Overwhelmed by all of the nutrition information out there?
Unsure of where to start and what to eat?
Check-out Part#2 of the most common nutrition myths out there.
NUTRITION MYTH #6: Comfort food chases away the blues
A bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold winter’s day. A big spoonful of ice cream or mac & cheese when you’re down on your luck. Comfort food just makes you feel better, doesn’t it? Actually, it doesn’t. In a 2014 study in the journal Health Psychology, aptly titled “The Myth of Comfort Food,” researchers showed participants depressing films to “induce a negative effect.” Then they gave them either comfort food, foods that weren’t considered comfort foods, or no food at all. Result: The subjects got over their bad moods in equal time, regardless of whether or not they ate. Is feeling bad a good excuse for eating bad? Turns out, it’s not. Cheer up – and start slimming down. Old habits die hard, we get it! If you really can’t say no to the mac and cheese, try a slimmed down versions that don’t sacrifice flavor.
NUTRITION MYTH #7: Peanut butter is a health food
In its best form, peanut butter actually is a health food. That’s because peanuts are packed with monounsaturated fats, the heart-healthy fat that actually helps you lose weight. Here’s what the ingredients of a healthy jar of peanut butter should read: Peanuts. But most peanut butter doesn’t look like that. Here’s what the label of Jif Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread reads like: Peanuts, corn syrup solids, sugar, pea protein, salt, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, mono and diglycerides, molasses, magnesium oxide, niacinamide, ferric orthophosphate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride. Now, I know your kids constantly beg you for seconds of pyridoxine hydrochloride, but is that something they need? Most peanut butters are highly processed and loaded with sugars and trans-fatty oils, and contain less of the healthy monounsaturated fats that you truly need. “Peanut butter spread” is even worse. The word “spread” indicates that it’s at least 10 percent additives. Look for ”natural” peanut butter and don’t be fooled by any low-fat promises. If you’re up for trying something new, swapping your peanut butter for almond butter can actually benefit your brain!
NUTRITION MYTH #8: “Multi-grain” or “wheat” breads are better than white
Wait a minute–isn’t “multi-grain” one of the biggest buzzwords in nutrition? And haven’t we been trained to pick the wheat bread over the white at every turn? Yes, but unfortunately those labels are about as credible as your local congressman’s campaign promises. “Wheat bread” is generally white bread with caramel or molasses added to make it look dark and healthy. “Multi-grain” just means that different kinds of junky refined grains may have been used. Always look for the words “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain” on the package.
NUTRITION MYTH #9: Wraps are healthier than regular sandwiches
Those skinny little wraps are so flimsy, so delicate, so fusion-cuisine friendly. How can they not be better than the average lump of bread? Well, consider Subway’s wrap, for one. It packs 310 calories – before you even add the first whiff of meat or sauce. The reason is that, in order for the tortilla to wrap around like that, it needs added fat, often in the form of soybean oil and hydrogenated oils.
NUTRITION MYTH #10: Nutrition bars are actually nutritious
In a world where we really called it as it is, nutrition bars would be known by another name: calorie bars. For example, PowerBar Vanilla Crisp touts itself as “fuel for optimum performance,” but unless you’re talking about a performance by The Chemical Brothers, I’m not sure exactly what they mean. With four different types of sugar, it packs more of the white stuff than an adult woman should eat in an entire day.