January 26, 2012
By, Tom Canty, Vice President and General Manager for Labor, Government and Special Accounts at Empire BlueCross BlueShield
Myth: Desserts are forbidden
Reality: Correction – desserts are allowed! Try healthful choices like fruit salads, low-fat yogurt with fruit, sorbets, frozen fruit juice bars, angel food cake or frozen yogurt.
Myth: If you work out, you can eat whatever you want
Reality: Hold on there, champ… Eating plans can certainly differ based on how active you are and how intense your workout is. While professional athletes and construction workers pack a tremendous amount of physical activity into a day, that doesn’t mean they get to super-size any food they want. To stay lean and healthy, it’s best to choose the most nutrient-rich foods from the basic food groups every day, eat them in the right portions, AND stay active.
Myth: Skipping meals makes you lose weight fast
Reality: Actually, the opposite can be true. While you might lower the number of calories you eat in a day, your body works less efficiently without food. Your energy gets zapped, your metabolism slows down and you miss important nutrients that your body needs to fight disease and stay well. Plus, you’ll be hungrier by the next meal time, and you might be more inclined to overeat or make high-calorie/low-nutrient choices. Overeating and a slower metabolism can contribute to weight gain.
Myth: You should never eat fast food
Reality: You might be happy to know that healthier options are available today at most fast food restaurants. Burger joints are now offering more grilled or roasted items, fruit and vegetable side-orders, salads, whole grain buns and low-fat yogurt desserts. If you like fast food with a cultural flair, try soft corn tortilla tacos with chicken, diced tomatoes, salsa and cooked pinto beans – but hold off on the extra cheese and sour cream.
Myth: Pills and supplements can give you the nutrients you need
Reality: Only fruits and vegetables – not pills or supplements — can give you the nutrients in the healthy combinations that nature intended. The richer and varied the color of the foods you chose, the more you benefit health-wise. Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables – green, yellow-orange, red, blue-purple and white means you’ll get different vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytochemicals that work together to protect your health.