Bottled water is of higher quality and healthier for us—correct? Experts say that isn’t necessarily true. If your water is from a public water supply, check with the local water department to see if the water is tested regularly for coliform bacteria, nitrate or other contaminants. Ask for the latest report on your community’s water supply. You will probably discover the water is just as safe as that in the designer bottles selling for several dollars each. If you prefer the taste of bottled water, consider buying a cost-effective water filtration system, rather than buying by the bottle.
Sugar-free drinks are a terrific diet aid—right? As recent studies reveal, perhaps not. Experiments show that when you eat something sweet, your brain receives the message that you are consuming sugar and responds with insulin. The sugar that is already in your blood is routed to fat cells to make room for the incoming sugar. When the sugar doesn’t arrive, your body is confused. It wants to replenish the sugar level in the blood. Suddenly you feel hungry again. Recent experiments have shown that, because real sugar gives you energy and fake sugar makes you weak (causes a drop in blood sugar level), you eat more and gain weight. If your primary interest is in losing weight, you may want to reconsider those sugar-free items.*
Fat is a bad thing that should be avoided at all costs—true? Actually, the body needs some fat in order to absorb nutrients, but make sure the fats you are consuming are good fats. Whether you are watching your weight for health reasons or simply to lose a few pounds, make sure eat good fats in order to ensure you absorb the nutrients your body needs. Avocado, olive oil and goat cheese are all good fats when consumed in small quantities. A fat-free diet is counterproductive because when your body, aided by small amounts of good fat, absorbs nutrients, you will be less hungry, eat less, and lose weight naturally.
*Note: Not all sugar-free substitutes are the same. People with diabetes should check with their doctor regarding sugar substitutes.