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Common Health Food Myths Clarified

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When considering healthy eating, I always think of my maternal grandmother who came to America through Ellis Island on a ship from Scotland in 1912 when she was eight years old. She always seemed to eat like a bird. I think it may have come from living through the Great Depression, or maybe it was just the way she was brought up, the code of “waste not, want not." I would relish her spirit when I used to take her to dinner and all she would order was a hearty vegetable-based soup made with stock, and a small ice cream.

In my travels on the internet, I commonly come across news articles about healthy eating and common pitfalls of misunderstood nutrition. The latest buzz is about portion control. This one, “Top 10 Skinny Food Myths,” found on Yahoo’s Shine page, caught my eye in particular.

In the article, it is freely admitted that the news media likes to toot the horn of the latest culprit that will bust your diet, often found in the most recent study to uncover startling information you probably already knew but were trying to forget so you could eat something and not have to feel bad about it. The article includes a slide show with why they made the list (what to watch out for). Let me break it down for you:
1. Low Fat items – often include added carbohydrates and sugar, so read your labels.
2. Pizza – only considered bad for you because most people over-indulge, and use toppings that may not be as healthy. If chosen with common-sense (forego the meat lover’s) and eaten in moderation considering amount and frequency, pizza could be healthy.
3. 100 Calorie Packs – new marketing strategies abound, and this one can be relatively good for you only if you stick to eating just one pack and drinking only water for your snack.
4. Baked items – similar to low-fat items, if something is taken away in producing it, often something else replaces it, so read your labels and make sure you’re not short changing yourself by adding extra sodium, or calories.
5. Frozen – people assume that if it’s not fresh, it’s not as good. On the contrary, it is wise to stock up on fresh when there’s a sale and freeze for almost the same nutritional value and avoid spoilage.

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