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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nutrition Facts? Myths Revealed!

Busting Nutrition Myths!



- Separating Nutrition Fact From Fiction Helps Local Residents Get the Real Deal On Their Meals -
Avoid carbs. Take a multi-vitamin. Detox your body. Use sea salt because it is healthier for you.
Nutrition misinformation is everywhere, and like never before, it can be easily be accessed on the Internet, social media sites, television and magazines. This situation can make healthy eating a challenge for local residents, and it is why during Nutrition Month in March, Registered Dietitians with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit want to help people separate food fact from fiction.
“The number of myths related to food and healthy eating is frustrating, and it is important that people know where to go for the most reliable sources of information,” says Elsie Azevedo, a Registered Dietitian with the HKPR District Health Unit.
For specific healthy eating questions, Registered Dietitians are excellent sources of information. Registered Dietitians are trained to advise on diet, food and nutrition, and are regulated by the College of Dietitians of Ontario, Azevedo notes. To speak to a Registered Dietitian, local residents are encouraged to contact the Health Unit (1-866-888-4577 or www.hkpr.on.ca) or get in touch with EatRight Ontario (1-877-510-5102 or www.eatrightontario.ca).
“Getting credible, accurate information is important because nutrition myths will needlessly create more confusion and lead people to make poor choices that contribute to unhealthy lifestyles,” Azevedo adds.

Carb Cutting Popular Diet Myth


One popular myth is that cutting out carbohydrates will help people lose weight. According to Dietitians of Canada, the truth is that cutting “carbs” might help you lose weight in the short term, but it is mainly due to eating less food and fewer calories. In fact, drastically cutting carbs means missing out on key nutrients found in whole grains, fruit, starchy vegetables and legumes. Over the long-term, sticking to a low-carb diet can be difficult because so many foods are off- limits, and eventually people go back to their normal eating habits and gain the weight back.
“There is no magic formula,” Azevedo explains. “Attaining a healthy weight means going back to basics such as following Eating Well With Canada’s Food Guide and being active most days of the week.”

39 Common Food Myths Listed


Registered Dietitians across Canada were recently polled on common food myths they encounter with clients, families and friends. Thirty-nine of the most common myths, along with the related facts, are posted online (www.dietitians.ca). Along with the cutting ‘carb’ myth, they include the following:
• Myth: Taking a daily vitamin provides all the nutrients a person needs. The truth is that vitamin and mineral supplements cannot replace the benefits of eating healthy food. Following recommendations in Canada's Food Guide provide key nutrients and a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals. However, there are times when it may be necessary to take supplements, such as for pregnant women and adults over the 50 years of age. It is best to talk to a doctor or Registered Dietitian about your needs before taking supplements.
• Myth: You need to detox your body. The truth is that a person’s insides are not dirty and do not need to be cleaned. “There is no scientific evidence to support the need for detoxification diets, most of which do more harm than good,” Azevedo says. “Detox diets usually involve fasting, followed by a strict diet. This can cause headaches, dehydration, low blood pressure or an irregular heart beat.” Instead, people can keep their bodies feeling great by enjoying a variety of healthy foods outlined in Canada’s Food Guide.
• Myth: Sea salt is better for your health than table salt. Not true! All types of salt are high in sodium. Yet, it is not the salt shaker that is the biggest source of people’s sodium intake. Processed foods such as deli meats, sauces and soups are the main culprits. Says Azevedo: “Most of us are eating more than double the amount of sodium we need each day.” To find ways of reducing their daily sodium consumption, people can visit www.sodiumhowmuch.ca.

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