Myth #1: Gluten Free or Gluten-Reduced Diets are Necessary for Optimal Health & Weight Loss
- Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.
- Those who have celiac disease—caused by an overactive immune response to gluten in the small intestine—are encouraged to go gluten-free to avoid digestive symptoms like pain and diarrhea, and even permanent intestinal damage or malnutrition. There’s no cure or medication other than a gluten-free diet.
- About 1 percent of the population suffers from celiac and about 10 percent have a less specific sensitivity, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Recent reports state that the gluten-free market in the United States was $4.2 billion
- Health: Gluten itself doesn’t offer special nutritional benefits. But the many whole grains that contain gluten do. They’re rich in an array of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron, as well as fiber. Studies show that whole grain foods, as part of a healthy diet, may help lower risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that half of all carbohydrates in the diet come from whole grain products.
- Weight Loss: There’s no hard evidence that a gluten-free diet is appropriate for weight loss or is any more effective at whittling waistlines than other diet plans. Most experts recommend it only for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, says David Katz, founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center
- BALANCE IS THE KEY:
- Optimal health is most importantly related to the ABC’s of nutrition (Adequacy, Balance, Calorie Control, Variety, Moderation) with getting the essential nutrients your body needs to function optimally.
- Optimal weight management is first and foremost a factor of Energy Balance, that the calories your consuming match consistently on a daily basis the calories your expending.
- “A fundamental principle of nutrition and metabolism is that body weight change is associated with an imbalance between the energy content of food eaten and energy expended by the body to maintain life and to perform physical work.”
- Energy balance and its components: implications for body weight regulation Am J Clin Nutr April 2012 vol. 95 no. 4 989-994
Myth #2: Milk & Dairy is the only way to get enough Calcium in your diet
- The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily dietary allowance of 1,000 milligrams of calcium for adults between the ages of 19 and 50, and 1,200 milligrams for women over 50
- Primary misconceptions in the public are that milk and dairy is the only way to obtain enough calcium to support these needs. Some of the most calcium-rich foods on the planet comes from plants, especially leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and broccoli. Non Dairy Sources of calcium.
- Sufficient calcium is most often linked with supporting bone growth & strength, and preventing bone loss or osteoporosis. Eating dairy and taking calcium are all that’s needed to prevent osteoporosis, you need to make healthy lifestyle choices too. That means avoiding excess alcohol, not smoking, keeping your weight in check and exercising regularly. Routine workouts — including walking and other weight-bearing exercises — will help maintain muscle and bone strength.
Myth #3: All fats are bad
- After the last several decades of low-fat diet mania, the idea of eating more fat may seem unbelievable. With recent research and position statements, fat may not be the villain of the dietary world that it once was.
- The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) recommend that 20-35% of total daily calories come from fat, for adults. For example, with a meal plan of 1,200 calories per day, with each gram of fat equating to 9 calories, 27-47 g of fat is recommended. A meal plan of 2,400 calories per day should include roughly 53-93 g of fat.
- Detailed research shows that, contrary to popular belief, it’s not only the total amount of fat in the diet that’s linked to weight or disease, but more importantly the type of fat and the total calories in the diet. There are essentially two categories of fat:
- Bad fats – These include trans and saturated fats both of which have been shown to increase the risk for certain diseases.
- Good fats – These include monounsaturated (such as canola and olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (including fatty fish, soybean oil, and corn oil, shown to reduce the risk for certain diseases benefiting the heart and most other parts of the body.
- Overall, health experts make the following recommendations for fat in a healthy diet:
- Eliminate trans fats from your diet – Check food labels for trans fats to eliminate this “bad fat” whenever possible. Trans fat can be found in partially hydrogenated oils, commonly used in commercially baked goods, margarine, and some fast food.
- Limit saturated fats – Reduce red meat and full-fat dairy foods in your healthy eating plan and replace it with leaner meats like poultry and fish and plant-based protein sources such as beans and nuts. Switch from whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods that can be high in saturated fat to lower fat versions of those products.
- Eat omega-3 fats every day – These essential fatty acids can be found in fish, walnuts, ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.
Myth #4: Skipping meals is a good way to reduce calories & lose weight
- Skipping meals may make you feel hungrier and lead you to eat more than you normally would at your next meal. There is some evidence that skipping breakfast increases the risk of weight gain and obesity, though the evidence is stronger in children, especially teens, than it is in adults.
- One study, published in the journal “Metabolism” in 2007, found that when otherwise healthy people skipped meals throughout the day, but ultimately consumed greater amounts of food when they did sit down for a meal, they were at risk for dangerous metabolic changes. These metabolic changes — including elevated fasting glucose and delayed insulin response — could not only be factors for weight gain, but a dangerous precursor to diabetes.
- Most common meal that is skipped is breakfast. According to the Mayo Clinic, research suggests that regularly eating a healthy breakfast may help you lose excess weight and maintain your weight loss through reducing hunger, sets the track for the day for healthy eating, and provides your body with more energy & fuel to start the day off right.
- Most important factor with regards to healthy nutrition is BALANCE, specifically balance in your calories throughout the day to fuel your body
- The smart strategy? Lose weight by eating smaller, healthier meals throughout the day.
- TIP: Choose meals and snacks that include a variety of healthy foods. Try these examples:
- For a quick breakfast, make oatmeal with low-fat milk, topped with fresh berries. Or eat a slice of whole-wheat toast with fruit spread.
- Pack a healthy lunch each night, so you won’t be tempted to rush out of the house in the morning without one.
- For healthy nibbles, pack a small low-fat yogurt, a couple of whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter, or veggies with hummus.
- TIP: Choose meals and snacks that include a variety of healthy foods. Try these examples:
Myth #5: Whole eggs are bad for your body’s fat & cholesterol levels
- Recent evidence and research has focused on the lack of current science based evidence that dietary cholesterol is linked directly with blood cholesterol and more importantly heart disease and hypertension.
- In the scientific report of the 2015 dietary guidelines, the advisory committee has recommended lifting restrictions on cholesterol in the diet, saying it is “not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption,” in its regular five-year review of dietary guidelines.
- Walter Willett, chair of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Nutrition Department and the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, conducted some of the early research that casts doubt on the long-held belief that dietary cholesterol was unhealthy.
- Research that reviewed eight previously published articles describing nine studies of coronary heart disease (using 3,081,269 person years of data) and eight studies looking at stroke (4,148,095 person years of data), the researchers concluded that “higher consumption of eggs (up to one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.”
- ‘Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies’ BMJ 2013;346:e8539
- Benefits of Whole Egg
- Besides having a relatively good amount of protein, the yolk also contains heart-healthy unsaturated fat, including omega-3 fats.
- Egg yolks also have many essential vitamin nutrients, such as riboflavin, vitamin D and vitamin B-12. Plus, the yolk is home to nutrients such as choline and selenium. The antioxidant selenium is a trace mineral and is involved in the immune system and hormone balance.