Let’s talk about some food myths shall we?
Myth – Carbs make you fat
Sorry to be all gangbusters right out of the gate. But carbs don’t make you fat. Not exercising or eating right makes you fat. Carbs = Fuel. So, unless you’re burning calories (read: exercising), then your carbs are going to waste. Eating your weight in simple carbs is not the best thing for you either though. When you think of simple carbs, think white foods – starchy white potatoes, white rice, white bread, even enriched “whole wheat” bread, pasta, etc. All of these things break down into sugar quicker than complex carbohydrates do, which causes your energy level to spike and then fall again quickly, ie; sugar high. Over time, this can cause insulin resistance in your body, which leads to diabetes. Complex carbs break down slower, providing you with energy throughout the day and not forcing your body to pump insulin in overdrive.
So the lesson here: listen to your mom and eat your veggies.
Myth – Low-Fat is better
Yeah….no. No, no, no. This may sound like a stark contrast from what I just said, but this follows a similar line. Just like there’s good carbs and bad carbs, there’s also good fat and bad fat. And your body needs a good dose of GOOD fat for cardiovascular heatlh. The key words here are MONOUNSATURATED and OMEGA 3. Think: Avocados, peanuts, almonds, and FISH (also a great source of protein)
In fact, many “low-fat” products are low in the good fats and substitute them for other things like sodium, sugar, and refined carbs which can lead to heart disease.
Myth – Fresh seafood is better than frozen
Unless you live near a dock where you can assure the fish is less than 12 hours old, it was probably flash frozen to preserve it and then set inside the case to thaw and sold as “fresh”. Silver lining, we do have a couple of places around Knoxville that get fresh fish in daily. Like the Shrimp Dock. Most of their catches are a day old. So when you buy it, plan on immediately cooking it or freezing it.
Myth – Brown Eggs are better
The color of the eggs has nothing to do with anything except the Hen laying them.
Myth – MSG is bad for you Monosodium Glutamate is generally and “officially” regarded as safe. MSN Health has a great article discussing the truth about MSG and that there are indeed short-term reactions to it for people who are more sensitive to glutamate for one reason or another.
Myth – That tryptophan laden turkey is making you drowsy
Stuffing your face full of sugar and simple carbs until you’re ready to explode makes you drowsy. Like we mentioned up there with the carb thing. Think of what you typically load your plate with at Thanksgiving…Mashed Potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, casseroles, pies.
Best day of the year if you ask me….
Myth – Coffee stunts your growth Kara drank the stuff loaded with sugar and cream when she was 10 years old and while she’s no giant, she’ no hobbit either. Research studies have not linked caffeine to height. A low calcium diet on the other hand is clearly linked to bone health, including osteoporosis, which can lead to reduced bone mass aka stunted growth. The myth around coffee started years ago when people were not eating enough calcium rich foods and were subsituting a glass of milk in the morning for a cup of Joe. You still probably don’t want to give caffeine heavy drinks to your kids for the other adverse effects it has – a headache for mom and dad.
Myth – Searing meat locks in juices
No, it doesn’t actually. It’s just been widely accepted throughout the culinary world as fact. But when you just stop and think about it…how does it seal in juices exactly? Because what you are doing is caramelizing the outside of the meat, which involves browning it (or the Maillard Reaction).
In fact, “searing” actually dries the meat out faster. Intense, high-heat just causes the moisture to escape more quickly. But by all means, continue searing your meat. Because it’s delicious. Maybe one day we’ll have a cooking tip post on how to cook the perfect steak every time, indoors or out.
And just for the heck of it, here’s one that is actually true…
FACT – High Fructose Corn Syrup is the WORST
You’ve seen the ads. The corn industry is trying to convince the world that HFCS is ok “in moderation.” What they don’t tell you is that consuming HFCS “in moderation” is nearly impossible with foods found in your grocery store. Check your labels and you’ll see that HFCS is everywhere – in foods including ketchup, bread, granola bars, flavored yogurt, and more. And it’s usually one of the first ingredients.
Research has shown that unbonded fructose (like what is found in HFCS) may be bad for us. It has been linked to excess fat buildup, leptin resistance, ghrelin suppression, and increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels. While these research studies were not performed specifically with HFCS, a recent study was conducted byPrinceton University using HFCS. This study suggests that HFCS may contribute to increased weight, increased abdominal fat, and increased triglyceride levels in the blood more rapidly than table sugar.
What they also don’t tell you is that the former attorny of Mansanto is the new senior advisor to the FDA commissioner, appointed by our very own President Obama. Why is this bad? Just google Mansanto corn and you’ll soon discover the very scary truth. If you have any concerns that our government is corrupt (who doesn’t, amiright?), then you would be concerned over the true safety of Corn Syrup, likely produced by the company in cohoots with the FDA. That’s some seriously scary stuff right there – not trusting or knowing where your food is really coming from!
So the moral of this myth? Buy local!
Surely Katie Tanner will chime in on this blog for additional tips and fact-checking purposes because she’s a health-nut and fitness guru.