Sunday, April 26, 2009

Facts & Fallacies-Foods you have scolded for eating

As seen on WB 2

Foods that you have been scolded for eating- the reality

As a registered dietitian I am continually challenged to help people separate common myths about common foods.
 Food myths are created from outdated science, old wives' tales, and misconceptions that have been around long enough that they take on the aura of truth.
 They stick around because they are so familiar. But every now and then, you need to take another look at information you believe is true and change with the times.

You know it's easier to feel good about eating "good-for-you food" when you consume Brussels spouts or made-from-scratch whole wheat bread.
 But have you ever been scolded for consuming foods that are more convenient, can help you watch your weight or provide a guilty pleasure?
 Many of these foods deserve a second chance. And new research shows added value and additional health benefits of the foods.

So let's take a look and separate fact from myth.

Milk: We are at a nutrition crossroads here, where we need to take a look at what foods have, rather than what they do not have.
 All milk, whether it is conventional or organic is the same. And both are the same in that neither contains hormones or antibiotics.
 And milk is so much more than an excellent source of calcium. Its nutrient-rich foods, containing nine essential nutrients needed for health and growth, and providing a wealth of nutrients for the calories.
 Research shows that milk consumption can help you feel more satisfied, help achieve positive weight control, and control high blood pressure.

Dried fruit: We have been told to avoid raisins, because they are so sticky, can cause cavities
 New research reveals raisins may benefit oral health because the fruit possesses several antimicrobial phytochemicals that suppress growth of some oral bacteria associated with dental cavities and gum disease.
 Oleanolic acid was one such compound showing positive response to reducing pathogenic activity. Prior, non-related studies reveal oleanolic acid also has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties
 In addition, just 1/4 cup of California raisins count as a fruit serving, helping you meet the recommended 4 servings of fruit per day.

Eggs: Recommendations have changed. The American Heart Association allows up to seven eggs a week, one for each day.
 There is 30 years of evidence which shows that eating eggs daily does not have a significant impact on blood cholesterol of healthy adults.
 New research shows that eating foods rich in choline (koh-leen) and betaine (bee-tuh-een) such as eggs may help reduce the risk of inflammation associated with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, bone loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
 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.

Sugar substitutes: With overweight and obesity now considered a national “epidemic” many people are working to reduce their calories.
 Sugar substitutes are a great tool to get the sweetness we all love, without the additional calories.
 All the sweeteners on the market, like aspartame, have been carefully tested for decades, and all are safe.
 Especially as we head into the calorie-heavy holiday season, the sugar substitutes can help you watch your weight, while enjoying your food.

Processed foods such as spaghetti sauce: Have you been told that it is better to raw than processed foods? In actuality, many processed foods are higher in nutrient content.
 Processing tomatoes makes the vitamin A content more absorbable.
 And for men, it increases the amount of the anti-oxidant, lycopene which research has shown to decrease risk of prostate cancer.
 Just 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce counts as one vegetable serving, helping you meet the recommended five servings of veggies per day.

Water: Think green here as well as safety. (If enough time)
 For a long time we have been using bottled water, and contributing to the mountain of waste.
 Tap water is perfectly safe.
 In addition the water in our area has fluorine, and essential nutrition to help keep our kids teeth formation healthy.

Advice is easy to come by these days, especially when it comes to nutrition, but don't fall for “old wives tales.” Take the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of these foods.