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5 Nutrition Myths Debunked

1. If you spend time in the sun in the summer, you don’t need a vitamin D supplement

Recent research is linking low levels of vitamin D to higher risks of heart disease, osteoporosis, falls, diabetes, and certain cancers. Normally, the sun is our best source of vitamin D (food is a poor source). However, since we live in the northern hemisphere, the sun cannot produce vitamin D during the winter months. In addition, most of us wear sunscreen in the summer which blocks vitamin D production. In a nutshell, make the worthwhile investment and take a tablet of 1000 IU a day.

2. Drink 8 glasses of water a day

No scientific evidence exists for this recommendation. Our bodies require adequate amounts of fluid to function optimally, but this amount varies depending on a persons’ size, activity level, outside temperature, etc.

Try to consume more water than empty calorie fluids, such as pop, juice and sports drinks. Also, 4-5 cups of water should suffice for most people in addition to the fluid in the food you eat.

3. Avoid shrimp if you have high cholesterol

Shrimp is high in cholesterol, but this does not translate into high blood cholesterol as much as fat does. To lower your cholesterol, you are better off limiting your intake of saturated (and trans) fats which are high in fatty meat, full fat cheese, butter and commercially baked goods.

4. Almonds are a good source of calcium

Most adults require 1000-1200mg of calcium a day. ¼ cup almonds contains 100mg (10% of your daily needs). Instead of relying on nuts for calcium, consume low fat milk, yogurt or cheese which provide 250-350 mg of calcium per serving.

5. Carbs are fattening

ALL food is “fattening” if eaten in excess of your own calorie needs. Keeping your portions down is what matters most. Think of your fist (about 1 cup) of potato, rice, pasta or cereal as a serving.

 

Are you interested in learning more dietitian-approved tips? Check out Copeman’s definitive guide to