Nutrition: Trick or Truth?

trick or truth There are a ton of food fallacies and even fantasies out there. What’s truth and what’s hype? It’s hard to wade through the myriad of fact and fiction, so here are five interesting and TRUTHFUL facts to help you:

Can giving in to cravings help me lose weight?

craving YES. This is good news to hear! If you’re on crash diet that eliminates all your favourite foods and even treats, you’re on a crash course to disaster. Remember that the most effective weight loss strategy is to change your lifestyle first and that includes your eating habits. If you NEVER give into your cravings, you’re likely to fall off the wagon completely and go on a binge. However, if you OCCASIONALLY allow yourself your favourite foods or treats, you’re more likely to ‘stay the course’ when it comes to nutrition. The question you should ask yourself when considering a diet or nutrition plan is “Can I maintain this plan for the rest of my life?” If the answer is NO, then you need to seriously reconsider it. I would prefer it if people just STOPPED dieting and started to make educated and healthy choices with regards to food. You’d be surprised at how your appetite changes and even cravings can be stopped when your body is fed properly with good nutrition.

Should I snack whenever I’m hungry?

funny snack YES. More good news. The fact is, your body needs to be fed at regular intervals. If the body knows that food is plentiful and is always available, it won’t go into starvation mode. You can even reduce OVERALL caloric intake and be eating or snacking every 2-3 hours. The key to this is to monitor serving or portion sizes and make healthy choices for all snacks and meals. By choosing foods high in fiber and protein, low on the gylcemic index with no processed or refined foods, you’ll keep your body energized and it will be more likely to let go of any excess ‘junk in your trunk’.

How can chewing my food 20 times curb my appetite?

chew your food YES. Your brain is a little behind your belly. It actually takes about 20 minutes for the satiety center of the brain to be triggered so that you get that ‘full’ feeling. Trouble is, we often eat too fast, overeat and then get that ‘stuffed’ feeling. So, if you slow down your eating, chew your food more, you’ll ingest fewer calories in more time and it will give your brain sufficient time to signal you to stop eating. Also, eating more slowly allows the body to regulate blood sugar more effectively. So, slow it down!

Can drinking a smoothie or juicing ease stress?

smoothie YES. Blending or juicing fruits can help break down cell membranes more effectively to release beneficial enzymes. It’s these enzymes that help with digestion, so if you have tension in your tummy a smoothie can help soothe you. You’ll also benefit from the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals from the fruit in the smoothie. My suggestion is to add a little protein, in the form of skim milk, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt or protein powder to lower the blood sugar response you may get if you use fruit alone in the smoothie.

Can cranberry juice boost immunity?

cranberries YES. I’m not a big fan of drinking juice, I’d much rather eat fruit to benefit from the fiber but cranberry juice is another story. Women who tend to be prone to urinary tract infections can benefit from drinking 3 oz of cranberry juice daily as a preventive measure. Look for juice that has a minimal amount of added sugar for maximum immune boosting benefit.

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