Tuesdays with the Dietitian: Busted: two nutrition myths
There are a lot of nutrition myths out there that we hear, and the more we hear them the more we start to believe them as facts. I am going to touch on two of my favorites.
"Eggs are bad for your heart"
What is true is that eggs contain about 211milligrams of cholesterol in the yolk. Cholesterol is the fatty stuff in our blood and contributes to clogged arteries and heart attacks. But studies show healthy people can eat an egg a day without any problems. The cholesterol we eat, whether or not it is from an egg, doesn't have a huge impact on raising our cholesterol--our bodies will compensate for it by making less. The bigger culprit in promoting heart disease is saturated and trans fats. An egg contains two grams of saturated fat and no trans fats. So, while eggs are not necessarily bad for your heart, keep in mind the American Heart Association's diet recommendations; limit your cholesterol intake to less than 300mg a day and less than 200mg a day if you have a history of heart problems or diabetes or are over 55 for women and 45 for men.
" Calories eaten at night are more fattening than those eaten early in the day"
This is one of my favorites. Calories don't change over the course of the day. That piece of chocolate cake has the same amount of calories at 8 a.m. that it does at 8 p.m. The difference is if you eat that piece of cake at 8 a.m. you may burn it off before you go to bed. But, if you eat that piece of cake at 8 a.m. in addition to everything else you would normally eat for the day, you are still in an abundance of calories no matter if you eat it in the morning or in the evening. At the end of the day you want to have taken in just as many calories as you burned off to remain in balance. My advice is to eat for energy, and you don't need energy to sleep.
Melissa Gerharter MS, RD is co-owner of Joust Strength and Fitness of Ann Arbor, joustfitness.com. She is also a personal trainer and an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University. She can be reached at Melissa@joustfitness.com.