Sunday, December 24, 2017

Things you thought were bad for your diet, but aren’t

So many nutrition myths about what foods are good for you and what foods are bad for your health.  MSN has an interesting article 11 things people think are terrible for your diet that actually aren’t.  What are some of these foods and drinks? 
  • Red Bull – yes, it can be loaded with sugar.  But what if you get a can of sugar-free Red Bull?  The writer says when she drinks it, people say things like, “That stuff will kill you.”  The sugar-free Red Bull has about 80 calories so not really a high calorie drink and about 80 mg. of caffeine.  This amount is about one third the caffeine in a Starbucks' coffee.  They do add some B vitamins and taurine which most people don’t need but not really harmful.  Even white bread is enriched with B vitamins and any protein food provides taurine so these nutrients aren’t ones lacking in most Americans diets. 
  • Fatty Foods like Avocado and Olive Oil will make you fat.   It is true that foods high in fat are higher in calories.  But there is good fat and bad fat.  For those who like avocados, especially guacamole, enjoy every bite.  (For a good guacamole recipe, try:  How to Make Perfect Guacamole Recipe.) The fat in avocados is a heart healthy fat.  And olive oil is part of the Mediterranean Diet which is promoted for heart health.  Sautéing some vegetables?  Use olive oil.  The American Heart Association recommends replacing bad fats with good fats.  Replace butter, shortening and stick margarine with “good” fats such as olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil.
Avocados have a heart healthy fat
  • Gluten Free Foods are healthy foods – for those with celiac disease this is true.  But going “gluten-free” is not a healthy way to eat for the average American.  As noted in an earlier blog (Common Nutrition Myths), relying on rice based grains because they are “gluten-free”  may actually cut out many nutritious whole grains from your diet and cut out some fiber.  Thus, cutting out many nutrients and fiber found in whole grains.  As Consumer Reports notes, “A gluten-free diet isn’t necessarily a healthy diet.”
  •  Eggs – shunned for so many years because of the amount of cholesterol in each egg (about 185 mg cholesterol per egg).  But now the American Heart Association indicates for those without heart disease, we can enjoy our eggs again.  Enjoy an egg a day or a few eggs a week. You no longer have to order an egg-white omelet.  And eggs add a lot of nutrition to your day, vitamin A, vitamin D, a high-quality protein.  And healthy omega-3 fat.
  • Caffeine – how often have you been told to cut back on caffeine.  When I was growing up, they said caffeine would stunt your growth.  The Mayo Clinic offers advice on caffeine intake, you can enjoy up to 400 mg of caffeine a day.  So, you can enjoy a 12-ounce cup of coffee which provides about 90-120 mg of caffeine.  (Or that sugar-free Red Bull which supplies only 80 mg of caffeine).  But if you go for Starbucks, which is stronger coffee, you will get more caffeine in a 12-ounce cup, about 260 mg caffeine.  Going to McDonald’s?  Enjoy the coffee as you can drink up to four 12-ounce cups and then you would be at the maximum of 400 mg of caffeine.  McDonald’s coffee is not as potent as Starbucks as far as caffeine goes as it provides about 109 mg caffeine per 12-ounce cup.
  • Carbonated water – staying hydrated is a good thing.  Tired of plain water?  Then reach for some carbonated water.  Myths abound about carbonated water.  No, it doesn’t cause kidney stones. Nor do carbonated beverages leach calcium from your bones.  Your teeth won’t be stripped of enamel.  According to registered dietitian, Jennifer McDaniel, the bubbly, carbonated beverages are just as good for you as plain water.  Adding the bubbles doesn’t add calories, doesn’t add sugar and no added caffeine.   
Enjoy some carbonated water
 This week, enjoy those whole grain Triscuits, have some scrambled eggs, enjoy your morning coffee and enjoy some guacamole. 


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    1. Thank you for your comment. I usually write all the content on my blog, myself and sometimes as my students to be guest authors. Thanks for your offer though.