Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Monday, April 15, 2013

5 Nutritional Myths and Facts

We hear statements about the nutritional value of products and foods all the time - especially from advertisements.  Low fat, fat-free, low sodium, high in fiber and other phrases are splashed across the labels of products we encounter in the grocery store.  It's difficult to know what is really important to look for, however, and what might just be hype.  Here are some common statements or beliefs about nutrition.  Which ones do you believe are true?

1. "Fat free" means reduced calories.  No, not necessarily.  Sometimes companies will add things like sugar to help a product taste better since they have removed the fat.   You should always read the label.  Fat free may not be better for you and may contain additional salt, as well.

2. Reducing salt intake can lower blood pressure.  Yes, this is true - but losing excess body weight will probably make more of a difference.  Eating more fiber and reaching your daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables will also help! Doing all of these, of course, will do you the most good.

3. Children can drink as much fruit juice as they want as it is good for them.  No.  Just no.  The sugar content of fruit juice is about the same as soda and sugar is sugar - no matter where it comes from. Drinking too much sugar can cause weight gain and be harmful to their teeth.  Water is a much better choice.

4. Extra virgin olive oil is good for you.  Well, yes and no. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and those along with polyunsaturated fats are better for you than other fats.   It contains omega-6 which is important for cardiovascular health.  It is, however, still a fat and fats can lead to weight gain. Yes, our bodies do need a certain amount of fat to function correctly so extra virgin olive oil is a good choice but remember that it is still a fat.

5. Eating carrots can help you see better in the dark. Well, alright.  Carrots contain vitamin A.  A deficiency in vitamin A can result in night blindness - along with other problems like glaucoma.  So, yes, there is some truth in this.  Eating carrots and other foods high in vitamin A can help you see better when it is dark.

Much of the information contained here was found from this source and re-checked by consulting various other sources.

Image by monojussi and found here

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