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Old 09-10-12, 01:16 PM   #1
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Any food fallacies you fell for?

I talked myself into a nasty one. I was sharing a large house with 6 other people who were mostly into health food. A couple of them were a bit extreme about it. Sugar was one thing they didn't like.

I was told 'A chocolate bar picks you up and gives you more energy at first, but then it lets you back down and you have to pay for it after.' I had an occasional chocolate bar in those days, and neither of those things had ever happened to me, so that didn't seem to make a lot of sense.

Besides that, even the protein from a steak has to become glucose before the body can use it as fuel. I decided there was nothing wrong with sugar.

When the net came along, I read that exercise is the main thing. If you are getting enough of that, your body will tear the nutrients out of almost anything. That sounded good to me. Now it seems obvious that it isn't true.

A years later my supermarket had regular clearance sales on chocolate. I liked chocolate and after holidays like valentines day, the prices would be about 10 cents on the dollar. I started stocking up.

It took a couple of years of damage before I realized that too much sugar does do nasty things. Now I don't even go near it.
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Old 09-12-12, 09:31 AM   #2
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Sounds to me like you fell for the extemes of everything - and still are. Moderation is the truth. - TF
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Old 09-12-12, 09:36 AM   #3
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Nothing really. There is a use for just about every sort of food, excluding man made fats. IMHO

Moderation in everything, save moderation.
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Old 09-12-12, 10:16 AM   #4
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Chocolate itself is okay. It's adding the sugar to it that's a problem (as in milk chocolate). If you eat high cocoa content chocolate (like 93% or something), you can do so relatively guilt free. It tastes like unsweetened baker's chocolate (basically the same thing), but you can get used to the lack of sweetness and still indulge your chocolate cravings (which are different than sugar cravings).
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 09-12-12, 10:45 AM   #5
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For years I was a low-fat fanatic. But now I have done some reading on the subject and have seen the light. You have to eat fat to get lean. (Pass the bacon!)
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Old 09-12-12, 11:51 AM   #6
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Low fat usually equates to replacing fat with sugar or a sugar substitute in many products. Low fat is a terrible diet IMHO
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Old 09-12-12, 12:30 PM   #7
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Low fat usually equates to replacing fat with sugar or a sugar substitute in many products. Low fat is a terrible diet IMHO
Exactly right.
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Old 09-12-12, 01:08 PM   #8
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Low fat from the standpoint of replacing the fat with other things to make food palatable is bad. Low fat in terms of selecting lean meats, etc., is good. Lean Canadian bacon is better for you than bacon.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 09-12-12, 02:03 PM   #9
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I eat full fat dairy products only. Fit as a fiddle.
Anyhow as for lean meats,
<--vegetarian
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Old 09-12-12, 02:53 PM   #10
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Whatever works
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 09-12-12, 07:42 PM   #11
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This isn't helpful, but I kinda wish you'd posted this thread under "Falling For Food Fallacies."
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Old 09-13-12, 03:52 PM   #12
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I fell for a food fad saying sugar does do nasty things.

As everyone said, moderation. Moderation doesn't only mean not eating too much - it also means not eating too little. I got into a ridiculous habit of eating uber healthy (tons of veggies, chicken breasts, barely any oil, no sweets) and after a few months I was doing terrible. No really - I had little energy, my legs were consistently hurting during rides etc. I since stopped being a healthnut and eating normally - I'll actually fry my eggs in wee bit of butter, put cheese on my sandwiches, have the occasional muffin with coffee at a cafe, enjoy the burger, and get like a handful of chips or nuts if I'm hungry between meals. And I've actually been doing much better, with feeling fuller, having more energy, and improved biking performance. And my weight has stayed where it is too!
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Old 09-13-12, 05:32 PM   #13
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I fell for the low fat trap. Doing much better now that I just eat a balanced diet with fat.
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Old 09-14-12, 10:56 AM   #14
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I fell for the low fat trap.
Me too.. twice. I lost weight both times (I was religiously counting calories too), but I was hungry and cranky all the time. I never felt full, even right after eating.
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Old 09-14-12, 07:53 PM   #15
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I fell for the zero sugar diet and lost 30 lbs. in a year.

Edit: sorry, not a fallacy at all.
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Old 09-15-12, 04:28 AM   #16
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I fell for a food fad saying sugar does do nasty things.

As everyone said, moderation. Moderation doesn't only mean not eating too much - it also means not eating too little. I got into a ridiculous habit of eating uber healthy (tons of veggies, chicken breasts, barely any oil, no sweets) and after a few months I was doing terrible. No really - I had little energy, my legs were consistently hurting during rides etc. I since stopped being a healthnut and eating normally - I'll actually fry my eggs in wee bit of butter, put cheese on my sandwiches, have the occasional muffin with coffee at a cafe, enjoy the burger, and get like a handful of chips or nuts if I'm hungry between meals. And I've actually been doing much better, with feeling fuller, having more energy, and improved biking performance. And my weight has stayed where it is too!
Not to be churlish, but paragraph one does not match paragraph two. You say you fell for a food fad saying sugar does nasty things (suggesting sugar does not do these nasty things), but then you go on to say that your previous idea of healthy food was low fat, and then you give examples of things you eat now that are an improvement, and it is all fat. Frying your eggs in butter, cheese on sandwiches, handful of chips or nuts, muffin with coffee, enjoying the burger - we are talking about fat here. Not sugar, except maybe in the muffin. But muffins are generally more fat than sugar.

Read what almost every other post in the thread is saying. Fat is important and necessary, and it is true, a common and pernicious health misconception is that eating fat makes you fat. Not true. There are better and worse fats, but good fats are an important and necessary part of any diet, and they do a better job of making you feel full than ... well, sugars.

But to move on, "sugar does nasty things". Yes and no. I suspect that what you mean is "refined sugar does nasty things" - the white stuff that comes in a bag. All carbs will become sugar, and this becomes glycogen, which is critical to providing fuel for our muscles and brains. Muscles can use fat as an energy source, but the brain requires glycogen, and glycogen only. Fruit is chock full of sugars, but this sugar comes with fiber and a whole load of micronutrients, so it is not such a big problem. Even some sweeteners like molasses are mostly sugar, but still have some redeeming food value (ie molasses is very high in iron).

Refined sugar is a different story. In moderation it is not the end of the world, but the point that has been made in this thread is that "low-fat" diets usually mean more sugars, which is counter-productive. Refined sugar is very problematic - off the top of my head it wrecks havoc on the digestive system (in particular digestive flora) (see for example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1379072/) and it suppresses the immune system (see http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/fam...s-excess-sugar - okay this is not a peer- reviewed article, but it is written by a very reputable pediatrician, and it is scientifically informed - using google I am sure you can turn up a number of peer-reviewed articles supporting the point).

That said, I do have an unhealthy love of drinking coke and eating desserts. And there are some times that sugar laden foods and drinks are not so bad - like in the middle of a century, when my body is burning through fuel like crazy. But for the most part, yes, refined sugar does indeed do nasty things.
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Old 09-15-12, 04:30 PM   #17
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Eating healthy is not necessarily low fat. First of all eating healthy starts with not eating more calories than you need, so that you don't become fat yourself. Problem with dietary fat is that it is very calorie dense, making it very easy to overeat.
So if you are trying to loose weight and don't exercise too much, fat is something to watch out for as you should be looking for food with relatively little calories that still satisfy your hunger.
A right amount of protein is more or less fixed, depending on if you are trying to remain at the same weight, loose fat or grow muscle that can be more or less protein. The choice of diet is then actually all about what to do with the remaining calories you need, how to spread it over fat and carbs. And this is where you can actually go any way you like, the only thing is that certain people might react badly to an extreme diet with e.g. almost no carbs. That could leave them feeling tired with no energy.
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Old 09-16-12, 08:58 AM   #18
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I recently heard that in JAMA, fish oil capsules do very little.
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Old 09-16-12, 11:43 AM   #19
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Eating healthy is not necessarily low fat. First of all eating healthy starts with not eating more calories than you need, so that you don't become fat yourself. Problem with dietary fat is that it is very calorie dense, making it very easy to overeat.
So if you are trying to loose weight and don't exercise too much, fat is something to watch out for as you should be looking for food with relatively little calories that still satisfy your hunger.
A right amount of protein is more or less fixed, depending on if you are trying to remain at the same weight, loose fat or grow muscle that can be more or less protein. The choice of diet is then actually all about what to do with the remaining calories you need, how to spread it over fat and carbs. And this is where you can actually go any way you like, the only thing is that certain people might react badly to an extreme diet with e.g. almost no carbs. That could leave them feeling tired with no energy.
+1

The professor who ate a junk food diet, lost weight and improved his health proved that. The key is finding what works for your body.

I tried every diet under the sun when I was younger: cutting out carbs, cutting back on sugar, fasting with only liquids, you name it. About 15 years ago I got tired of it and decided to not deny myself anything, but pay attention to portion control. I also stopped eating when I felt about 80% full and didn't eat until I was stuffed.

It took over a year for the behavior modification to become permanent. Now I don't even think about it anymore and my weight has stayed steady for 15 years.
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Old 09-17-12, 05:01 AM   #20
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+1

The professor who ate a junk food diet, lost weight and improved his health proved that. The key is finding what works for your body.
I remember reading about a study where they compared the reaction of your body to eating junk food and regular food, while keeping the macro nutrients the same. And the result was, no difference. But junk food is designed to make you eat more, so there is a very large correlation between BMI and eating junk food regularly.

A funny story is how McD had to close their newly opened store in a small town in Italy. Local kids just prefered the freshly home cooked meals.
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Old 09-17-12, 04:34 PM   #21
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Low fat usually equates to replacing fat with sugar or a sugar substitute in many products. Low fat is a terrible diet IMHO
Yep ... and yet Weight Watchers fell for the whole low fat thing when it was in fashion. I read some the ingredients lists on their "low fat" foods and was horrified by the amount of sugar in the stuff.
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Old 09-17-12, 07:18 PM   #22
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Yep ... and yet Weight Watchers fell for the whole low fat thing when it was in fashion. I read some the ingredients lists on their "low fat" foods and was horrified by the amount of sugar in the stuff.
That's why you also should always keep your thinking cap on and reed the food label to see where the Calories are coming from. There is the "Low Fat" marketing trick you mention, but there are also many product where low fat means that you can have a tasty alternative with less Calories or a good source of protein with less Calories from fat. Canadian bacon for example or low fat (cream) cheese come to mind.
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Old 09-18-12, 04:14 AM   #23
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That's why you also should always keep your thinking cap on and reed the food label to see where the Calories are coming from. There is the "Low Fat" marketing trick you mention, but there are also many product where low fat means that you can have a tasty alternative with less Calories or a good source of protein with less Calories from fat. Canadian bacon for example or low fat (cream) cheese come to mind.

Low fat doesn't necessarily mean less calories. That was the thing about the Weight Watchers food of several years ago. When they packed it with sugar, the calorie content was quite high ... probably the same as it would have been if they had left some fat in, and possibly higher. Some of the Weight Watchers food choices were higher in calories than other "non-diet" products.
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Old 09-18-12, 06:03 AM   #24
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Low fat doesn't necessarily mean less calories. That was the thing about the Weight Watchers food of several years ago. When they packed it with sugar, the calorie content was quite high ... probably the same as it would have been if they had left some fat in, and possibly higher. Some of the Weight Watchers food choices were higher in calories than other "non-diet" products.
Well, maybe it was good advice at that time, untill the food industry caught on and started producing low fat high sugar products to please the masses.
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Old 09-18-12, 01:08 PM   #25
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Low fat doesn't necessarily mean less calories. That was the thing about the Weight Watchers food of several years ago. When they packed it with sugar, the calorie content was quite high ... probably the same as it would have been if they had left some fat in, and possibly higher. Some of the Weight Watchers food choices were higher in calories than other "non-diet" products.
and the kicker is, fat is more filling than sugar, so even at the same "caloric" content it was probably a worse choice!
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