AWRIGHT DEN: Myth vs fact
On Tuesday morning, while engaging in my regular Internet browsing, I stumbled onto an article in Yahoo! Health titled Dr Oz And Friends Bust Common Health Myths.
Below are two articles which I believe you will find interesting, as they address two topics that are often discussed.
Myth: Muscle weighs more than fat.
Fact: One pound of muscle actually weighs the same as one pound of fat: they each weigh one pound! There are, however, two important differences between muscle tissue and fat tissue that are important to recognize.
For one, fat tissue is more bulky than muscle tissue so it occupies more space under the skin. Thus, one pound of fat tissue actually has more volume (and will appear larger) than one pound of muscle tissue. For this reason, a 170-pound woman whose body is composed of 25 per cent fat tissue will appear much leaner than a woman weighing the same but whose body fat percentage is 45 per cent.
Therefore, individuals need to assess their weight management efforts using a wide variety of body measurements and health parameters. Focusing solely on the number on the scale can conceal real and important improvements in body composition. Aim for the look and the feel – not just a number.
Secondly, muscle tissue utilizes more calories than fat tissue. What does that mean? Let’s take the two 170-pound women mentioned above. The woman with 25 per cent body fat has more muscle tissue so her body needs more calories to keep its systems running. Thus, she burns more calories – even when she is just sitting around – than does her 45-per cent body fat counterpart. As a result, the leaner woman can actually eat more calories each day and maintain her weight as compared to the woman with more fat tissue.
If you want to appear leaner and be able to consume more calories without gaining weight, be sure to incorporate regular strength training into your exercise programme to promote muscle development.
– Katie Rickel, PhD
Myth: Carbohydrates are bad for your health.
Fact: In the recent past, no-carb and low-carb diets have demonized carbohydrates in the eyes of the public. It’s time to take a new look at carbs! First of all, carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for the body. Without them, we would have a very difficult time functioning and moving around to do our day-to-day activities.
In their simplest form, carbohydrates break down into glucose, or sugar, which our cells use for energy. But, not all carbs are created equal. There is a big difference between refined carbohydrates, such as pastries, cookies, white pasta – and those that are not processed, like whole grains, fruits and starchy vegetables.
Whole grains contain multiple vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in fibre, which can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, support optimal digestion, and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Fibre helps prevent constipation while also creating a feeling of fullness, which prevents us from overeating – good news for anyone who is looking to drop some pounds in a healthy way. Some examples of whole grains are oatmeal, wild rice, buckwheat, corn, quinoa, barley, as well as whole wheat breads, crackers, pastas and cereals. Also, whole grains are low in fat and have been linked to lower risks of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Good carbs versus bad carbs:
Refined grains and added sugars, however, are stripped of their nutrients and fibre; not only are they missing key nutrition, but these foods can spike our blood sugar and make us crave more food, while putting us at risk of developing diabetes. Refined carbs and added sugars to avoid: white flour, baked goods, white rice, white bread, soda, juice and candy.
Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots are also rich in numerous health-boosting minerals and vitamins. Fruit is an excellent source of fibre, phytochemicals and antioxidants; keep in mind, fruit does contain natural sugar, so should still be eaten in moderation.
– Mao Shing Ni, LAc, DOM, PhD