It occurred to
me that not everything we “hear” about nutrition is indeed
fact. Here are a few things I’ve heard or overheard in my
years as a nutrition professional. (Don’t worry, I won’t
eat red meat. I only eat pork.” Uhh … although the ad
campaign is very catchy, nutrition experts do not consider
pork in the white meat category. Cooked pork meat is generally
lighter in color than beef but is still considered a red meat.
One thing that is true about pork — many cuts are extremely
lean and can easily fit into a healthful diet.
get enough protein in your diet if you are a vegetarian.”
Actually, there are many plant-based foods that supply
adequate amounts of protein for those who choose to avoid
animal foods. Soy-based foods, for example, are considered
“complete” proteins in that — like animal-based foods
— they supply all of the essential amino acid building
blocks for protein structures in the body. Grains and
vegetables also contain protein. One example is quinoa
(pronounced keen-wah) — a complete protein as well as a
whole grain, according to the Whole Grains Council
www.wholegrainscouncil.org. One cup of cooked quinoa contains
8 grams of protein, about the amount in an egg.
bad for you.” This is only true if you have an intolerance
to gluten — a protein that occurs naturally in wheat, rye
and barley. When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, for
instance, the protein triggers an immune response in the small
intestine. Over time, this can damage the digestive tract to
the point that nutrients cannot be adequately absorbed and
this creates a lot of nutritional problems.
intolerance is another condition — although not as well
understood as celiac disease — that affects some people.
Products labeled “gluten-free” are so labeled to help
folks who need to avoid gluten identify it in food products.
If you don’t have these conditions, your body uses gluten as
it does other proteins.
don’t eat that much.” This in fact could very well be true
when I hear this from people struggling to lose weight. Small
meals can be packed with hidden calories if they are loaded
with fat, for example. And some people have dieted and gained,
dieted and gained for so long that their metabolism (how the
body burns calories for energy) is pretty messed up. If you
are gaining weight and really not eating “that much,” have
your doctor check you out. If no medical condition is the
cause, consider speeding up the ol’ body’s calorie burning
potential with this sure-fire solution: physical activity.
Both aerobic “huff and puff” exercise as well as strength
training have been shown to build muscle cells — the
body’s most metabolically active players.