Weight : Healthy Eating Mythbusters

Eating healthy is not always easy. When it comes to making the right food choices, there is a lot of information out there that is misleading or just plain wrong. Being able to separate the facts from the myths will help you prevent or manage diabetes effectively.

MYTH: If you have diabetes you should not eat carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, pasta and potatoes.
FACT: While it is important to watch your carbohydrate intake, like bread and potatoes, because of their affect on insulin production and sugar levels, you do not have to stay completely away from them even if you have diabetes. When eaten in moderation and as a part of a healthy diet, carbohydrates become more of a friend than an enemy to the body. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy that are needed daily to help with blood glucose regulation, the breakdown of fatty acids, biological processes, preventing ketosis and sparing the use of protein for energy. Try eating carbohydrate-rich foods within wholesome meals and focus on whole grains, such as quinoa, whole wheat bread or whole grain pasta. Great recipe examples are our Baked Potato with Tuna and Spinach Salad and Ham & Egg Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread, with Pickled Beets.

MYTH: Cheese cannot be a part of a healthy diet.
FACT: Remember moderation is the key to healthy eating, so cheese can still be a part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. In fact, cheese is a great source of calcium, protein and phosphorus. Make cheese an accent to your dishes instead of a central ingredient and choose aged cheeses like feta and Parmesan that tend to be more flavorful, so you can add just a small amount to satisfy cheese cravings without compromising your healthy meal. Our Chopped Greek Salad with Tomato and Garlic recipe shows how you can add cheese to your meals.

MYTH: When you diet, your body burns fat first.
FACT: When you diet, your body actually loses muscle first – especially if you’re not getting enough protein. Fat is the second to go. Protein, the basic building block of your cells, helps to protect lean body mass for a supported metabolism. Meal replacements are a great choice for a healthy source of a complete protein. Meal replacements can be used as a supplement to provide your body with sufficient amounts of protein while on a weight reduction program. Chose a meal replacement that supplies over 50% of your daily protein needed in just one serving, so you can lose fat while retaining muscle mass.

MYTH: Meal replacements are neither filling nor satisfying and should be avoided.
FACT: When made with a right blend of nutritious ingredients, meal replacements can be both filling and satisfying and help make dieting easier to stick to. What’s more, meal replacements along with an outlined program can be used as an effective tool for weight loss and weight maintenance. According to AND’s (Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics) evidence analysis library on dietary interventions for adult weight management, several studies showed greater weight loss in structured meal replacement plans compared to reduced calorie diets*. In fact, it is even suggested that if you are overweight or obese and have difficulty choosing healthy foods and controlling portions, one or two daily vitamin- and mineral-fortified meal replacements, supplemented with self-selected meals and snacks, may be a successful weight loss and weight maintenance strategy for you.

Source: *Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Library. "In adults, how effective (in terms of client adherence and weight loss and maintenance) are meal replacements (liquid meals, meal bars, and frozen prepackaged meals)?" Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accessed 18 November 2013, http://andevidencelibrary.com/evidence.cfm?evidence_summary_id=250141

By: Jamie Luu
Nutrition Assistant
Almased USA, Inc.

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