Food facts vs a lot of fiction

You’ve heard them before — the
keys to healthy eating – avoid heavy carbs, always choose brown over white,
never eat after 8pm, coffee can help you lose weight – but are these so called
food facts actually food fables?

When it comes to adopting a healthy
diet, it can be very overwhelming for people since much of the information
available is often conflicting and very confusing. To help some of you out
there that have often wondered “Iis this actually true?” It’s time to debunk
some common diet myths and separate food fact from fiction.

Fact or Fiction: Brown eggs are
more nutritious than white eggs.

Although egg shells vary in colour,
this does not affect the quality, flavour or nutrients in an egg. Different
breeds of hens simply lay different colour eggs: white breed hens lay white
eggs and red breed hens lay brown eggs. The cost of brown eggs are slightly
more expensive than white because red hens are larger birds requiring more food
to lay their eggs. Nutritionally speaking, however, brown and white eggs are
exactly the same.

Fact or Fiction: Eating after 8pm
causes weight gain.

When it comes to weight loss, the
theory is that it is the calories you eat during the day that matter and not
necessarily when you eat them. Experts contend that whether you eat a
600-calorie meal at 6pm or 8pm it will not make a difference in your weight,
providing you are sticking to your recommended daily calorie intake. The
problem with eating after 8pm is that the snack calories in the evening are
often added on top of your daily calorie intake.

Eating before 8pm, however, does
have its advantages. Because food eaten before 8pm has a better chance to
digest completely than a late evening meal, people find they sleep better, and feel
less groggy or bloated the next morning. Researchers also suggest that our
bodies burn fewer calories digesting an evening meal than it does digesting a
meal eaten earlier in the day. Also, if you typically eat your evening meal at
8:30pm, your body has very little, if any, time to burn those calories off.

If it is not possible for you to
eat dinner before 8pm because of your work schedule or lifestyle, come home and
have a smaller meal that is easier to digest. A great example is a bean soup
for protein and a large tossed salad.

Fact or Fiction: Coffee can help
you lose weight.

The theory behind coffee promoting
weight loss is that the caffeine suppresses the appetite and boosts metabolism.
Unfortunately, while a couple of cups of coffee may lower your appetite, it is
not going to help you lose weight. Caffeine provides a false sense of fuel and
by the time people realise this, they are beyond the point of hunger.

Also depending on the type of
coffee you drink – or what you put in it – you might be adding more calories
than you think. A Grande café mocha supplies approximately 260 calories, while
a cup of coffee with cream and two packets of sugar has about 110 calories; a
cup of black coffee has just 2 calories. If you are trying to lose weight,
stick to a cup of black coffee with a little milk, and if you must add sugar,
stick to one teaspoon (1 packet); this has only 16 calories.

Andrea Hill is a Registered Nutritionist based in the Cayman
Islands.

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