by Dr. Michael Gottfried
The number of people in the United States that are overweight or obese has reached near epidemic portions. Many health conditions are associated with excessive weight. In fact, studies have shown that nearly 80-percent of health conditions can be either directly or indirectly related to weight issues. Here are typical sayings you may hear concerning nutrition and weight loss and explanations to why you should think otherwise.
You shouldn’t eat between meals because snacks are bad for you. Yes, jelly donuts, fudge and chips aren’t good for you, but a moderate amount of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts are a way to stave over eating at main meals.
Skipping a meal is a good way to cut calories. Not so. More often the hunger related to this causes binging at the next meal.
Fast foods will kill you. A steady diet of McDonalds is not recommended, but an occasional treat is not life threatening. One of the biggest challenges with fast food is that it is often very high in sodium. So, don’t add additional salt – and choose their healthier choices such as salad, grilled chicken. Limit sauces and dressing – best to have them on the side and only drizzle.
Carbs are cruel. Well, processed carbs are often high in sugar and white flower. Better carb options are beans and whole grains such as brown rice and whole grain breads. Note – the body burns carbs as you work out, thus “carbing out” has become a pre-race tradition for many marathon runners.
Some people are just blessed with fast metabolisms. Although this is true, metabolism slows with age – 40 is usually the gateway. And metabolism continues to slow so eating and exercise plans must remain flexible.
Obese people can lose more than 50-pounds in five years simply by walking a mile a day. This is a good example of myth that is perpetuated over and over, but misspelled in a recent New York Times article that outlined the work of David B. Allison, who directs the Nutrition Obesity Research Center.
A calorie is a calorie. Not so, a fat calorie is not the same as a carb or protein calorie. Typically, replacing fat and carb calories with protein will boost metabolism, reduce appetite and optimize weight-regulating hormones.
Sugar isn’t so bad for you. Sure, a sugar packet is benign, but a recent study showed that Oreos were more addictive than heroin or cocaine. Sugar leads to more sugar and weight gain.
Low fat and fat free help me cheat on my diet. Yes, these foods may be lower in fat, but many have more calories to make up for the loss of flavor from removing the fat. Many of these items have more flour, salt, starch and sugar to improve taste.
Healthy food is too expensive. In fact, raw, fresh foods are often less costly than heavily produced and prepackaged foods. Shop around the perimeter of your supermarket and stock up on fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and dairy versus the inside aisles of baked goods and canned items.
Eating in a way that promotes health as well as being at optimal weight levels go hand-in-hand in avoiding health conditions concerning weight or unhealthy habits. Dispelling food myths can lead to better choices and better choices lead to better health. So don’t just listen to what you hear, learn and get leaner.
Dr. Michael Gottfried is a chiropractor with a focus on weight loss and holistic health. For a complimentary consultation that includes analysis of body fat, Basal metabolic rate (BMR), blood pressure and food plan history, contact Aquidneck Chiropractic, 1272 West Main Road, Middletown, RI 02842, 401-849-7011, www.DrMGottfried.com.