March marks National Nutrition Month, a time to spread the message of good nutrition, physical activity, and an overall healthy lifestyle for all.
With so much information available at our fingertips, how do we know if the content is credible? This year, we’re doing our part to simplify, and scientifically check, common nutrition facts with a fun true or false quiz.
March marks National Nutrition Month, a time to spread the message of good nutrition, physical activity, and an overall healthy lifestyle for all (1). But with so much information available at our fingertips, how do we know if the content is credible? This year, we’re doing our part to simplify, and scientifically check, common nutrition facts with a fun true or false quiz.
True BUT - Everyone has a unique basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is how many calories our body burns at rest. The amount we need per day can fluctuate depending on environmental and physical factors, such as our gut microbiome. It’s also important to keep in mind that the quality of the food matters. Certain foods, like more natural and wholesome ones, actually help our body burn more calories (2).
False - Negative-calorie foods are thought to burn more calories to digest than they contain. They include vegetables that are high in water and fiber, such as lettuce, cucumbers, or celery. Although these foods can help support weight loss, trying to lose weight through the thermic effect of food alone is not a sustainable way (3).
True BUT - It tends to be a bit and only temporarily. Think about eating a spicy meal and how your body temperature may rise or you may start to sweat, indicating your body is burning more. One study showed that eating spicy foods can increase metabolism as much as 8 percent, over our normal rate, but this is negligible. Also, our bodies may adapt to this overtime so it's not likely it will cause fat loss.
True and False - Intermittent fasting can be good for you, but just like any eating plan, it comes down to what works best for you and how you do it. Intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat rather than what you eat. For some people the time restricted eating can help prevent mindless eating. It’s also been suggested to improve blood glucose and cell health for healthier aging (4). But for other people, fasting may be difficult to stick to or cause overeating of unhealthy foods during the eating window.
False BUT - People who follow a vegetarian eating pattern are at a higher risk of low iron stores when compared to nonvegetarians. But this doesn’t mean that all vegetarians have iron deficiency (5). For vegetarians, and especially vegans, it comes down to making sure to include plenty of whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, leafy greens, and iron-fortified cereals and including vitamin C, which increases the absorption of plant iron sources.
True - Brown rice is a whole grain whereas white rice is the refined version. During the refining process, the bran and germ are removed. The outer layer that’s found in brown rice, contains fiber and more vitamins and minerals like heart helping magnesium and folate.
False - Dietary fat does have a higher amount of calories per gram, when compared to carbohydrates and protein, but we need it for metabolic functions, hormones, absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins. It can help slow digestion and therefore help us feel more satisfied, which may naturally help regulate weight.
It’s important to focus on certain types of fat, such as natural plant-based options like olives, nuts and avocado versus processed types like trans and saturated fat found in foods like ice cream, deli meats, french fries, and donuts.
False - Gaining weight is a result of eating more calories than you burn overtime, not due to specific macronutrients. However, when the refined and processed types of carbs are eaten in excess, over time, it can lead to more cravings, excess calories, and potentially blood sugar or hormone imbalances.
Focus on the right type of carbs such as natural and whole-grain carbs. Examples include brown rice, whole wheat bread, rye, legumes, fruits, and vegetables and balance them with other macronutrients.
False - We’ve often been brought up being told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. On one hand, breakfast creates an opportunity to help fuel your day and get key nutrients first thing. On the other hand, it completely depends if you’re typically a breakfast eater or not.
There is no solid evidence that proves eating breakfast promotes weight loss (6). It also depends on what you have. Eating a wholesome breakfast such as eggs, whole grain bread, and fruit is very different from processed sugary cereals that leave you low on energy and craving more.
False - Recents studies have even determined that willpower is a myth. That’s because diets that depend on that sense of control or willpower ignore our human biology. The more we restrict, the more our bodies tend to fight back. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to why we’re eating, and what we’re eating, such as our biological make-up and environments, so it's important to work with your body and mind when wanting to make a change.
To find the plan that works with your personal body and preferences, rather than a myth of willpower, try out Lifesum!
All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.