MYTH #1 - ALL FATS ARE BAD

The overemphasis on fat as the main culprit in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases is misplaced. There are BAD fats, but the bigger culprit is sugar.

Recently released historical documents show that the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit. This led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that many experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

“GOOD FATS” - An in-depth 2016 Harvard study documents the important benefits of unsaturated fats, especially when they replace saturated and trans fats. Some good sources of unsaturated fats are olive, peanut, safflower, or corn oils, (oils that liquefy at room temperature), salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, nuts and sunflower seeds (foods rich in omega-3).

“BAD FATS” - Check food labels and avoid anything containing “trans fats” (fats which have no dietary value) and limit foods high in “saturated fats” like processed snack foods, cheese, cream, butter, other whole milk dairy products and fatty meats which also contain dietary cholesterol. In the Harvard study, diets high in both trans and saturated fats were associated with a significantly higher premature death rate during the study period.

However, all fats, including the healthy ones, are high in calories. Choose unsaturated fats instead of other types of fat, not in addition to them.

MYTH # 2 - LATE NIGHT EATING IS ALWAYS BAD

Conventional wisdom says don’t eat after 8 p.m. because it causes weight gain, but that’s not always true. If you haven’t eaten dinner before 8 p.m., eating a normal, healthy meal after that time, isn’t going to hurt you. However, the later it gets, people tend to choose convenient or fast food with little nutritional value, high in calories. The same is true of late-night snacks. People often reach for ice cream, cookies, or other high-calorie sugary snacks in late or wee hours. There are some studies that suggest that late-night meals cause you to put on weight. Still, eating right before bedtime can lead to indigestion and heartburn. Try to stick to regular and earlier mealtimes. If you haven’t eaten dinner, a healthy meal after 8 p.m. or a healthy snack like fresh veggies or fruit in the late evening is fine.

MYTH # 3 –SKIPPING MEALS ALWAYS LEADS TO WEIGHT LOSS

Sounds logical, right? However, skipping a meal often leads to overeating later in the day. If you get into the habit of skipping meals, your body will counteract by going into “starvation mode” storing fat and slowing your metabolism, causing you to burn calories at a slower rate. Eat consistently and intentionally, listening to your body’s cues – are you hungry, or are you full? Making a meal plan that includes 3 well-balanced meals with 2 healthy snacks and being active for about 60 minutes a day will help achieve a healthy weight without skipping meals.

MYTH # 4 - DIET DRINKS HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

Substituting a low- or zero-calorie drink for a sugary drink should help you lose weight, right? Nope. Studies have shown that switching to diet drinks doesn’t result in weight loss. Many recent studies show the opposite happens; others show that regular use of diet drinks is associated with increased chances of developing metabolic syndrome, heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Grab a water or unsweetened iced tea instead.

WHAT’S HAPPENING

AROUND LINCOLN

July 21 – 31 The Nebraska Sports Council brings us the Cornhusker State Games. Amateur athletes of all ages and abilities compete in 60+ sports. More info at: CornhuskerStateGames.com.

Aug. 6, 3-6 p.m. – The Malone Community Center and El Centro de las Americas host the annual Back to School Jam, preparing kids for the new school year with fun, free haircuts, and a health fair at the Malone Center. More: contact Regina at 402-326-8534.

Aug. 9, 5-7 p.m. - Lincoln Parks & Recreation and Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Dept. sponsor Lincoln Play Day at Woods Park, 33rd & J streets. Lots of free, fun family activities.

Visit 10Health TV at lincoln.ne.gov keyword 10Health for a calendar of activities. More “Food Truths” at 10Health TV YouTube.

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