TEENS: The holiday season is soon to be here, and it's a time when some of us overeat. Luckily, more teams today are health-conscious than ever before and pay attention to the amount and type of food to eat.
Here's a true-false quiz put together to help you make eating decisions based on facts rather than myths. Can you answer 9 of the 10 questions correctly? If so, you get an A. But no matter how well you do, you can't fail; you can only learn.
1. Chicken and turkey are great lean meats. It doesn't matter whether you eat the white meat or the dark meat.
FALSE. White meat has about half the fat of dark meat. By reducing your fat intake, you'll help a weight-loss program while dieting.
2. Dinner should be your biggest meal of the day.
FALSE. While you should eat a nutritious dinner, it's best to consume the majority of your calories earlier in the day. Your body is able to make use of the calories at a faster rate when you're active.
3. Skipping breakfast is a good way to instantly cut back on your calorie intake for the day.
FALSE. Always eat breakfast, even when dieting. A morning meal provides your body with fuel for the day and allows it to burn calories at a higher rate.
4. Drinking plenty of water is beneficial to the body and can help you feel full.
TRUE. Drinking eight glasses of water daily is one of the most healthful habits. Not only does water serve to suppress your appetite; it also helps flush impurities from your skin and keeps your digestive system in healthy working order.
5. It's better to eat a handful of peanuts rather than a bowl of popcorn.
FALSE. Plain popcorn is a low-calorie snack and is high in fiber. A handful of peanuts may seem fairly harmless, but you're consuming about 100 calories per 10 peanuts! Though they're a great protein source, peanuts also have a high fat content.
6. If you're running at low energy, it's best to snack on a candy bar or something that contains lots of sugar.
FALSE. A candy bar may give you an initial sugar rush, but once this rush wears off, you'll come crashing down!
7. Forget looking at the menu! If you're at a restaurant that has a salad bar, it's your best choice.
FALSE. Salad bars can provide a low-calorie meal, but they can also serve up a dieting disaster. Be sure to fill your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, but don't garnish your salad selections with oodles of creamy dressing, bacon bits and cream sauces. Instead, zip up your salad with diet dressing or a spritz of lemon juice.
8. A friend has just told you about a new diet. You eat just three types of food (as much as you want) up to six times a day. This sounds like a great diet plan.
FALSE. Any diet that limits you to only a few types of food or involves strange eating strategies is not healthy. Eating six small meals a day can be effective, but ALL food groups should be represented for healthful weight loss.
9. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
TRUE. Well, almost. Apples may not keep the doctor away, but they are a nutritious food choice. They're rich in fiber and vitamins and also contain the trace element boron, which can help keep you alert.
10. Stepping on the scale and seeing that you've lost weight after an intense workout proves that exercise is the key to fast weight loss.
FALSE. Any weight loss that shows up immediately following your workout is likely to be water loss from perspiration rather than loss of actual weight caused by losing fat.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.