Welcome 2024 with Truth and Health

By Carol Taylor, MCN, RDN, LD Registered Dietitian and Journalist

Carol Taylor

As we say goodbye to 2023, wave so long also to food and diet myths and misinformation that can lead us astray and potentially down a path that can actually damage our health. Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you embark on your wellness journey:


MYTH: You must give up your favorite foods to lose weight and be healthy.

As a dietitian, I go by everything in moderation. Portion size and frequency count. Maybe you can’t eat as much of your favorite foods as you want and as often, but it still can be a part of your journey to better health.


MYTH: You must skip meals and go hungry to lose weight.

FACT: Skipping meals can actually slow your metabolism. When you skip meals, your body is more likely to hold on to weight because it’s unsure when and how often it will get the fuel it needs. Also, when we skip meals, we tend to overeat when we do finally get a meal. Going hungry can put us further from our goals. But you don’t have to eat five meals a day. Instead, swap out higher calorie foods for lower calorie options such as vegetable and fruits, beans and legumes and low- or moderate-fat dairy.


MYTH: Plant-based milk is healthier than dairy milk.

FACT: Plant-based milks have gained a considerable health halo, but they aren’t better than cow’s milk. Plant-based milks are great if you like the taste, are vegan, have an allergy to cow’s milk or are lactose-intolerant. But even then, read the label. Cow’s milk has 8 grams of protein per 8 ounces. but most plant-based milk (except for soy) has much less, usually only one to two grams per eight ounces. Plant-based milks can also have added sugar, usually cost more and are more highly processed.


MYTH: Gluten and carbs are bad.

FACT: Not true. The issue can be more the types of carbs we choose to eat and portion size. Many of us tend to eat too large a serving of high carb foods such as crackers, chips sweets as well as over-size portions of pasta, bread, French fries and more. I recommend cutting the serving size of high carb foods such as pasta, potatoes, rice, and bread. A quarter of your plate is the recommendation. Then replace the higher carb foods with lower carb vegetables.


MYTH: Fresh is best.

FACT: Fresh fruits and vegetables are great, but so are frozen and canned. Fresh vegetables require cleaning and prep, and we may not have the time, physical ability, energy, or patience for that. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also go bad faster than we can use them, and we may not have frequent enough access to a grocery store. Frozen, canned, and dried options can be just as nutritious as fresh varieties. They can also save money and time and make whipping up healthier meals easier.

Photo: Pixabay

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