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Are you myth-informed?


Having shattered the image of pizza as junk food, let us now see how well you answer some other dietary truths, half-truths and nontruths, as compiled by the Nutri/System Health and Fitness Foundation. Of 1,000 allegedly well-informed Americans given the test, 400 answered "true" to the statement that eating a grapefruit before every meal will help you lose weight. Remember the grapefruit diet of the late '60s?

Here are some of the other test statements:

1. Toasting a piece of bread reduces the number of calories it contains.

2. Whole milk has more protein than skim milk.

3. Complex carbohydrates include honey, molasses and corn syrup.

4. Butter has more calories than margarine.

5. Taking the skin off chicken renders it free of cholesterol.

6. Watermelon has more calories than most fruits because of its high sugar content.

7. Two cups (16 oz.) of milk contain the recommended daily allowance of calcium.

8. Avocados are high in fat.

9. Protein should be the major component of the diet for people trying to lose weight.

And the answers (read 'em and weep!) are:

1. False. Toasting just removes moisture, unless you burn the toast, which will burn up some of the calories in the process.

2. False. Ounce for ounce, skim milk contains just a little more protein, since the nutrients become a little more concentrated when the fat is removed.

3. False. Complex carbohydrates are those found in starchy foods, fruits and vegetables. Honey, molasses and corn syrup are made up of "simple sugars," i.e., those with simple molecular structures.

4. Both true and false. Although margarine has more unsaturated fat and less saturated fat than butter, fat is fat when it comes to caloric content. So-called "light" margarine, however, does have fewer calories than butter because its fat content has been reduced.

5. False. Although skinless chicken contains much less fat, the proportion of cholesterol in the skin and in the meat is the same. So an ounce of skinless chicken contains the same amount of cholesterol as an ounce with the skin.

6. False. Watermelon has such a high water content that it is relatively low in sugar--and hence in calories. Of course, because one normally eats a much larger quantity of watermelon than of other fruits at a sitting, the number of calories ingested may be as high as when eating other fruit.

7. False. a pint of milk contains only 60 to 70 percent of the RDA for calcium.

8. True. Avocados are almost 90 percent fat.

9. False. Protein should account for only 10 to 15 percent of caloric intake in any diet. Protein ingested in excess of body need and not burned up will turn to fat! Fifty-five to 60 percent of calories should come from the body's best energy source--foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, rice, cereal, fruits and vegetables. (Let's hear it again for the pizza!)

P.S.: The grapefruit diet was a scam--as are most fad diets that pop up year after year.
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Title Annotation:dietary quiz
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Nov 1, 1990
Previous Article:Sigmoidoscopy: from the inside out.
Next Article:Fiber is no fad.

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