Myth: Eating meat is bad for my health and makes it harder to lose weight.
Fact: Eating lean meat in small amounts can be part of a healthy plan to lose weight. Chicken, fish, pork, and red meat contain some cholesterol and saturated fat. However, they also contain healthy nutrients like iron, protein, and zinc.
TIP: Choose cuts of meat that are lower in fat, and trim off all the fat you can see. Meats that are lower in fat include chicken breast, pork loin and beef round steak, flank steak. With extra lean ground beef. Also, watch portion size. Try to eat meat or poultry in portions of 3 ounces or less. Three ounces is about the size of a deck of cards.
Myth: Dairy products are fattening and unhealthy.
Fact: Fat-free and low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt are just as healthy as whole-milk dairy products. And they are lower in fat and calories. Dairy products offer protein to build muscles and help organs work well, and calcium to strengthen bones. As well, most milk and some yogurts have extra vitamin D added to help your body use calcium.
TIP: It is advisable to consume fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. This can include soy beverages fortified with vitamins. If you can’t digest lactose (the sugar found in dairy products). So, choose lactose-free or low-lactose dairy products or other foods and beverages that have calcium and vitamin D.
Myth: “Going vegetarian” will help me lose weight and be healthier.
Fact: Research shows that people who follow a vegetarian eating plan, on average, eat fewer calories and less fat than non-vegetarians. Some research has found that vegetarian-style eating patterns are associated with lower levels of obesity, lower blood pressure, and a reduced risk of heart disease. Vegetarians also tend to have lower body mass index (BMI) scores than people with other eating plans. (The BMI measures body fat based on a person’s height in relation to weight, will write more about this in my subsequent posts).
But vegetarians—like others—can make food choices that impact weight gain, like eating large amounts of foods that are high in fat or calories or low in nutrients. The types of vegetarian diets eaten can vary widely. Vegans do not consume any animal products, while lacto-ovo vegetarians are good at eating milk and eggs along with plant foods. Some people have eating patterns that are mainly vegetarian but may include small amounts of meat, poultry, or seafood.
TIP: If you choose to follow a vegetarian eating plan, be sure you get enough of the nutrients that others usually take in from animal products such as cheese, eggs, meat, and milk. Nutrients that may be lacking in a vegetarian diet include; Calcium, Iron, Protein, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Zinc. So, you need foods and beverages that may help you meet your body’s needs for these nutrients.