Nutrition information can be conflicting and confusing. What is good for you today may be bad for you tomorrow and vice versa. Over the years I have heard countless rules pertaining to nutrition. Some rules are made to be broken and I’m going to tell you the rules I always break.
Rule #1: Drinking only cold water.
Water is essential for life. We need water to survive and prevent dehydration. The temperature of the water does not affect the digestion of nutrients in our bodies. It’s a matter of preference. If you like to drink cold, hot, or room temperature water your body will thank you for providing it with an important nutrient.
Take away: Drink enough water so that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is nearly colorless.
Rule #2: Staying hydrated during a workout with overpriced sports drinks
A low to moderate intense workout lasting an hour doesn’t require a sports drink. Sports drinks have too much sodium and sugar for this type of workout. A 12 oz sports drink contains 21 grams of total carbohydrate. That’s nearly the amount of sugar in a 12 oz soda. Ditch those high sugar drinks and stick with regular water or water flavored with fresh lemons or limes.
Take away: If you’re exercising 60 minutes or less water is sufficient to quench your thirst.
Rule #3: Avoiding carbohydrates at night
Carbohydrates high in fiber and other nutrients are a part of a nutritious meal plan. Whole-grain breads and cereals, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, potatoes, fruit, beans are foods your body can use for energy. Studies have shown a high fiber carbohydrate at night may help you feel full longer and lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels. This will prevent you from late night snacking on high sugary foods or beverages you should be avoiding.
Take away: Ignore the warnings about avoiding carbs at night. Choose high fiber carbs to positively impact your health.
Rule #4 Throwing out the yolks
Are eggs healthy? Aren’t eggs high in cholesterol? These are some of the questions my clients ask me about eggs. For a long time eggs were associated with heart disease because of their high cholesterol content. However, a solid body of research shows that for most people, cholesterol in food has a smaller effect on total cholesterol in our bodies than other fats like trans-fats in the diet. Besides cholesterol, egg yolks are rich in protein, choline, biotin, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
Take away: The egg yolks contain valuable nutrients so don’t throw out the yolks. A healthy person can consume 1-2 eggs a day. If you’re concerned about the cholesterol use 1 egg and several egg whites. Egg whites do not have cholesterol.
Rule #5 Taking a multivitamin
Did you know half of American adults take a multivitamin daily or another vitamin or mineral supplement? Is taking a multivitamin daily beneficial to your health? Recent studies show multivitamins do not reduce the risk of heart disease, memory loss or cancer. There is an exception to that rule. Women of childbearing age must supplement with folic acid to prevent neural tube defects in babies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all women of reproductive age get 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. No need to rush out and buy this vitamin. Several breads, rice, and pasta are enriched with folic acid.
Take away: Don’t waste your money on multivitamins unless your medical doctor has prescribed a supplement specifically for you. Instead spend that money on nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and fish.
Rule #6 Never eat past 8 PM
You might have been told to never eat past 8 PM. Why? To avoid gaining weight? Is there any evidence behind this statement? In the journal Nutrients consuming smaller portion sizes of nutritious foods at nighttime appears to help repair your muscles, improve your energy needs, and keep you feeling full throughout the night.
Take away: Eat a smaller version of the food you had for lunch or whip up a fruit and vegetable smoothie. Like my creamy peanut butter and berry smoothie. Just add a handful of spinach. But don’t go to bed right away. Wait at least 60 minutes or more.