KUSA - As a clinical dietitian, I've heard it all: "Will eating only sweet potatoes make me lose weight?", "Is brown sugar better for me than white sugar?" There are tons of nutrition myths out there, which just further confuses the already confusing topic of nutrition. So what is true and what is false when it comes to nutrition? The following will hopefully help clear up some common facts and myths.
Fact or Myth: Sugar causes diabetes
Myth: If you do not have diabetes, sugar intake will not cause you to develop the disease. The main risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, eating excess calories, and an inactive lifestyle. If you have diabetes, you need to watch your intake of sugar and carbohydrate.
Fact or Myth: Eating good fats will not help me lose weight
Fact: All fats contain nine calories per gram, so good or bad, eating fat in excess will lead to weight gain. However, all fats are not created equal. Some fats promote heart health while others can increase your risk of heart disease. Try to replace the bad fats (saturated and trans) with the good fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated).
Myth: Avoid carbohydrates to lose weight
Myth: No one macronutrient (carbs, proteins, or fats) causes weight gain. Excess calories, no matter where they come from, cause weight gain. Most low carb diets are also calorie restricted, so it's the calorie restriction that leads to more weight loss, not the carbs. In fact, if you decrease your caloric intake by 500 calories per day, you will lose one pound per week. The initial weight loss seen in low carb diets is caused by the body burning carbohydrates for energy, which releases water, so the loss is only a fluid loss and not an actual fat loss.
Fact or Myth: Microwaving food decreases nutrients
Myth: The longer you cook your food, the more heat and water sensitive nutrients it loses. Because microwave cooking typically cooks foods more quickly, it can actually help to minimize nutrient losses.
Fact or Myth: Fasting is important to do periodically to cleanse toxins from your body
Myth: Your body has a liver, kidneys, and spleen for this very reason- to remove toxins. So we don't need to give it any help. There isn't any evidence that not eating, colon cleansing, or consuming only juice for any period of time makes them do this job any better.
(© 2015 KUSA)