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But the research does not suggest that eating more will lead to sustained weight gain, leading to overweight or obesity. “Rather, the types of foods we eat may be the long-term drivers” of these conditions, said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, professor of nutrition and medicine at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy. Highly processed foods—such as refined starchy snacks, cereals, crackers, energy bars, baked goods, sodas, and sweets—can be particularly harmful to weight gain because they are digested quickly and flood the bloodstream with glucose, fructose, and amino acids that are converted into fat by the liver. Instead, what is needed to maintain a healthy weight is a shift from counting calories to prioritizing healthy eating in general—quality over quantity.
Myth #4: People with type 2 diabetes should not eat fruit.
This myth stems from mixing fruit juices—which can spike blood sugar levels because of their high sugar and low fiber content—with whole fruit.
But research has found this not to be the case. Some studies showfor example, that those who consume one serving of whole fruit a day — especially blueberries, grapes and apples — have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And other studies show that if you already have type 2 diabetes, eating whole fruit can help you control your blood sugar.
It’s time to bust that myth, said Dr. Linda Shiue, an internist and director of culinary and lifestyle medicine at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, adding that everyone — including those with type 2 diabetes — can benefit from the benefits of for health nutrients in fruits such as fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Myth #5: Plant-based milk is healthier than dairy milk.
There is a perception that plant-based milk, such as those made from oats, almonds, rice and hemp, are more nutritious than cow’s milk. “It’s just not true,” said Kathleen Merrigan, a professor of sustainable food systems at Arizona State University and a former U.S. deputy secretary of agriculture. Consider the protein: Cow’s milk typically has about eight grams of protein per cup, while almond milk typically has about one or two grams per cup, and oat milk typically has about two or three grams per cup. Although the nutritional value of plant-based beverages can vary, Dr. Merrigan said, many have more added ingredients — such as sodium and added sugars that can contribute to poor health — than cow’s milk.
Myth #6: White potatoes are bad for you.
Potatoes have often been maligned by nutritionists for their high glycemic index — meaning they contain fast-digesting carbohydrates that can spike your blood sugar. But potatoes can actually be good for health, said Daffen Altema-Johnson, program officer for food communities and public health at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Viable Future. They are rich in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and other nutrients, especially when eaten with the skin. They are also inexpensive and found year-round in grocery stores, making them more accessible. Healthier preparation methods include baking, roasting, boiling and air frying.
Myth #7: You should never feed your children peanut products in their first few years of life.
For years, experts have told new parents that the best way to protect their children from developing food allergies is to avoid feeding them common allergenic foods, such as peanuts or eggs, for the first few years of their lives. But now allergy experts say, it is better to introduce peanut products to your child early.
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