from Men’s Health
There are plenty of things to be afraid of nowadays. Occupy Wall Street has turned into Occupy All Streets. The Democrats and Republicans can’t put their heads together without making a hollow coconut sound. And Charlie Sheen is still free to date our daughters! It’s hard to know what to dress up as for Halloween, since everyday life is already really creepy!
And nothing has been made scarier than our food. We’ve been subjected to so many nutritional ghost stories—It’s cholesterol! No, it’s gluten! No, it’s mercury in the fish!—that we’ve turned into the consumer equivalent of grade schoolers on a camping trip, sitting around the fire listening to tales of creatures ready to jump out and drag us into the woods.
But here’s the good news: The supermarket isn’t a scary place at all. You already know how to eat right and take care of yourself. You just need to trust your instincts.
Below, I’m saying “Boo!” to some of the nutritional horror stories that have seized our nation of late. As Halloween season sets in, it’s time to stop fearing what lurks in your fridge. Come with me to a new nutritional world, compliments of the ALL-NEW Eat This, Not That! 2013, where there are no tricks, just plenty of treats!
8. Nutrition “Scare” #1: Fat Will Make You Fat!:
Eating fat does not make you fat. In fact, not eating enough fat can make you fat. A 2008 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a diet high in healthy fats proved to be superior to a low-fat diet, both in terms of weight loss and overall health benefits. Saturated and trans fats have given fat a bad name, but the truth is that the unsaturated fats found in foods like nuts, salmon, and olive oil are a key component in a healthy diet. For more easy and effective weight-loss secrets that will melt your belly fat faster than ever, follow me right here on Twitter.
7. Nutrition “Scare” #2: Bread Will Make You Fat! :
The low-carb craze of the early 2000s had people terrified of breaking bread, but eating the right kinds of breads and other grains can actually help you lose weight. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that overweight people who obtained all of their grain servings from whole grains lost more belly fat than those who skipped the whole grains. The reason: The fiber found in whole grain foods helps slow digestion, keeping you fuller longer. You should still avoid refined grains like “enriched” flour, but a moderate amount of whole grain bread can be a great addition to a balanced diet. Tip: True whole grain bread products will have “whole wheat” or “whole grain” flour as their first ingredient. If you see anything else, your “wheat” bread is an imposter.
6. Nutrition “Scare” #3: Snacking Will Make You Fat!:
Mom may have told you that eating frequently is a surefire way to pack on the pounds, but she probably also told you that your face will freeze that way. In fact, snacking throughout the day is actually one of the best ways to avoid an expanding waistline. In a recent study, Spanish researchers found that participants lost significantly more body weight when they added low-sugar, high-protein snacks to their daily food routine. Why? Because consistent snacking helps maintain blood-sugar levels, keeping you full and preventing your body from storing excess fat. Two great options for a low-sugar, high-protein snack: nuts and (low-fat) dairy products, like yogurt. Or, try anything from this must-have list of the 50 Best Snack Foods in America.
5. Nutrition “Scare” #4: Coffee is Ruining Your Health!:
It turns out that Americans’ java addiction may not be such a bad thing. A 2006 study in the journal Diabetes Care showed that coffee drinkers were significantly less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and other research has linked coffee consumption with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke, and depression. And get this: According to researchers from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, coffee is the number-one leading source of antioxidants in the American diet. So go ahead, enjoy your morning cup of joe guilt free!
4. Nutrition “Scare” #5: Thinking About Food Will Make You Obsessed With Eating!:
Think about other things: Your friends. Your 401(k). The game. Grandma’s dentures. Anything that will get your mind off food, right? Well, no: According to Dutch researchers, thinking about snacks and meals can actually help you stay lean. The study found that when asked questions like, “What will you do if you get hungry two hours before your next meal?” thinner participants were better able to give healthy responses, like “eat a handful of nuts.” While fantasizing about how many onion rings you could feasibly fit on a double bacon cheeseburger is probably not going to keep the pounds at bay, taking a proactive approach to your diet by thinking ahead will. Try planning nutritious meals for the week or keeping healthy snacks like fruit and nuts on hand to ward off hunger. To save money, time and calories, cook your own delicious meals at home with the New York Times bestseller, Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals.
3. Nutrition “Scare” #6: Dessert Will Ruin Your Life!:
Au contraire: Dessert makes life worth living, and it just might help you stay lean as well. Studies have shown that completely eliminating foods you love can send you sailing straight into binge mode. Is chocolate mud pie good for you? No, and if you feel like you want to cut down on indulgences, go right ahead. But if, like most of us, swearing off sweets instantly causes you to start daydreaming about hot fudge sundaes, you might want to rethink your approach. Try allowing yourself a small dessert every day to satisfy your cravings without doing too much damage. Need help? Try a Breyers Smooth & Dreamy Vanilla Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich. It has a very reasonable 160 calories and 16 grams of sugar. Or feast on this delectable list of 15 Desserts That Burn Fat!.
2. Nutrition “Scare” #7: Red Meat Will Give You a Heart Attack!:
Harvard researchers recently discovered that while eating processed meats like hotdogs and bacon can contribute to heart disease, there is no such risk for people who consume only unprocessed meat. Meat is also a complete protein, providing all nine essential amino acids, and many studies have linked protein consumption with weight loss. Moreover, meat and other animal products are the only dietary sources of vitamin B12, which helps your body make blood cells and maintain a healthy nervous system. But beware: Eating too much saturated fat has been linked to heart disease, so go ahead and include meat in your diet, but opt for the leanest cuts. Make other small tweaks to your diet to lose 10, 20 or even 30 pounds with this must-see report: The 25 Best Nutrition Secrets Ever!
1. Nutrition “Scare” #8: Eggs are Cholesterol Bombs!:
Perhaps the biggest nutrition myth is that eggs are bad for your heart, a fact attributed to the cholesterol in the yolk. But here’s the truth: The dietary cholesterol found in eggs actually has little effect on the amount of cholesterol in your blood. When it comes to increasing LDL (“bad cholesterol”), trans and saturated fats are the real culprits. The incredible, edible egg is actually an excellent, affordable source of protein and B vitamins, and it may help you lose weight. A 2008 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that dieters who consumed two eggs for breakfast each day lost significantly more weight than those who consumed bagels.
Finally, start your day right. A great breakfast will jump start your metabolism and have you burning more calories throughout the day. The wrong one might fill you up with empty calories and an entire day’s worth of fat, sugar and/or salt. Make sure you steer clear of the breakfasts in this shocking list of the 18 Worst Breakfasts in America.