Myth: Fast foods are always an unhealthy choice. You should not eat them when dieting.
Fact: Many fast foods are unhealthy and may affect weight gain. However, if you do eat fast food, choose menu options with care. Both at home and away, choose healthy foods that are nutrient rich, low in calories, and small in portion size.
TIP: To choose healthy, low-calorie options, check the nutrition facts. And know that the nutrition facts often do not include sauces and extras. Try these tips:
- -Avoid “value” combo meals, which tend to have more calories than you need in one meal.
- -Choose fresh fruit items or non-fat yogurt for dessert.
- -Limit your use of toppings that are high in fat and calories, such as bacon, cheese, regular mayonnaise, salad dressings.
- -Pick steamed or baked items over fried ones.
- -Sip on water or fat-free milk and drinks.
Myth: If I skip meals, I can lose weight.
Fact: Skipping meals may make you feel hungrier and lead you to eat more than you normally would at your next meal. In particular, studies show a link between skipping breakfast and obesity. People who skip breakfast tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast.
TIP: Choose meals and snacks that include a variety of healthy foods. Try these examples:
- -For a quick breakfast, make oatmeal with low-fat milk, topped with fresh fruits. Or eat a slice of whole-wheat toast with fruit spread.
- -Pack a healthy lunch each night, so you won’t be tempted to rush out of the house in the morning without one.
- –For healthy nibbles, pack a small low-fat yogurt, a couple of whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter, or veggies.
Myth: Eating healthy food costs too much.
Fact: Eating better does not have to cost a lot of money. Many people think that fresh foods are healthier than canned or frozen ones. For example, some people think that spinach is better for you raw than frozen or canned. However, canned or frozen fruits and veggies provide as many nutrients as fresh ones, at a lower cost. Healthy options include low-salt canned veggies and fruit canned in its own juice or water-packed. Remember to rinse canned veggies to remove excess salt. Also, some canned seafood, like tuna, is easy to keep on the shelf, healthy, and low cost. And canned, dried, or frozen beans, lentils, and peas are also healthy sources of protein that are easy on the wallet.
TIP: Check the nutrition facts on canned, dried, and frozen items. Look for items that are high in calcium, fiber, potassium, protein, and vitamin D. Also check for items that are low in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium