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Monday, March 10, 2008

Nutrition Myths Debunked

This is National Nutrition Month, and last Saturday (the 8th) was National Nutrition Day. Designed to ensure that Americans stay healthy by partaking of a wide variety of healthy foods and getting proper nutrition, this is certainly an important month for all. As nutrition is a key component of the MenScience philosophy, each week this month, our blog will have a spotlight on nutrition; specifically, debunking common diet and nutrition myths.

1. Sugar Causes Diabetes - FALSE. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes includes such elements as high-calorie diets, obesity and an inactive lifestyle - but sugar intake alone doesn't cause diabetes.

2. Fat is Bad for You - FALSE. We need fat- it helps such vital processes as nerve transmission and aids in our absorption of nutrients; further, it keeps our cell membranes intact. In fact, some fats are
excellent for you, such as the heart healthy Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

3. Avoid Fattening Nuts - FALSE. They are high in calories, so you'd be nuts to overindulge. But if eaten in moderation, nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats and plant sterols (proven to lower LDL cholesterol). In fact, in 2003, the FDA approved a health claim that suggested that
eating nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce heart disease.

4. Fruit-Juice Sweetened Foods are Better - FALSE. Experts agree that your body won't distinguish between regular sugar and processed fruit juice concentrate, and it won't derive any significant nutritional advantage from one over the other.

5. Fat-Free Salad Dressing is Always Best - FALSE. That's not always true. Such salad nutrients as lycopene and beta-carotene need a little fat to be absorbed. The operative word here is 'little'- as in a modest portion of olive oil or perhaps a small garnish of low-fat cheese, nuts or avocado slices - we're not suggesting you have salad with your blue cheese dressing soup.


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