for healthy eating by popping a pill. Scientists believe that it is the combination of nutrients, the vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and phytonutrients that work more effectively when obtained from their basic source of food. Supplements can be used to top up your nutrient intake if, occasionally, you feel your diet has been less than adequate, but they shouldn’t be relied upon on a long-term basis.

2. FALSE. Cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil is better for you than other oils because it contains less fat. "Cold-pressed" actually refers to a production method of olive oil, which involves minimal processing at low temperatures. All oils and fats supply the same amount of fat calories, 9 per gram and should be consumed in moderation.

3. TRUE. Honey, brown and raw sugar is nutritionally the same as white sugar. The brown sugar sold at grocery stores is actually white granulated sugar with added molasses. Brown sugar contains minute amounts of minerals, but unless you eat a gigantic portion of brown sugar every day, the mineral content difference between brown sugar and white sugar is absolutely insignificant.

4. FALSE. Sugar causes diabetes. Diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin, not an excess of sugar in the diet. However, once someone has diabetes it is critical to watch the frequency, amount, and types of carbohydrate consumed, including sugar, to maintain good blood sugar control.

5. FALSE. You should limit your starches when trying to lose weight. Starches are an important source of energy for your body. They become high in calories when you fry them, make them with rich sauces or top with high-caloried fats like butter, sour cream, or mayonnaise, or eat too much of them. Choose starchy foods that are high in fiber, like whole grains, beans, and peas. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 6 to 11 servings a day from the bread, cereal, rice, and pasta group. An example of a serving size is 1/2 cup of pasta, rice, or cooked cereal or a single slice of bread.

6. FALSE. Eating after 8 p.m. causes weight gain. It does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the whole day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight. Too many calories at any time of the day will cause your body to store extra calories as fat. However many people will overeat in the evening, seeking to relieve the stress of the workday, or may consume excess calories unconsciously while watching TV.

7. FALSE. Eating red meat is bad for your health and will make it harder to lose weight. Red meat, pork, chicken, and fish all contain some saturated fat and cholesterol. They also have nutrients that are important for good health, like protein, iron, and zinc. Eating lean meat (meat without a lot of visible fat) in small amounts can be part of a healthy weight-loss plan. When choosing cuts of meat, look for the term “loin” which provides a lower fat content.

8. FALSE. New research confirms “eating for two” is necessary during pregnancy. Energy requirements vary among individuals. Unfortunately, the idea that pregnancy is an ice cream free-for-all is a nutrition myth. It is generally recommended that pregnant women increase their daily intake by 100 kcal in the first trimester and 300 kcal in the second and third trimesters. An extra snack before bedtime consisting of a fruit, a serving of milk or yogurt, and a few biscuits is often enough.

9. FALSE. For high school athletes, consuming extra protein is necessary to build muscle mass during their adolescent period of high growth and activity. Contrary to claims of body building magazines and protein supplement companies, extra protein does nothing to bulk up muscle unless you are also doing significant weight training at the same time. Even then the increased requirement can easily come from food. A potential problem with supplements is the body has to work overtime to get rid of excess protein, and kidneys can become distressed as a result.

10. TRUE. Drinking chocolate milk immediately after a workout will improve muscle recovery. This popular drink refuels tired muscles and repairs minor tissue damage. Researchers at Indiana University recently found that athletes can consider refueling with chocolate milk, which can refresh exhausted muscles after exercise. The study found when athletes drank lowfat chocolate milk after an intense bout of exercise they were able to work out longer during a second round of exercise compared to when they drank a carbohydrate replacement beverage.

Food Facts and Fallacies: What’s the truth for a healthier diet?

Sure, your friends and family mean well - but how accurate is that advice they've been giving you all of these years?
Ø Many myths and misperceptions exist within the field of food & nutrition.

So why do so many of us fall for these?

Ø As a country we're prone to fads.
Ø We absorb "guidance" from our families, many which are “old wives tales” that nutrition science has shown not to hold up as a truth.
Ø We want instantaneous gratification: fad-diet books are so popular.
Ø We have that beacon of frequently off-the-wall information, the Internet.

As part of March National Nutrition Month, we are going to find out the truth behind some common food facts and fallacies.
Ø Many are common beliefs that we have had so long, that seem to make sense, that they were accepted as truth.
Ø Recommend American Dietetic Association (ADA) and registered dietitians as a resource.

Today we are setting the record straight, looking at five food beliefs you might have heard --but maybe should or shouldn't believe.

Fresh is always best and contains more nutrients than frozen or canned food. false
Ø Frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh.
Ø Frozen or canned produce is often packaged right after it has been picked, which helps keep most of its nutrients.
Ø Processes help to extend shelf life, make food safer and in some cases can actually improve its nutritional quality.
Ø Beta-carotene in canned carrots is more available to the body than that fresh ones. Fresh peas, which have been harvested and frozen immediately, have more vitamin C than peas that have been stored at room temperature for a few days before consumption.
Ø Fresh produce can lose nutrients after being exposed to light or air, subjected to too long transport, or improper handling.

Everyone should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. false
Ø Everyone has heard the age-old advice to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day.
Ø A 2002 study published in the American Journal of Physiology evaluated the old advice of 8 ounces of water, 8 times a day. After a thorough review, researcher concluded there was inadequate evidence that healthy adults -- living in temperate climates and not engaged in rigorous activities -- need large amounts of water.
Ø In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued new guidelines that remove the eight-glasses-a-day recommendation for normal, healthy adults and said that healthy adults may use thirst to determine their fluid needs.
Ø Water is a terrific thirst quencher (and the price is right), but milk and juice -- even coffee, tea and soft drinks, and food -- contribute to your water requirements.

Eating an egg or two every day is safe for most people. true
Ø Current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines suggest most people can enjoy an egg a day as long as they watch their overall cholesterol intake. They recommend people limit their daily cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams or less. Egg yolks contain 214 to 220 milligrams of cholesterol.

Ø Eggs are a nutrient dense food. They are an inexpensive source of complete protein and contain a variety of nutrients including healthy doses of vitamins A, B12, D, K, and riboflavin.
Ø This myth began because egg yolks have a concentrated amount of cholesterol of any food. However, it’s the dietary saturated fat in a food that causes blood cholesterol to rise, not the cholesterol, if consumed in moderation.

Avoid processed foods. false
Ø Some processed foods, such as breads and breakfast cereals, have vitamins and minerals added for extra nutrition.
Ø The growing interest in health and nutrition has spurred the production of a whole new range of foods with added health and nutritional benefits (called "f
unctional foods") such as fat spreads with added fiber to lower cholesterol.
Ø Processing can also make some nutrients more available. For example, removing phytic acid from grain foods by removing the bran helps to improve the absorption of
iron from a food.
Ø Processing tomatoes into a tomato paste or sauce increases the amount of lycopene (an
antioxidant) that is available to the body.

Healthy food always costs more. well-maybe: choosing carefully is important
Ø This is a difficult one to deal with. It does seem that a bag of chips costs less than a dozen apples. But if you look closely, and shop wisely, you'll see that some of the healthiest foods don't cost much.
Ø In general, the less packaging, the less you'll pay. Look for bulk cereals from bins, not only in health food stores, but the local supermarket.
Ø In the produce aisle, keep in mind that eating seasonally and locally can help your bottom line; midwinter blueberries can cost up to $4.99 a pint, but local summer berries are about half that price.
Ø When the weather warms up, in Colorado we have access to many farmer’s markets. Less packaging, no middleman, and decreased costs of transport.
Ø Finally, healthier food choices can lower your risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes, lowering the cost of your health care in the long term.

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