There are many helpful food and weight loss facts that I have discovered while gathering information for this personal journey. Many facts are valuable for everyone, so I decided to share some of my favorites-
1.Butter is better. Margarine isn’t always a better choice than butter. Most margarines contain just as much fat and as many calories as butter so they do not offer any real weight loss benefits. Worse still, they may also contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are thought to be harmful to the heart. If you like the taste of butter, there’s no reason why you can’t include it in your diet, providing you count the calories. Since I am a butta-lover, this is really great news for me!
2.Cereal bars and fiber bars aren’t always the best snack choices. Some ‘healthy food or fiber bars’, have as high a calorie count as candy bars. For a sweet snack, you’d be better off choosing fresh fruit. But if you must have chocolate or a sweet treat, check out the nutrition and calorie information on the label first. Small chocolate bars or treats, like Hershey Kisses, contain fewer calories than some healthy sounding cereal bars- and many are less expensive! Candy bar instead of fiber bar? Fine with me!
3.Low fat foods do not always help you lose weight. Foods that are described as ‘low fat’ or 'fat-free' aren’t automatically low in calories. In fact, some low-fat products may actually be higher in calories than higher fat products. Some low fat foods contain extra sugars or additives to enhance flavor or texture. Low fat does not mean low calorie.
4.Honey is higher in calories than sugar. 1 tsp. of honey contains 25 calories, compared with 16 calories in 1 tsp. of sugar! Plus, it’s just as likely to cause tooth decay. I like both, so no problem.
5.Potatoes, bread, pasta and rice do not make us gain weight any more than other foods. There is no proof that foods high in carbohydrates are worse than other foods. Extra calories will add pounds, regardless of where the calories come from. It’s usually the fat that we add to carbs that raises the calorie content, such as butter on toast, creamy sauces on pasta,or sour cream on potatoes.
6.Spinach is great. If you could eat only one vegetable for the rest of your life, eat spinach. It’s one of the highest ranking vegetables as far as overall antioxidant capacity. It can easily be added to many recipes, meals and salads. Popeye always was my hero.
7.Diet soda does not automatically contribute to weight loss. In fact, it’s been shown that diet sodas actually increase hunger. I don't drink many carbonated beverages, so I can avoid these without too many struggles.
8.Red meat is OK. Red meat is much leaner now than ever before. Around half the fat in red meat is actually heart-healthy monounsaturates. In particular, red meat contains oleic acid, which is the same type of fat that’s found in olive oil. Red meat is also packed with a wide range of vitamins and minerals, especially iron. It is easy to choose lean cuts of meat and to use cooking methods that do not add fat. You don’t have to limit yourself to chicken anymore. Bring on the filet mignon!
Bottom line on most of these tips:
First and foremost-count your calories!