2017-10-25 / Living

Diet myths

There are many diets that are in the popular press, online and being discussed in popular culture. When I get asked about a diet, one of the first things I remind people is if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

How can you be a good consumer and seek out sound dietary advice for overall good health or weight reduction? Ask these questions:

Who is promoting this? Are they qualified to speak on nutrition?

Are the recommendations based in science? This is sometimes harder to ascertain. Ask yourself – are they citing studies that have been published in the professional literature? Are they cherry picking one or two studies to prove a point? Is the literature they are citing current (i.e. within the last 5-10 years)?

What do the experts say about this? You can google to see what WebMD, US Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics think about this diet? Just enter the diet name into any of these agencies’ websites in the search box.

Does what they recommend contradict the large body of evidence considered to be the gold standard – the Dietary Guidelines for Americans?

Does the diet promise a quick fix, little to no physical activity, or total elimination of a food group.

We will continue this discussion in future Food for Thought articles and give a little more information on some of the biggest myths I hear when people are looking at a diet to try. If you are interested in finding out more information about diet myths, check out the recorded Nutritional Decisions webinar with guest speaker Dr. Carolyn Dunn, registered dietician, professor and department head of the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences at NC State University, which can be found online at https://esmmweighless.com/newsletter-webinars/ or contact our Extension Office at 336-599-1195 (Person) and 919-603-1350 (Granville).

Here is a recipe that can be found on the www.MedInsteadofMeds.com website. For more Food for Thought programs, activities and recipes, check us out online at http://facebook.com/personcountyfcs

Simple Stir Fry serves 2

1 Tbsp Oil (peanut or canola)

3 cups of vegetables, cut into 1 inch pieces – good combinations are broccoli, carrots, onions, cauliflower, summer squash, and mushrooms

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

2 cups brown rice or whole-wheat spaghetti

Add oil to a hot stir-fry pan or large skillet. Add the vegetables in order of firmness, harder foods first. Cook each vegetable for a minute or so before adding the next vegetable. For example, add carrots and cook for a minute or two, then broccoli and cauliflower and cook for a minute or two, ending with mushrooms (adapt this sequence based on your vegetables). Continually toss the vegetables to prevent sticking. Add the grated ginger. Cook until tender but still crisp. Add the soy sauce and stir. Serve with the rice or whole-wheat spaghetti.

Nutritional Information: 171 calories, 5.7g fat, 25.5g carbohydrates, 5.7g protein, 28mg cholesterol, 396mg sodium, 2.4g fiber

Recipes submitted by Jennifer Grable, Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) N.C. Extension Service agent. For more information, email her at jbgrable@ncsu.edu.

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